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May's bold choices led her to CDU and on to career success.

This article appears in: Alumni stories, Business and Accounting, Studying in Australia
May Fan outdoors in Darwin

A few years ago, May Fan was happy with the status quo. She lived in China’s Anhui province and had a good education and a stable career. She was surrounded by supportive family, including her loving husband and a young daughter.

Then one day, something changed.

“A strong voice in my mind said that instead of taking safe steps, I should do something different. Don’t be afraid of challenges because they could be a good thing,” said May.

So, at the age of 29, empowered by a singular determination to make a bold change, May moved to Australia to study a Master of Accounting at Charles Darwin University.

It wasn’t easy at first.

“My parents wondered why I had to give up a good job in China and temporarily leave behind my husband and child. It was difficult, but every challenge involves risk.”

When I arrived in Australia I experienced a mix of feelings. It was scary, but exciting.

“I didn’t really know how to communicate, but coming to a foreign country and seeing people from different backgrounds and doing something completely different from what I had done was the exciting part.

Watch May explain why she chose CDU

CDU’s International Student Support Team made it much easier for me, not only in choosing my major but with my visa as well. They organised workshops, seminars and all sorts of events where I could learn from other people and connect with other international students. The first month I felt homesick, but I wasn’t lonely because staff at CDU helped to connect me to the local community.”

In the final year of her Master’s, CDU staff also helped May get a work placement at WestPac Bank. And when she graduated, CDU sent May’s resume to a range companies, to help her find employment.

Discover how CDU helped create a pathway to employment for May

What I’ve learned at CDU has helped me to find a career in banking at Westpac.

“My job title is Service Excellence Specialist, Commercial Banking for the Northern Territory and South Australia. I deal with credit cards, online banking, and all sorts of stuff. I’m always looking to be one of the highest performers in my team so I can advance my banking career to the next level.

May Fan at Mindil market, Darwin
May Fan at Mindil market, Darwin

Fast forward to the present day: May has immigrated to Australia with her husband and her daughter.

I have very fond memories of CDU—the very welcoming and inclusive environment was beyond my expectations. And the importance of giving back to society is one of the things CDU taught me, and that has stuck with me. I continue to participate and contribute to activities that support my local community. And I’m proud to be a CDU alumna.”

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