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Currently: Taxation Accountant, Sinclair Wilson, Warrnambool.
Getting a job in your chosen field while you are studying and taking advantage of the great opportunities Deakin offers, are the most important tips Elizabeth Moloney has for new tertiary students - mainly because they worked so well for her.
During the Bachelor of Commerce that Elizabeth completed in June 2009, she worked as a business banker for the National Bank of Australia, took an overseas exchange to the UK, and undertook an internship that led to a permanent job.
After initially completing the first year of a double degree in nursing and commerce at Deakin's Waurn Ponds campus, Elizabeth switched to a straight commerce course. She also headed back to her home town of Warrnambool, taking most units off campus because of the job she had secured at a local bank. 'It made the study easier,' she says of her decision to combine work and study. 'I could make a direct link between study and what I was doing during the day.' Although studying outside work hours has its challenges, she concedes. 'You have to utilise your time as well as you can and you have to be severely organised,' she says.
The exchange program offered by Deakin took Elizabeth to Oxford Brooke University in England for two semesters in 2007-8. 'It was fantastic. It gave me the opportunity to see how another university works, the different standards and teaching methods,' she says. 'I learned all about accounting and taxation there and, even though it was a different country, the same concepts applied.' Elizabeth urges other students to be alert to such opportunities. 'It is all done through Deakin but you have to go through the process of matching up your subjects yourself,' she explains. 'When you come back, those subjects count towards your degree.'
In the final semester of her course, Elizabeth applied for and was granted an internship with Warrnambool accounting firm Sinclair Wilson. 'It gave me a better insight into which area of accounting I wanted to get into and gave me a more worldly experience,' she says. 'Six weeks into the 12 week internship I was offered my current position.'
Elizabeth is thoroughly enjoying her role, which sees her completing tax returns for a variety of companies, individuals and trusts. 'No case is ever exactly the same and the legislation is always changing so you are continually learning,' she says. 'Sinclair Wilson also does training in the workplace.' Also adding to her day is Elizabeth's current study towards her Chartered Accounting qualification which she hopes to complete in October 2011. Meanwhile, she advises others to watch for the type of opportunities she has grabbed. 'There are so many opportunities around and you have to make the most of them - take the right ones for you.'