11 December 2013
With three degrees and three international trips under her belt, 26-year-old Lucy Fitzgerald is graduating from the University of the Sunshine Coast this year with a job and a bursary.
The Buddina resident is one of two USC students to be awarded $1,000 bursaries from the Zonta Club of Noosa.
Lucy recently received the club’s Women in Business (JM Klausman) bursary and Millie Crook, 24, of Currimundi, received the Women in Science bursary.
President Lynn Robertson said the Noosa club had raised funds for 12 years to award annual bursaries to women studying business and women studying science with an environmental focus. Criteria included academic merit, financial situation and community involvement.
Lucy said the bursary was the perfect way to finish her Master of International Business, which involved two study tours to Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.
“I put the money towards the study tour we did in September, which involved lectures and visits to multinational corporations,” she said.
“Both tours were incredible. I’ve sat in the boardroom of a Fortune 500 company in China talking with the senior vice president and his translator.”
Lucy also works as a casual research assistant for USC’s School of Business.
The former Sunshine Beach State High student has two previous degrees from USC, a Graduate Certificate in Management and a Bachelor of Communication.
Her first overseas trip was in between USC commitments in 2010, when she spent seven months in America at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
“I worked as a concierge at their flagship hotel while studying courses such as customer relationship management and consumer behaviour through Disney University,” she said. “It inspired me to come back here and study business.”
Millie, who last month finished her Bachelor of Science, also travelled overseas as part of her USC studies.
“The highlight of my degree was the hands-on practical experience USC offers, including field trips and laboratory work,” she said.
“Earlier this year I was selected for the GO (Global Opportunities) program to travel to Ecuador, South America, and I got the opportunity to complete real research in the Andes and Amazon.”
Millie also enjoyed volunteering for projects that inspired a love of science in school students, such as science education awards and school biology camps.
“I feel grateful for the Zonta bursary,” she said. “The funds enabled me to continue as a full-time student, focusing on my studies instead of employment, and made university less stressful.
“My goals are to do further study at USC (Honours research) and to work as a research scientist to understand and conserve Sunshine Coast biodiversity.”
— Julie Schomberg