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Michelle — Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting

Why did you choose to pursue accounting at postgraduate level? 

My interest in commerce began at a very young age, always choosing to be the banker when playing various childhood games. Eventually I ended up studying several subjects at high school focused around commerce, and when it came time to go to uni I chose a bachelor of commerce. I majored in accounting and finance largely due to an internship that I obtained at a local public accounting firm. Following on from that, I chose postgraduate accounting to increase my knowledge around accounting matters and also to improve my ability to further my career.

Is postgraduate study a requirement in your chosen field?

No, but it is highly recommended. Undertaking a postgraduate qualification is highly valued among many employers and, in my opinion, is necessary to obtain more senior roles.

What did your course involve?

The course involved a combination of technical modules (consisting of online assessments, lectures and a final examination) and an ethics and business application module, which was made up of focus sessions and a final examination. There was also a practical experience requirement, which meant that I had to be employed in a relevant accounting role with an approved employer. During the course you are also mentored by an experienced industry professional. 

How did you balance your study with other commitments?

When studying, I found that it was important to learn how to use the word ‘no’ inside and outside of work. Unfortunately, putting yourself and your studies first is the key to successfully completing this course.

How has postgraduate study assisted your career progression? 

Although I was employed before beginning the CA program, I believe studying has enabled me to gain more respect and confidence among my peers and seniors, which has in turn led to increased responsibilities and duties. As I came closer to finishing the course, I was promoted from my initial role as an assistant accountant to the more senior role of accountant.  

What advice would you give to students considering postgraduate study in accounting? 

I would advise all accounting graduates to obtain at least one year of practical experience before undertaking postgraduate study. It will make combining all the accounting knowledge obtained from undergraduate and postgraduate studies much easier. Students considering postgraduate study should also know that working full time and studying part time is not for the faint-hearted — the content is difficult and will consume a lot of your time.

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