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career 3 min read

How to get more out of your uni experience

By Tracey 02 Dec 2019
Female student sitting typing at laptop in natural light.

Reflecting back to the beginning of my USQ journey, I could not have imagined the experiences, opportunities, challenges and triumphs that were ahead of me.

I first considered university study when my three daughters reached their teenage years and I saw a flyer for the Bachelor of Accounting and Sustainable Business dual degree.

I have always tried to live a life with no regrets and, after giving it some thought, I decided I would definitely regret not giving this course a go. I knew that with this qualification, I could help businesses with their journey towards a sustainable, long-term future and as a consequence, I could also help the environment.

After applying and being accepted, I jumped into life as a full-time, on-campus student studying at Springfield. It has been hard work to not only find a productive work/life balance as a wife, mother, friend and student, but to also embrace all of the learning opportunities available at USQ.

I completely believe that learning experiences help to create who we are, because we are constantly evolving. During my time at USQ, I have obtained work experience, become a Meet-Up Leader, been a guide at conferences and attended educational and leadership seminars outside of my course studies. I have also represented USQ at a number of Melbourne-based events including the Global Reporting Initiative Conference in 2012 and the Certified Practising Accountants Australia Future Leaders forum July 2014.

Tracey representing USQ at an event

The knowledge I have gained and the lessons I've learned from these extracurricular experiences have helped me in a range of ways. I am now able to contribute to lecture discussions and group work in a more meaningful, knowledgeable and thoughtful way.

The opportunities I have experienced are available for any student who knows what they want and is willing to ask for it.

For example, when my accounting lecturer, Raymond Leong, invited Jacqui Owen from Certified Practising Accountants Australia to speak about the CPA during one of our classes, I took the opportunity to introduce myself to her after class.

I asked her questions about the CPA Australia Student Ambassador program and she invited me to join.

Tracey networking with others via extra-curricular activities

The learning opportunities at USQ have gone beyond the lecture room and for me, they now encompass so much more. I have been lucky to enjoy a range of professional development experiences, one of the best of which was the opportunity to listen to Andy Gourley, the founder and director of Red Frogs Australia, share his leadership insights.

He gave me so many inspirational tips including ‘be yourself!’, ‘become the answer you want to see’, ‘lead by example’ and ‘little things over a long period of time become big changes’.

I am now in my final semester of study and have my sights set on a career that will put my newly earned knowledge, experience and professional development to good use. Before I started my course I never expected that my experiences at university would be so rewarding, in so many diverse ways.

Once I graduate, I hope to put all that I have learned to good use by helping businesses remain sustainable over the long term, by contributing to the community and above all, by continuing to keep learning.

Not sure what extracurricular activities are available at USQ? Check out the Student Life events and activities. If you would like to discuss how extracurricular activities can help with your career goals, make an appointment to chat with the USQ Careers & Employability Team.

Author profile of Tracey