Devastating earthquake sparks degree challenge

Devastating earthquake sparks degree challenge

Gaurav Khadka's family travels from Nepal to share his graduation experience

It took a seismic event in the shape of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake to remind Gaurav Khadka of the fragility of human life.

“Such an event taught me to take on challenges in life,” according to the Nepalese resident, who was today (Wednesday 18 December) awarded a Masters in Professional Accounting (Advanced).

Gaurav has come a long way since those dark days in 2015 when he had to live in a mass tent for about four months.

Sharing his big graduation day will be his father and mother, who arrived in Australia two days ago, making their way to Wollongong for the ceremony.

“My parents have been very supportive throughout my whole studies and this achievement means as much to them as it does to me,” Gaurav said.

Gaurav paid special tribute to his father, who had to carry on the family business for two years on his own while Gaurav studied. He said he also owed a sincere gratitude to his family members in Sydney for their care and supervision, which has always helped him to achieve new heights.

Gaurav undertook his studies at the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Sydney Business School.

He managed to keep up with his expenses by working for the UOW Sydney Business School as a student support assistant and as a library assistant.

Gaurav was also a student representative for the Masters in Professional Accounting course design studio at the Sydney Business School. It was held under the supervision of the School of Accounting and Economics where faculties along with industry representatives, alumni and current students met to suggest the course structure for accounting. This was at both undergraduate and masters levels to better understand and incorporate the dynamism of the discipline presented by the global environments.

Gaurav’s drive was highlighted as well through his membership in the Golden Key International Honour Society, an international organisation for high-achieving students that provides various opportunities to network, travel and provide study grants to its member students. With the support of the Golden Key International Society, Gaurav attended a leadership summit in Houston, Texas, in 2019.

“It was a great learning experience to meet and greet exceptionally talented people from all over the world,” Gaurav said.

As for returning to Nepal, Gaurav said he hadn’t precisely thought about a return just yet.

“My current focus is on gaining my degree relevant job experience here in Australia. But in the long run I want to work towards the betterment of small and medium sector enterprises in Nepal as they are considered to be the backbone of an economy.”

Gaurav doesn’t have any plan to undertake further studies. He is concentrating on landing a degree relevant job which he said was challenging in itself.

But down the track he is aiming to undertake a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) Australia certification as it would help him excel in his career as an accounting professional.

“It was a great experience at the Sydney Business School and I will miss the view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House from the lecture theatres,” he said.

Gaurav acknowledged all the faculty members and his friends as part of his achievement and paid special praise to MPA Program Director, Dr Lee Moerman, who was always there to help push him along.

“She is not just a good lecturer but a great mentor and a leader who is resilient as well as considerate and is always willing to help students uplift their professional status,” he said.

He also congratulated his friends who are graduating on the same day and wished them good luck for their professional and personal growth.