Anastasia Khayrets is the AICM 2017 Student of the Year, an incredible accomplishment given she only moved to Australia from her hometown of Volgograd in Russia in 2012 as a skilled migrant.

Anastasia initially started working for her current employer BASF as an accounts coordinator and now supports the credit management team. She started studying to obtain the Diploma in Credit Management in September last year.

“I enjoy being involved in the process of taking decisions on credit and I wanted to improve my theoretical knowledge and understanding of the Australian economy.

“So I decided to study credit management to achieve a formal qualification. Among hundreds of education providers in the field, AICM is the only membership body that is well-recognised, prestigious and reputable,” she says.

Incredibly, Anastasia completed the three-year diploma program in seven months.

“The opportunity to study online via AICM’s learning platform was beneficial and convenient, as I could combine studying and working full time in a busy corporate environment.

“It also gave me a chance to be in constant contact with my fantastic facilitator, Toni Sawyer, who provided prompt advice and feedback. Taking part in forums was an important way to communicate with other students, taking into account different experiences, approaches and opinions,” she says.

Anastasia says her favourite subjects were corporate insolvency, personal insolvency, legal compliance and managing the credit function.

“I learnt to apply an holistic approach to credit management processes and consider the external and internal factors that impact credit. Credit managers are not just the guardians of cash flows, they are also critical in the process of creating sales opportunity and value,” she says.

This year’s AICM National Conference was the first Anastasia has attended.

“It will remain in my memory as a magnificent event. It completely met my expectations and I made connections with many interesting people and company executives.

“I had a chance to upskill at specialised learning sessions, become familiar with the latest industry trends and collaborate with hundreds of other credit professionals. Thanks to all the partners and sponsors for assisting AICM to organise this fantastic event. The dinner at Parliament House was for many of us a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she says.

Anastasia recommends the Diploma in Credit Management course to all entry-level credit and collections officers to obtain basic theoretical knowledge and skills in credit management.

“It could also be beneficial for more advanced credit professionals wanting to upgrade their skills and jump to the next level in their careers,” she says.

Commenting on AICM’s half century, Anastasia says, “fifty years of incorporation is a milestone for any organisation. The institute plays a uniting role in the credit management community, bonding individuals and organisations with a spirit of camaraderie and professionalism. I am certain AICM is looking toward an even more sustainable future and an ever-increasing relevance in credit.”