Shayan Gunawardena is a man who’s making the most of life in sunny Australia.
During the week he works in Adelaide as a graduate accountant in with the Adelaide Assurance Division team at of global professional services company firm, Ernst & Young, and plans to complete the Chartered Accountants’ Program by 2011.
On weekends he’s a surf lifesaver on Adelaide’s endless sandy beaches.
Shayan arrived in Australia as a Year 12 student just four years ago, after his parents decided to move from Sri Lanka to Adelaide for a few years.
After successfully completing the South Australian Certificate of Education at Norwood Morialta High School (and with a series of World Subject Awards to his name in commerce, economics and geography) he enrolled to do his Bachelor of Commerce (Corporate Finance) at The University of Adelaide.
“I decided that I wanted to go to university in Adelaide because I really liked the city and the people,” he says. “I chose The University of Adelaide for its reputation, location and ranking.”
Shayan lived with his parents, just 20 minutes from both school and university, until he finished his degree. He also worked part-time in a local supermarket throughout his studies, and says he’d recommend Adelaide for both excellence in education and the lifestyle.
“Adelaide’s got the homeliness of a small town, without having to give up anything that a big capital city has to offer,” he says.
“The people are friendly and accommodating. Food, entertainment and accommodation are very affordable and most places in the metro area are less than a 30-minute drive away.
“In my opinion, you can get an academic qualification anywhere. In Adelaide, it’s the whole experience, and that’s what I think has helped me the most. Finishing tertiary education is as much about personal growth, building relationships and the experiences you have, as it is about academic learning.
“I think Adelaide offers a great balance between the two.”
Mark Butcher, Ernst & Young’s Managing Partner in South Australia, says Ernst & Young Australia offers great career opportunities through its Graduate and Vacationer programs, which are open to international accounting students.
“This ensures we’re considering as many of the best applicants as possible and helps us build diverse and talented global teams,” he says.
“Graduates want their existing knowledge and enthusiasm to be put to good use. From the day they start, we match their talent, drive and skill to opportunities that will accelerate their development and give them personal satisfaction.
“We encourage diversity and are committed to bringing out the best in individuals. By embracing the differences in our people, we’re able to provide richer insights to our clients and wider communities, as well as help our people achieve their potential.”