Islamic banking boosts career chances (Issue 5, 2012)

Islamic BankingLa Trobe University has revealed that the first 13 graduates in the Master of Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) and Islamic Banking Professional Development courses have successfully secured employment after completing their studies. Associate Professor of Finance, Dr Ishaq Bhatti, of La Trobe’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law said he was delighted his graduates have an excellent 100 per cent employment rate.

The statistics show that fifty-five percent of IBF graduates have found employment in the finance industry, with several taking up managerial roles with institutions such as Deloitte, NAB, ANZ Bank and Shell. Graduates have taken up academic positions in Australia and overseas, are working with embassies and are in advisory roles with a well established Muslim financial institution.

While teaching the course, Dr Bhatti ensures that his students are exposed to professionals in the finance industry and often invites speakers and seminar presenters to participate in the course teachings.

‘I try to encourage and motivate my students by presenting them with as many networking opportunities as possible’ says Dr Bhatti.

‘Last year we had guest speakers from Islamic Finance and Investments Division at the Muslim Community Cooperative of Australia (MCCA) and National Australia Bank (NAB).

‘Students are also invited to networking lunches, which opens the door to any relevant employment opportunities,’ he says.

Fatma Almigrane who graduated from the Master of Islamic Banking and Finance last year, found employment with NAB through the course. The employers approached Dr Bhatti because they were looking for someone with specialised knowledge and skills in IBF and particularly wanted to employ a graduate from his program.

‘On Dr Bhatti’s recommendation I attended the interview and it all fell into place from there,’ says Fatma.

‘Without this course, I don’t know how I would have ever landed such an ideal job.’

Imran Khan who also completed the Master of Islamic Banking and Finance last year, was working part-time with NAB when he started the course. ‘As soon as I had completed the degree, I was promoted and became a permanent full time employee,’ says Imran.

‘NAB are now funding me to undertake further study, which wouldn’t have been possible without my Master’s from La Trobe.’

Dr Bhatti also introduced Imran to the head of the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV). ‘I was given many opportunities to make connections in the Islamic banking service,’ says Imran.

‘ICV were hiring for a new program called the No Interest Load Scheme (NILS), which is supported by NAB. I became a volunteer with ICV and am now an advisor for the selection panel,’ adds Imran.

La Trobe is the only University in the region to embrace this fast-growing segment of global finance and to offer such specialised Islamic banking courses. With the demand for Islamic Banking and Finance on the increase, both locally and internationally, many of Dr Bhatti’s students received scholarships, internships and job offers from prestigious financial institutions before graduating.

Dr Bhatti was involved in the Review of Regulatory to Islamic Finance in NSW, New South Wales Government Premier and Cabinet and has been invited to attend the prestigious CLA Regional Law Conference in Sydney this April.

For more information on the Master of Islamic Banking and Finance, visit the La Trobe Find a course website.