Griffith Business School graduate Azaria Bell has turned an internship opportunity into a career with Stonehouse Group.
Azaria’s initial placement with the prestigious financial advice firm was part of her prize as the winner of the Stonehouse Group Scholarship. Now an Associate Adviser with the group, Azaria says she thinks it was a combination of the theory and the soft skills she learnt while at Griffith that set her apart from other candidates.
“I had the chance to participate in so many extracurricular activities that were great for both building my skills and confidence,” she says. “Griffith has a really strong relationship with the financial planning industry—I believe it’s one of the best, if not the best university in Australia for financial planning.
“Griffith is very connected with industry so I was able to meet with potential employers at networking events, I participated in the Griffith Business School Student Leadership Program, and I was a member of clubs and societies. Those things really build your confidence and it’s so much easier to talk to people in the industry when you’ve already been honing those skills as part of your study,” Azaria explains.
“We were also able to learn how to operate within several software programs that are actually used in the industry, which gave me an advantage over other students when I entered the workforce.
“There’s a really strong correlation between what I learnt and what I came across in the workplace now that I work for Stonehouse. The new Bachelor of Applied Financial Advice degree is going to be even more specific to the industry, which is just amazing.”
Senior Partner Andrew Stewart says he was inspired to retain Azaria as a valued employee because of the go-getter attitude she displayed, even though other applicants had more qualifications on their resumes.
“She was an outstanding candidate and she exhibited all the attributes that are required to be successful in this industry,” he explains. “She is ambitious, hard-working, dedicated and had a real passion for financial services. It set her apart from other candidates who were probably more qualified on paper for the role.”
He says it was important for Stonehouse to partner with Griffith Business School because of the kind of students they produce. “Griffith students are keen, they’re interested, and they want to know more about the industry and understand the industry they’re in. Griffith’s place in the financial planning space is head and shoulders above other institutions and we’re constantly impressed by their knowledge and their desire to educate people within that space.
“The candidates we get from Griffith are outstanding, which is why we got involved with them in the first place. Educating students well from the beginning is how you’re going to change the future.”