Announcing My Alumni Story Winners

20 December 2019

Monash Business School Alumni Michael Trakhtman's blossoming career has already seen him named the 2019 Corporate Accountant of the Year at the Australian Accountants Awards, run by Momentum Media's AccountantsDaily.

Michael Trakhtman, winner of #MyAlumniStory competition

But it was actually a brush with failure at the beginning of his career that proved a pivotal moment for Michael, the winner of Monash Business School's My Alumni Story competition.

Michael initially commenced studying a Bachelor of Business degree, but transitioned into a Bachelor of Commerce degree and undertook an accounting internship as part of Industry-based Learning (IBL) unit he studied during his Commerce degree.

When he nearly failed a test in his Taxation Law Studies, he booked in to speak to his lecturer Jonathan Teoh, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Business Law and Taxation, for advice on how to improve.

"We went on to have interesting accounting discussions and he was a great mentor during my early career days, providing insight into the accounting profession and the opportunities available if one has the ambition to seek them," Michael says.

The internship he undertook through with Monash's IBL pathways with Pitcher Partnership set him on a road to success when he began full-time work there after graduating.

Michael then decided he wanted to add value in a corporate environment and transitioned to work as a management accountant in civil engineering consulting group, Spiire Australia, in 2017.

His work in independently implementing business intelligence reporting throughout the organisation has helped shape Board decisions and assist project managers across the business, resulting in his award win this year.

Michael says he's learned to keep an open mind when it comes to job opportunities.

"I recall during my time at Monash lacking knowledge of the sheer size of the accounting industry and all the types of roles available, and think it's important for current students to know that during their studies of accounting it's quite broad what they can do," he says.

"The accounting industry has many opportunities in lots of quite different types of fields."

As our 2019 Alumni Story competition winner, Michael receives a $1000 Visa gift card.

Read his story in his words.

Anna Cooshna, runner up of #MyAlumniStory competition

Runner-up winner is Anna Cooshna, Director of Financial Statement Preparation at Deloitte, who shared some invaluable advice to new graduates as part of her entry in Monash Business School's My Alumni Story.

"Focus on your interpersonal skills; work on your interviewing skills; be open to receiving constructive feedback and to working on it. Start looking for a job now," she says.

Anna, who is also university lecturer and a facilitator at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), graduated with a Bachelor of Business Systems/Bachelor of Commerce in 2004 "(the perfect degree for me,") and has worked for both small firms and the 'Big 4'.

"I often reflect fondly on my time at Monash University. I did not have a lot of money back then and my parents paid for almost everything. It was a very humbling experience and I learned how to be happy with little," she says.

"As an international student from Mauritius, I initially struggled with the Australian accent!  But I quickly realised how friendly everyone was and formed some very strong bonds."

Read her story in her words.

Thank you to all Alumni who shared their great stories through our Alumni Stories competition. We look forward to featuring more of them in 2020.