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International students celebrate their achievement

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Published
27 July 2006
Fernando Teixeira expected to be heading back to Brazil next month after completing his Master of Business Administration at Southern Cross University’s Tweed Gold Coast campus, but true love has intervened.

Fernando has met the girl he wants to marry, Gold Coast police officer Jodie Cumner, and now hopes to find a job in Australia.

The MBA candidate is one of 26 students who will have their study recognised at a Course Completion Ceremony at the campus next Monday, July 31, at 12 noon in the South Sea Island Room.

“Staying on in Australia is a huge decision to make. All my family and friends are back in Brazil,” said Fernando, who left a top job in Sao Paulo as a national sales manager for the opportunity to study at Southern Cross University.

“I was already in middle management but I realised that to move into senior management roles I would have to improve my academic qualifications.

“I began my MBA in Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million people. It was taking me one-and-a-half hours to drive the 15 kilometres from my office to the university at the end of an exhausting work day. I was so tired and so stressed I couldn’t even think straight.

“Then a friend of mine from school days, who is now in Australia, convinced me to come and study here.

“It was the best thing I ever did. I have enjoyed the course and the support of the excellent lecturers but the most amazing thing has been sitting in classes with people from all over the world. In every class, mixing with people from Europe, Asia and the Pacific, North and South America, Africa and India has been the real highlight.”

Another student, Stephen Shikimayi, will return home to Tanzania in September hoping to put into practice the knowledge and experience he has gained from his Master of Business Administration.

Stephen said he was looking forward to returning home to his wife and two children after a year away studying but that he would miss many things about Australia.

“I have made so many friends from so many different countries. It has been an extraordinary experience,” he said.

“Studying here has been very worthwhile. I have been exposed to many new ideas and concepts and I have made extremely helpful connections with people in business and industry.

“Unfortunately, Tanzania is still very under-developed and there is not much of a call for professional qualifications just yet, so when I return I may have to go back and work part-time on the family’s mixed farm while I hunt for a job.

“But as the economy develops, I hope to be well placed to start up an accounting business – that’s my goal.”

The students taking part in the Course Completion Ceremony are completing courses including Master of Business Administration, MBA in Hotel and Tourism Management, Master of International Tourism and Hotel Management, Master of Convention and Event Management, Master of Professional Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Bachelor of Management and Professional Studies and Doctor of Business Administration.

The ceremony is held because visa restrictions mean that most of the international students must return home before official graduation ceremonies next year.

The official address will be given by Associate Professor Michael Evans, executive dean, Faculty of Business, who will also present students with their Completion Certificates assisted by Trisha Osborn, international student support officer.

Ms Osborn said there were now 170 international students enrolled at the University’s Tweed Gold Coast campus.

Caption: Fernando Teixeira and his fiance Jodie Cumner.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley media officer 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.

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