Scholarship recipient eyes opportunities through window into corporate world

Posted: Thu, 7th December 2017 | Written by: The Team at Western Chances

Tanvi Kumar received her first Western Chances scholarship in Year 10 in 2014 when she was recognised by a leading teacher at school for being a self-motivated and conscientious student.

Scholarship recipient eyes opportunities through window into corporate world

“I was a Western Chances scholarship recipient all throughout high school and the financial aid really enabled me to achieve my personal best. Being from a financially disadvantaged family the scholarship helped me purchase books, a laptop and helped me pay for public transport and day-to-day expenses—all of which were extremely vital especially during VCE.”

Tanvi proudly survived the “huge leap” from Suzanne Cory High School in Melbourne’s west to become a first-year Melbourne University commerce student. After getting a taste of the corporate world through a cadetship, she is now keen to explore the field of management consulting and to contribute to her community.

At university, Tanvi plans to major in accounting and marketing to obtain a skillset that is transferable across a variety of roles.

Anne Connors, the Program Manager at Western Chances introduced Tanvi to the Doxa Cadetship Program where she began to build business networks while gaining work experience at a large professional services firm.

“Doxa is an organisation that helps young, disadvantaged individuals by providing them with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. For instance, all the cadets are given the chance to go on camp every year. The three-day first-year camp gave me a chance to meet all the other cadets and find out about their backgrounds and what motivates them. Given we’re all from very diverse backgrounds, it was surprising to find that we all had a lot in common in terms of values, goals and what motivates us. At the camp we were also fortunate enough to have a bunch of speakers come talk to us about various topics such as views and values, sexuality, goal setting and so on. Other than this, Doxa also organises various social and networking events that have personally helped me build contacts and my own brand.”
KPMG was Tanvi’s sponsor for the Doxa cadetship. Participants undertake an 8-week work experience program, which helps cadets get a feel for the work environment their preferred field.

“I completed my first 3 weeks of placement during the end of semester break. I was a part of the Financial Management (FM) team under Management Consulting, which consisted of about 25 individuals. Being a relatively small team, everyone seemed to get along with each other and were closely knit together. I was made to feel very welcome by all members of the team and even by colleagues around the office who were not necessarily a part of FM. I was invited to Friday night drinks with my team and also to the End of Financial Year party, which was a great way to socialise and meet more people.”

“I had such an amazing experience and got heaps of exposure to the office culture, which was to my surprise: KPMG being one of the big 4 professional services firms in the world, I was expecting cutthroat competition and a heavy work focus with little work life balance. The employees are very goal-oriented and work is completed at a high standard, but it was good to see that the employees are also a very valued asset of the company and are well looked after, leading to the employee satisfaction and morale being high.”

During her time at KPMG, Tanvi was involved with an internal project to collate files and put them on a shared platform, as well as participating in client engagement.

“I especially enjoyed working on the client engagement with Shared Services and Outsourcing (SSOA), another team under Management Consulting. It was to do with a firm trying to outsource their Financial function overseas. Working on the project gave me great exposure to work as I had the fantastic opportunity to shadow client meetings and work on Market Scan Reports for the clients, which were actually used with the client. By having the chance of working on this engagement I was able to meet people outside FM and learn about the early processes that take place when a firm wanted to outsource.”

Experiencing the world of work has given Tanvi an enviable insight into her potential future career.

“I would love to be able to be part of different teams at KPMG and find out how different processes take place. The dream would be to get a graduate role offer, but even if things don’t quite go that way I’m sure I will be able to use the skills and experiences elsewhere. I definitely want to explore management consulting more.”

“I also want to get more involved with my local community by volunteering. ...I really enjoy tutoring kids. It is satisfying to see your students being able to understand concepts they didn’t previously have a grasp of.”

Western Chances is glad to have the support of Doxa and KPMG, to provide scholarship recipients with such valuable career development experiences.

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