I started in R&D with Melbourne-based start-up Nexvet Biopharma which was developing antibody drugs for pets. As the company grew I was offered a corporate role in which I supported the legal and finance teams as we prepared to list on the Nasdaq. I managed due diligence, prepared shareholder documentation, maintained company share registers, and assisted with Australian R&D tax credit requirements. I saw the finance team as key decision makers of the business. I knew that if I wanted to be a senior executive, I needed to understand and speak the language of finance. I enrolled in the Master of Applied Finance course.  Following Nexvet’s successful US$40m IPO, the company created a new role for me as director of Alliance Management where I managed projects across the company as well as with our external commercial partners. Nexvet is now in the process of being acquired by the world’s biggest animal health company and I have now moved into consulting for other start-ups. The skills and knowledge the Master of Applied Finance course have given me will be critical for obtaining the rewarding senior leadership roles that interest me. While challenging, the Master of Applied Finance course content has developed my ability to deal with new concepts and deliver added value for my clients. The friends I’ve made and the network of alumni at MAFC have been entirely supportive, and are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and experience.

Ellie Virtue will complete her Macquarie University Master of Applied Finance in 2017. She is currently consulting to technology start-ups.

"I come from a ‘sciencey’ family so I studied veterinary science at Melbourne University before working at my first job in Gippsland in a mixed vet practice in dairy cattle. I moved to England after a few years and did a variety of jobs including looking after the Calvary and Kings Troupe horses as well as the security, bomb and attack dogs for the British Army in Leicestershire. In 2008, I returned to Melbourne to locum but found it wasn’t the most rewarding career with little continuity or consistency with clients. It was part of the catalyst for me looking to finance. At the time I was also surrounded by finance people including my husband, and I had a number of friends who had made a career shift from vet science to finance. They told me about the Master of Applied Finance course at Macquarie Applied Finance Centre. I deliberated for six months, taking a trip to South America, before embarking on the MAFC course. Not having a finance background, the Master was a great way for me to get a solid backdrop of knowledge. My study helped me to get a job at JBWere as an analyst. It also enabled me to establish a very broad network within the industry. My classmates were a great source of support throughout the course and now, as an alumni network, they have been fantastic professionally, and socially. I am not originally from Sydney so it has been very valuable to establishing a network of connections here. It is often easy to get caught up being busy because you are trying to juggle work and study. The alumni network is a key strength of the course. I wish I had known this earlier in the piece as I would have focused on it sooner, and would have prioritised cultivating relationships in all classes."

When thinking about the next 5-10 years I always first choose an area of interest and second, try to figure what the future trends might be. I chose Macquarie because it offered the greatest flexibility for me, in terms of location, subject choice and of course lecturers with strong industry experience.

The MAppFin has so far provided me with a deeper and broader understanding of the financial industry. I have developed an understanding of the principles involved in project evaluation, funding decisions and financial risk management.

Centre: Melbourne

Study Load: Part-time

Daniela studied as a full-time student at Macquarie University's North Ryde Campus. Originally from Germany, she came Australia to study the MAppFin. Hear about Daniela’s background, how she found the program and what she enjoyed most about her studies and her classmates.

"I really liked the practical approach and that all students had professional work experience. I enjoyed Financial Risk Management and Financial Instruments as they were what I had worked in before, and they helped me to better understand why certain products are sold or not sold and why the banking industry introduces certain policies and measures. I understand a lot more of what is going on 'behind the scenes' and why products are being traded, sold or used. I enjoyed being in a group full-time students from all over the world, and in one of my favourite cities!"

Matt completed his MAppFin in 2005. Upon graduating he progressed his career to the senior position of Head of Group Capital Management, Group Treasury at National Australia Bank. Hear about his career and the insights he has gained along the way.

Brendon completed the Master of Applied Finance in 2014 at our Sydney CBD centre as a part-time student, whilst working full time at Australian Bankers' Association as Associate Director - Industry Policy and Economics.

Find out how Brendon finds the structure and content of the program, as well as the insights he has gained so far.

"I wanted to focus my studies in corporate finance and the MAppFin Program was a great complement to the valuation and financial modelling skills many of us had begun developing in our previous work experience."

"The electives helped me fully understand corporate finance from the viewpoint of various industry players, such as corporates, investment banks, and private equity funds. I also learned more about the range of activities that take place in the financial sector. My classmates came from many different backgrounds and geographies, and working with them through each of the assignments gave us the opportunity to share our knowledge and perspectives."

"The MAppFin provided me with practical and extensive learning experiences. It provided the means to understand business quickly, which is really beneficial to managing business and setting strategy."

"The Master of Applied Finance demystified many of the assumed complexities surrounding the world of finance. It helped me to think more strategically and that was instrumental in my career progression."

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