Category: Trainee of the Year
Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Trained by: Train Australia Pty Ltd
Group Training Organisation: ARC Group Training Ltd
Hosted by: Westpac
“When I was four-years-old my family migrated to Australia with nothing but a small amount of money and a dream to contribute to their new country. The financial services industry had a transformative impact in my upbringing. It enabled my parents to buy a house and provide for us. By pursuing a career in banking, I’m motivated to pay my way forward and help other Australians fulfil their dreams.”
In 2019, Ricky made the unconventional decision to defer an undergraduate scholarship at the University of Sydney to pursue a 12-month traineeship with ARC Group Training and Westpac.
“I believe in the value of traineeships to accelerate professional growth through workplace immersion – something a university degree lacks,” says Ricky. “By undertaking a certificate qualification at Train Australia and simultaneously working on deals at Westpac, I knew I could apply my formal studies to the greater purpose of servicing Australian customers.”
Committed to Westpac’s motto, ‘people helping people,’ Ricky is proud to have worked on portfolios that make a difference to the community, including providing funds for start-ups, business expansion and offering financial relief for those impacted by drought, bushfires and COVID-19.
“My biggest takeaway has been learning how to develop my interpersonal skills and build strong workplace relationships,” says Ricky. “I’ve been exposed to industry leaders absorbing their management practices and work ethic while my studies have been critical in equipping me with the skills to communicate with multiple stakeholders.
Ricky joined the Westpac Youth Network NSW Community and Sustainability Team and was part of the Westpac Everyday Voices Seminar, a monthly public speaking workshop where he mentored colleagues seeking to improve their presentation skills.
Mercina Markou, Ricky’s mentor at ARC Group Training, says Ricky has exhibited a great deal of emotional intelligence for someone so young.
“Working in a culturally and age diverse team, Ricky fit right in,” says Mercina. “He sought to understand the value chain of the business. Rather than sending an email, Ricky would pick up the phone to understand customer impacts, explore their unexpressed needs and liaise with his peers to ensure the best possible outcome. Ricky fast tracked his learning and achieved accreditation within six-to-eight months.”
Ricky is Treasurer of UN Youth, NSW who develop leadership, diplomacy and advocacy skills in over 15,000 high school delegates. Volunteering with them for three years Ricky was also their 2019 State Conference Team Leader and ASEAN Summit Deputy Convenor.
Notable awards include 2017 UTS All-Rounders Award, 2018 Order of Australia for Community Service and 2018 NSW Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement.
In 2020, Ricky commenced his finance degree at The University of Sydney while starting a new role as a transaction analysis associate at AMP. He was also appointed as a young ambassador for the Banking and Finance Oath who work to raise ethical standards in finance.
“Completing a traineeship before attending university has been the best decision I’ve made. I’m an example of the incredible value of VET in helping school leavers achieve their potential.”