Sandeep Singh loves to hit the road. For this ATMC Master of Accounting graduate, life is all about the journey, rather than the final destination.
by James Smith | 5 August 2020
When Sandeep Singh arrived in Australia in July 2018 to study for his Master of Accounting, he had already come a long way, both geographically and in his personal development as a maturing young man.
“I was born and raised in Vadodara city in Gujarat state, which is in the south-western area of India,” the 24-year-old shares. “I went to schooling in Vadodara, and then I completed my Bachelor of Commerce, specialising in auditing and finance, at the Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad University of Baroda.”
“I was living with my family back home. There is a set culture and way of doing things; your parents cover your daily expenses and even tuition fees. Until you get a job, they pay for everything. I was in a very secure environment. I wanted to try to do something for myself. I was really interested in gaining new perspectives.”
Increasingly, Sandeep’s friends from his school days were signing up for international study. This impressed him, so much so, eventually, he decided to make the international study leap himself. “I really wanted to explore Australia, you know? I wanted to experience something different, just like I’d seen and heard of other international students.”
Dates with destiny
Australia presented a few dates of destiny for Sandeep. For starters, his first-ever lecture with ATMC occurred on his 22nd birthday. “At least it made both my first lecture and my birthday that year memorable,” he jokes now. “A lot of people forget the date they started their uni degree, but I remember mine: 18 July.
“As well as that, I arrived in Australia on 6 July 2018 and graduated from my Masters on 6 July this year. So it took exactly two years for me to get my degree from the time I arrived in Australia.”
Exploring the country
Australia didn’t just offer up a destination for Sandeep to continue his higher education, it provided the perfect launching pad for his one great passion: getting behind the wheel.
“I love the road,” Sandeep beams. “When I’m on the road, I feel like I’m alive. It doesn’t matter where I’m heading to. I’m not worried about the destination. The journey is what gives me real happiness.
“I feel like I was born here. I am so in love with this country. I love traveling. I have been to Adelaide, Mt Gambier, to Melbourne twice. I have been to the Gold Coast, to Brisbane. And all I want to do is explore more and more.”
“Hopefully I’ll be hitting the road again soon. Maybe I’ll head to the Northern Territory next. It is on my bucket list, anyway … ”
At university in Australia, Sandeep was well on his way to succeeding in his studies, thanks mainly to his dedication to his work, and the staff at ATMC. “My favourite subject was auditing,” he recalls of his Master of Accounting course. “There were others I really liked, mainly because of the lectures and teaching staff.
“In particular, there was a subject called ‘Leadership’. The lecturer’s name was Mr Victor Lidby. His style of teaching was amazing; even though, initially, I didn’t like it that subject at all, the way Mr Lidby introduced the subject to me made a real impact.
“What happens mostly in the classroom is it’s the lecturer who speaks, and the students who ask the questions. But what happened in that class was, after explaining the basics to us, Mr Lidby would give us the opportunity to speak, and then HE would ask US the questions …
“It didn’t matter if we were right or wrong. This way, he could correct us after finding out what our strengths were and help us in what areas he thought he should be pushing us in.”
Sandeep studied for his Masters out of the Sydney campus of ATMC, located in the heart of the CBD. This suited him perfectly, as the campus was only a 30-minute train trip into the city from his home in the Sydney suburb of Revesby.
The campus’ location mattered a great deal to Sandeep when he was deciding which educational option to go with. “When you are making life’s big decisions, you try to explore every avenue you can in order to get the full picture,” he says.
“The main reason I went with ATMC was that they were based in Sydney. I wanted to come to Sydney, the largest city in Australia. The campus is in the heart of the CBD.”
“When you are an international student and everything is new to you, if the location of your university is not properly accessible for you, it will have a huge impact on your studies … I always knew that ATMC would be easy to travel to and from wherever you are living in Sydney.”
Sandeep couldn’t let our time with him for this story end without acknowledging the help and support of the entire staff at ATMC Sydney, in particular, two members of staff who he says went above and beyond in supporting him on his Australian educational journey.”
“The staff at the ATMC are wonderful. Not just the teachers and lecturers, but the rest of the staff as well. They are all amazing.”
“For example, my academic librarian, Candis Diaz, helped me so much. She helped me prepare my resume, helped prepare me for face-to-face job interviews, offered advice on how to present yourself at job interviews … having Candis on staff is a huge asset for ATMC.”
“I also want to talk about my academic support officer Ameen Khiyani. He is so emotionally supportive. He is a motivation machine.”
“I have seen and heard from many other students, even some of my friends who are at different universities. They don’t even know where to get help from … I feel like I was blessed.”