Why did you choose to study accounting?
I have always enjoyed working with numbers, so I decided to try accounting as an elective in Year 11. I did well in the subject and was drawn to the idea of working as an accountant after the class was visited by spokespeople from the ‘big four’ accounting firms. Accountants are always going to be needed in the world, so I also like the stability of this field, as well as the opportunity for travel.
What was the best thing about your course?
The large number of lectures and tutorials that you could be timetabled into was a major benefit, enabling students to attend night classes or cram all of their subjects into two or three days so that the other days of the week were free for part-time work (or an extended weekend).
What was the worst thing about your course?
Given that a number of the subjects are required to be taken by all business students, I found it was quite easy to feel like ‘just another number’. That said, there were a few subjects with smaller classes, and all lecturers and tutors encouraged students to ask questions after class or via email.
What did your course involve?
My course consisted of three years of full-time study. The initial two years are spent studying the compulsory core business subjects, as well as the specialist accounting courses required to obtain the accounting major and meet the membership requirements of professional accounting bodies. All are delivered in the typical lecture and tutorial format, with some student-run interactive tutorials and lab classes for business computing. The third year required a year-long work placement, as well as a capstone subject that incorporated all of our prior learning into a business design project and allowed students to as the chief decision-maker in a virtual organisation.
Have you found work in your field?
My work placement was with one of the large accounting firms in Melbourne and I was offered a graduate position after completing this work experience. The knowledge obtained during my degree was directly transferrable to my workplace.
What advice would you give to students considering studying accounting?
Accounting is no longer just a number-crunching game. The top accounting firms are looking for well-rounded individuals who can communicate effectively to clients and interact well in team environments, as well as having the technical knowledge that an accounting degree gives you. I would encourage students to take part in extracurricular activities, be part of a student group or have a part-time job — anything that can teach you important leadership skills and demonstrate to an interviewer that you have the ability to work well in a group under time constraints or pressures.
Have you completed further study?
I am currently in the process of completing the Chartered Accountants Program. My firm supports all graduates through this program, paying the cost of the subjects and textbooks, as well as providing time off to study and attend the exam.