Siddharth Shirke

'The course offered me better avenues to connect with local businesses and solve real problems...'

  • Siddharth Shirke

Master of Financial Management

Accounting and Finance Officer, Bonham Interior Ltd

With a career solving finances and investments for New Zealand businesses, Sidd is thoroughly pleased his studies gave him such practical management experience.

Following his accounting studies in India, Sidd discovered UC’s Master of Financial Management programme as a way to gain professional skills in financial business processes and performance.

‘UC is one of the oldest and most reputable colleges in not only New Zealand but in the world. I had a background in accounting, but UC offered me an opportunity to learn finance and advanced concepts of investment, which helped further my knowledge,’ he says.

The opportunity to study overseas in New Zealand presented even more learning experiences that he couldn’t get otherwise, with ‘the natural beauty of this place like a cherry on top’.

‘UC offered a unique experience in terms of studying the environment. I could study anywhere anytime. My lecturers were more than helpful and knowledgeable, and helped me to become who I am today. The events and clubs also made studying more fun during my time at UC.’

As an international student, Sidd found support settling into his new environment from the academic community and by living in Ilam Apartments student accommodation.

‘The staff, lecturers, and fellow students at UC made the whole experience enjoyable. I never felt like an international student. I always felt like I was a part of a big community. I think it is essential to feel comfortable to able to achieve progress, and I never felt out of my comfort zone at UC.

‘I made lifelong friends during my stay at the Uni accommodation. It gave me a chance to interact with amazing people from different countries such as America, Japan, Mexico, and China, to name a few. Sharing culture, food, and travel only brought us together. Looking back at it, I feel like it was one of the best parts of my University life.’

Sidd particularly looked for opportunities to engage with other students through competitions and club events, which would also help develop his degree studies.

‘I have tried my best to attend big events arranged by UC,’ he says. ‘I got to interact with students from different backgrounds and different cultures. It was a fantastic experience to be part of such events.

‘I participated in various competitions organised by multiple clubs, such as UCE Lemonade Stand Challenge, Investment Society’s PWC’s Equity Valuation Challenge, and Portfolio Challenge.  I am proud that my team achieved the third position in PWC’s Equity Valuation.

‘In 2018 I participated in the CFA Challenge, with my team representing UC at New Zealand level. We had an excellent teacher and CFA mentor helping my team and me. They helped us realise the reality of the world of finance. It was one of the proudest moments in my life to represent UC at such a high level. I would highly recommend students of finance and accounting area to participate in the CFA challenge as it is a fantastic experience.’

His efforts resulted in great performance during his master’s degree, and he received a Dean’s Award to help fund studies.

‘I always wanted to apply theoretical knowledge to practical business situations in day-to-day lives. I loved every part where I got the chance to investigate case studies, with examples such as Isaac Construction, retirement villages in New Zealand, and Fonterra, to name a few. The course offered me better avenues to connect with local businesses and solve real problems while learning new things in the world of finance and accounting.’

Since graduating, Sidd now works as an Accounting and Finance Officer with Bonham Interior Ltd, preparing financial statements, investment analysis, and portfolio management for a range of companies working with the interior design business.

‘The most exciting part of the job is to help the management team in decision making by providing meaningful data using the knowledge gained from my university days,’ he says.

In between planning trips with friends around the North Island nature trails, Sidd hopes to eventually gain his Chartered Accountant qualification for his future career practice in New Zealand.