BACHELOR OF COMMERCE IN BANKING AND FINANCE, 2007
For UC graduate Michael Miller there is nothing more exciting than working with numbers, a passion he knows isn't shared by everyone. But when an opportunity arose to open his own innovative financial planning firm, he jumped at the chance to revitalise this 'mystical art' of financial planning.
"The idea behind the MLC Advice Centre is to make financial planning more accessible, especially to a younger demographic," says Michael. "We're not all old men in stuffy offices, we're here and we're ready to help."
It's this enthusiasm that helped Michael progress through his studies at university. "I had always been interested in numbers and accounting, but it wasn't until I saw an ad for a 'Para-Planner' that I knew what I wanted to do after graduation," Michael explains. "Even though I had no idea about the position, I secured an interview and while I wasn't successful, the interviewer gave me some excellent advice about the industry, which I was able to take back to uni to help focus my studies."
Michael also credits his professors for helping develop his passion for the industry and is thankful for the balance in academic and practitioner-based learning he experienced whilst at the University of Canberra. He says he was fortunate to be studying banking at the brink of the Global Financial Crisis, and as a result has a greater understanding of how the banking sector works. "It was great having passionate professors to learn from, and what I gained from them I use every day when working with my clients."
His passion for the industry does not end there. Since graduating, Michael has given back to the university offering his time as a lecturer and tutor in the areas of financial planning and economics, and in 2010 launched the Zoe Miller Award for Women in Financial Planning. The award, named in honour of his grandmother, is aimed at encouraging more women to join the industry and provide confidence in financial planning as a career option. "Financial planning is not well-known as a career so I hope this award will encourage students, particularly female students to try the introductory subject, hopefully continue with it and enjoy it as a career as much as I do."