Banking on a business career
Vinston Fungsi is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Indonesia who is setting himself up for a career in banking with help from an MBA.
Ask Vinston about his early days at ACU and he will joke about his not-so-great English, his bewilderment over university assessment standards in Australia, and his initial confusion about the fundamentals of student life.
“I didn’t even know what a lecture was, let alone a tutorial, when I first came to ACU”, he said with a laugh.
But with one degree now completed, an MBA in full swing, fluency in English and two banking roles on his resume, Vinston acknowledges he’s come a long way since then.
On advice from a friend who enjoyed her time at ACU, Vinston initially chose to study at the North Sydney Campus because the idea of going to a smaller university appealed to him.
“She also told me the staff here were known to be really helpful and how approachable everyone is. When I arrived, I found this to be true,” he said.
Help at hand
Vinston faced a steep learning curve when his new life in Sydney began.
“It was so hard for me and everything was a struggle. It was little things like calling people by their first names. I’d never do that at home! Everyone there is ‘Miss’ or ‘Mr’.
“And then it was the bigger things too, like assessment. I had a fantastic lecturer for my management class in my first year who really helped me out. I didn’t understand anything that was going on and I spoke to her about this in the first few weeks of the semester.
“Later, when my assessment was due, she remembered we’d spoken before and she took the time to explain where I’d gone wrong. I was overwhelmed by how generous she was with her time and how she made an effort to understand where I was coming from as an international student. I passed the class and I was so grateful to her. By my second year, everything was on track.”
An education in entrepreneurship
As an international business student, Vinston had an opportunity to take part in the Interchange program, which offers students a one-of-a-kind platform for developing their skills alongside other students from universities across New South Wales. Through a series of workshops, Vinston and his team were tasked with creating their own simulated start-up.
“It was fantastic. We were coached by experts who had their own start-ups already. We had to come up with a business plan together and I was chosen from my team to do the pitch,” he said.
“But what’s been incredible is I am studying entrepreneurship in my MBA right now and I’ve been able to apply what I learnt in Interchange, so it was a really helpful experience for me.”
While Vinston has just begun his MBA and is keeping his options open, he’s confident he’s heading in the right direction already.
“Both my mum and sister have their own businesses and they’ve inspired me with their efforts, but I’m not sure running a start-up is for me. This is why I chose to major in accounting during my undergraduate degree. I’ve recently started my second banking job and working in a big corporation is where my focus is at for now.”
After his first degree, Vinston worked for the Commonwealth Bank, and since he started his MBA, he’s begun working in small business consulting for ANZ.
“I help our customers with all sorts of queries and concerns about things like loans or business banking products, such as overdrafts, term deposits or commercial cards."
While his new role at ANZ has only just begun, Vinston is confident his MBA will serve his banking career well into the future.
“I think having an MBA is a privilege. I don’t doubt it will help me grow my career, and it’s already an asset with my day-to-day work. It gives me the inside perspective on how businesses run, and my advice to other students would be to start an MBA as soon as possible to get your career progressing more quickly.”
Even though he won’t be graduating for a few more years, Vinston is still looking ahead.
“This is why banking is a great industry for me – there’s so much scope to move around to different roles and there’s lots of opportunities.
“Right now, I think I’m particularly interested in working in risk. With the recent Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry, I’m particularly drawn to working in operational risk.”
Find out more about developing a career in business with an MBA at ACU.