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inhouse highlight - Matthew

Twenty-two-year-old foodie and sneaker enthusiast Matthew is striving towards entrepreneurship in the hopes of one day travelling the world and running his own business.

Matthew grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and after completing a Bachelor of Finance, looked to Darwin for a change of pace and scenery.

“Although Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, population wise, it is not as big as Kuala Lumpur,” Matthew said. “I wanted to experience a different kind of lifestyle. I also wanted to understand Australia’s culture more, and I think it is best to start from a small community.”

A key focus of his move to the Territory has been the opportunity to take on a Master of Professional Accounting at CDU. Matthew hopes post-graduation will bring not only a break from study but a competitive edge needed in today’s economy and to make his business dream a reality.

“Having just a degree in my country is no longer considered an accomplishment,” he said. “It seems like everyone has a degree nowadays. If I have both Accounting and Finance skills, I can not only seize career opportunities in the finance field but the accounting field as well.”

“My goal is to set up my own business in the future. I’ve always wanted to be a businessman, and I think that both finance and accounting skills will contribute to my business expansion in the future.”

Though Matthew’s not fond of cooking his own meals, the hard work and effort required to complete his Masters have come as no surprise, and he’s taking it all in his stride.

“You miss coming back home, hoping your mum is here to cook you a nice dinner,” Matthew said. “Cooking healthy food takes up a lot of time, especially when you are busy with assignments and tests. Sometimes it will take up to 40 minutes to prepare lunch.”

“Academic wise, I find it challenging yet manageable. I mean, going into a Masters, you don’t expect yourself to excel in it easily. The load of study that I am having now is what I have expected. Nothing comes easy; if it is, everyone would have done it.”

With a heavy study load, Matthew knows it’s important to find the time, both independently and among friends, to relax and clear his head during the semester. Meeting new people at IHD and through volunteering has also broadened his outlook when it comes to his career and travel.

“I work out six days a week here at TheGym@CDU,” he said. “Whenever I feel stressed or unhappy, I throw all my negative emotion into grinding the weights hard in the gym. I have always enjoyed having a healthy and active lifestyle.”

“I enjoy being alone sometimes because it allows me to concentrate or review what I have done recently. But I know networking is very important nowadays, which is why I try to participate in all sorts of activities whenever possible. I’m both proud and grateful that I am one of the NT Government’s Student Ambassadors.”

Matthew’s future is bright, and he’s excited to see where his education and career will take him next. For now, he’s soaking in the cultural influences surrounding him at IHD.

“Meeting lots of people from different countries has been one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in IHD and Darwin,” Matthew said. “Back in Malaysia, I did not have the chance to hang out with foreigners at all. I get to meet many people and understand all kinds of cultures here in Darwin. Some of the people I’ve met even come from countries that I do not know the name of – I’m bad at geography!”

What’s something people may not know about you?

I speak 4 different languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay and English) and I do understand some other languages such as Teochew, 50% of Indonesian because it is similar to Malay and Hakka as well. 

People also may not know that I have 6 dogs back in Malaysia.

What’s on your bucket list?

Every goal and target that I set is equally important. I strive to excel in everything that I have set… aside from the serious, I dream to travel around the world, buy all kinds of sneakers, and eat all kinds of delicious food as well.