Sunsuper scholarship recipient reaps ‘immense’ rewards from Griffith’s industry ties

SunSuper's Evan Poole (left) with scholarship winner Emily Saunders and Griffith University professors Mark Brimble and Eduardo Roca.

The newest recipient of the Griffith UniversitySunsuper Bursary,Emily Saunders, says that the institution’s strong ties to industry helped make Griffith Business School the “optimal” choice for her to pursue her career plans.

The final-year Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning) student described receiving the $5000 scholarship as an “immense” boon to her studies and future path, helping take her around the globe on an internship program at world-renowned professional services firm Ernst & Young, and bolstering her knowledge and experience as a result – well before she dons the gown and mortarboard.

“Receiving the Sunsuper scholarship was of immense aid to my studies,” Emily said. “It recently funded my international internship in Germany, where I worked with Ernst & Young, giving me a unique industry perspective and invaluable skills that are both applicable to my degree and my future career.

“Additionally, the industry ties between my degree and Sunsuper’s wealth of experience in financial advisory are a fantastic link to have. I am able to connect with individuals in my field and learn off their experiences.”

With only six subjects in her undergraduate degree to go, Emily – who says Griffith was her first choice to pursue her path as a financial planner, thanks to its “highly regarded business school and convenient locations across many campuses” – is now weighing up her options to pursue an Honours program in 2019 as another boon for her fledgling career plans, a decision made all the easier given her established affinity for the university and its business school.

“Griffith Business School was an optimal choice for my commerce education, and was the reason I selected Griffith as my University,” she said.

“It has industry-relevant courses, as well as strong ties with working professionals which meant I often undertook courses delivered by current industry workers. This provided unique interest both into my education and my aspirations as a future professional of that field.

“It also has a fantastic mentoring program, where I have had the opportunity to work with both academics and current professionals for their insight into my own career development.”

The Sunsuper Bursary is open to female students studying the Bachelor of Commerce program with a major in Financial Planning at Nathan, the Gold Coast or Logan. Applicants must be in at least their second year of full-time study, with a GPA of 5.0 or above.

Along with financial aid, the Sunsuper Bursary provides recipients with the opportunity to complete a period of work experience and/or attendance at Sunsuper Professional Development days.

Sunsuper’s Manager of Comprehensive Advice Services,Mr Evan Poole, commended Emily for her success, and said that the bursary relationship with Griffith provides a much-needed opportunity for aspiring female financial planners in a field taking necessary steps to increase gender equality in the workplace.

“Sunsuper is pleased to be able to sponsor women in financial advice getting greater qualifications at Griffith,” Mr Poole said.

“We believe women are underrepresented in financial advice, and it makes a massive difference for us to be able to sponsor a young, up-and-coming financial planner to make her way into the profession.

“We’ve had a long association with Griffith University, and we love the business and financial planning academics here, so it was an obvious choice for a fund like Sunsuper – which is based in Queensland – to sponsor and work with Griffith University in this way.”

Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor David Grantalso highlighted the strength of Griffith’s ties to industry and Sunsuper in particular, given the organisations’ shared visions of creating positive change within the financial services and planning sectors.

“The Griffith Business School heavily values its partnerships with industry, and this scholarship represents further expression of the strength of ties we have with industry and of the importance we place on providing our students with every opportunity to excel in their studies,” Professor Grant said.

“Both the Griffith Business School and Sunsuper share a similar vision of the need to ensure that skilled, qualified graduates of all backgrounds enter the financial planning labour market, and this scholarship helps us achieve that.”

Applications for the next-round bursary are open until Monday 12 March. More information on application guidelines for future Sunsuper Bursary opportunities is available here.