Melbourne Polytechnic student Arpita Bhattacharjee took a winding path through education to find her way to accounting. Along the way, she fell in love with her chosen field again.
Arpita completed her Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping FNS40217 in December and is already settled into a job that challenges her and keeps every day interesting.
Arpita completed a Bachelor of Business Administration in Bangladesh and worked for two years for multinational food and drink conglomerate Nestle. She moved to Australia to work on a Master’s degree but life got in the way – she fell in love, married, had a baby and never made it back to the classroom.
When she was ready to kick start her career, Arpita discovered she was eligible for free TAFE and got back into the workforce after six months of full-time study.
Arpita studied remotely through Melbourne’s long second lockdown, with Zoom classes, activities on student learning management system 'Moodle' and with her toddler son at home.
Arpita says the structure of the course helped her, with its practical and straightforward teaching of the basics.
‘The way they planned the course was really helpful.’ she says. ‘I got to know so many things. The course is designed like that, that you will know each and every thing so well.’
She says the teachers were really helpful and knowledgeable.
‘The teachers were really supportive, whenever you were asking any questions or asking for their guidance, they were there,’ she says. ‘If I was stuck somewhere I’d just message the teachers and they were supporting us.
‘I was not confident enough to do any course and when I chose accounting and bookkeeping, honestly, I was really nervous and I hoped I could do it.
‘Before I was not so much interested in accounting, but the course helped me to love it.’
Arpita and her family moved to Sydney and she took an unusual approach to finding a job – she searched for accounting firms near her home using Google maps. She found a role in accounts payable and bookkeeping and is happy to be earning a good salary and working four days a week.
Looking to the future
She likes that every day is different and says it is important to her to love the work. In the future, she might even open her own accounting firm or return to higher education, to finish that Master’s or maybe even do a PhD.
Koula Strati, program leader (business management and finance), says Melbourne Polytechnic’s courses help people boost their chances of finding work in accounting.
Students may already have qualifications, but they may not have found work in their field, or they have been out of the industry for a while, or they don’t have those practical hands-on skills or knowledge, she says.
A Certificate IV level or a diploma gives the hands-on skill sets required to work as an accountant in the industry and these courses are available as free TAFE for eligible students.