Study Overseas Alumni #17 - Lawrence Taverna
Lawrence Taverna graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2018 with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Corporate Finance and Marketing. Lawrence went on exchange to Bocconi University, Italy, in Semester 2 2017. He is currently working for Westpac as part of their Business Banking Graduate Program.
Lawrence was driven to apply for an overseas program by his interest in travelling, experiencing new things, and meeting new people.
“I’ve always had a strong desire to break out of my comfort zone and develop myself in ways that will allow me to stand out and set me up for whatever opportunities arise in the future.”
He had already travelled to Melbourne, Sydney, and Hong Kong for work, and had enjoyed holidays to Indonesia, Thailand, and various parts of Australia. Lawrence identified the main differences between travelling for work and pleasure as the friends he made, his independence, and what he learnt.
“The autonomy of living overseas in a different environment allows you to do what you want, when you want, which allows you to develop self-awareness and learn what drives you, what motivates you, and what makes you happy.”
“The biggest highlight would be the friends and the memories I made with them. Having Italian ancestry, learning the language and culture allowed me to resonate with the lifestyle my grandparents grew up in. Being able to experience one of the best universities in Europe whilst in Italy was also a dream come true.”
“The easily accessible low-cost airlines allowed me to travel as much as my university schedule permitted. I visited 15 countries and every one taught me something different, which allowed me to appreciate the diverse cultures.”
“Since returning from Milan, I started my career at Westpac. I’m currently completing the Business Bank Graduate Program, which is a 12-month rotational program that allows graduates to accelerate their career through exposure to a variety of areas within business and commercial banking. A few areas I’ve had the opportunity to experience so far are Corporate and Institutional Banking, Financial Markets, Commercial Banking, and Westpac Private Bank. I’d like to think that my exchange gave me a competitive advantage during the application process – it shows curiosity to learn and drive your personal development to the next level, the ability to think differently, to break out from your comfort zone, and a heightened sense of global awareness.”
“It shows you have the confidence and drive to put yourself in an unfamiliar environment and adapt accordingly by yourself. It further shows your ability to take ownership of your own personal and professional development through seeking opportunities to learn and grow. One of the contributing factors I selected Bocconi University was because they offered alternative finance courses not offered by the University of Adelaide.”
“It’s cliché to say you’ve come back a different/better person, but what you learn about yourself from taking such a risk is hard to put into words. When I returned, the general observation was that I was more relaxed, focused, and appreciative. Personally, through heightened self-awareness I learnt the type of person I was, and what areas I wanted to develop. I learnt to take more risks and had a greater appreciation for the opportunities I’ve been provided throughout my life that allowed me to have the courage to live overseas.”
“Since graduating, I’ve been working for Westpac and studying towards my CFA, but also continuing to help out my family business, Artav Australia, as well as playing sports and investing. What attracted me down the path of finance, and ultimately my Corporate Finance degree was my early interest in investments and trading. After university, I wanted to start my career within a graduate program that would give me the opportunity to experience different areas of finance to eventually find an area I enjoy the most, and I was confident that Westpac, as a Big Four bank, would be committed to the development of their graduates.”
In the future, Lawrence hopes to continue his career in finance, and is looking forward to exploring international opportunities in his field of expertise.