Published on 15 October 2014
An Aroona woman who enrolled in Accounting at the University of the Sunshine Coast to lend a hand at her husband’s construction business has won a Faculty Medal for academic excellence – and a job with Kawana firm HBA Encompass.
Emma Baxter, 37, was awarded the medal when she graduated with her Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at the USC ceremony on 2 October. She had earned a grade point average of 6.75 out of a possible 7.
“USC showed me I was capable of things that I never thought possible, especially the grades I received,” she said. “It has given me the confidence and knowledge to be working in this position and the opportunities to advance my career.”
Mrs Baxter gained her role as an accountant at the Kawana accounting and business advice firm last year, in the third year of her degree, after winning four industry awards for high achievement during her studies.
She said the company supported her study and family commitments and planned to mentor her training to become a certified practising accountant.
“I also had the backing and encouragement of USC lecturers and my husband Kirk, who took over the care of our three kids when I had assignments due or exams to study for,” she said.
Mrs Baxter, who graduated from Pine Rivers State High School in 1994 without an OP, said she had always gravitated to jobs in the finance industry.
She completed an institute course in financial planning and markets which led to a job in a financial planning office while having a family.
“I wasn’t sure I would get into university, or what it entailed, but my sister led the way by graduating from USC with a Social Work degree,” she said.
“I really enjoyed getting a deeper understanding of accounting and finance and learning the different perspectives of lecturers and students. The academic theories either supported or changed my own points of view.”
— Julie Schomberg