Date posted: 19/02/2021

2021 New Colombo Scholarship recipient Maitland Bezzina on making the most of networking & opportunities

We speak to Maitland Bezzina, CA student rep, trainee accountant and recent recipient of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship about his win and what he hopes to achieve through the opportunity.

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CA student rep and CQU Mackay Queensland student Maitland Bezzina has been selected as a 2021 recipient of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

The New Colombo Plan is an initiative of the Australian Government supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in 40 locations across the Indo-Pacific. The scholarship is important for young Australian accountants as it provides opportunities for them to play a key role in lifting awareness and knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia.

“The scholarship has been a dream come true for me. I remember being at work when I received the news I had been selected and standing up from my desk in pure excitement, getting my colleagues to re-read the email to ensure that I wasn’t mistaken,” Maitland says.

Maitland is also a former CA student rep and feels confident that the networking skills he gained in the role  will help him to connect with other professionals and leaders during his New Colombo placement.

The networking skills I gained through attending CA facilitated events gave me the confidence to reach out and connect with high-ranking government officials in Taiwan and establish relationships that I can continue to build on when I head over there [for my New Colombo Plan scholarship internship] next year.
Maitland Bezzina CA student rep, trainee accountant and 2021 recipient of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship

“My internship will be with the Taiwanese government’s offshore wind farms. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn how these projects work, how to get the finances sorted and how to get approvals to move forward with such large projects,” says Maitland.

“The networking skills I gained through attending CA facilitated events gave me the confidence to reach out and connect with high-ranking government officials in Taiwan and establish relationships that I can continue to build on when I head over there next year.”

“I identified a few key leaders in the accounting industry and sent them a message via LinkedIn, asking them if we could have a sit down and talk about their experiences whilst I am in Taiwan. All of them were more than happy to speak with me, commenting that it was refreshing to see a young professional reaching out who wants to actively learn and make a difference.”

Maitland hopes to gain greater intercultural awareness and sensitivity during his scholarship experience, a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s renewable energy products, and drive towards the career targets he’s set for himself.

“The scholarship will allow me to engage with real world professionals and give me an opportunity to take steps towards achieving my professional goals. If you have an accounting background, you have both a responsibility and an opportunity to drive real change in the world. Mixing accounting with my passion for sustainability is my goal,” Maitland says.

“I also have an opportunity to inspire others to pursue a role in accounting. That's such a special opportunity, especially in regional areas because everyone is so close-knit here in Mackay. I’m proud to be able to lend a voice of advice to local kids and show them that accounting is a cool profession, and you can make a difference by pursuing it.”

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