Degree brings dream career for stay-at-home mum | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Degree brings dream career for stay-at-home mum

After what she calls a 20-year gap year to raise a family, new USC Accounting graduate Belinda Hall finally has the career she has always wanted.

The 47-year-old from Hervey Bay graduated earlier this month with a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) after completing the three-year degree at USC’s Fraser Coast campus.

“I always wanted to study and become an accountant as I love working with numbers and spreadsheets,” Ms Hall said.

“I just took a longer gap year than usual,” she said.

“I was a stay-at-home mum for 20 years and, once my kids were grown, I decided it was time to study and gain a degree. I had no skills or training but jumped straight in.” 

Ms Hall is currently working for a large hotel chain, as well as doing private bookkeeping and additional work for a leading tax accountancy firm during tax season.

“Being able to do the variety of tasks required with confidence due to the knowledge I gained during my university studies is the most rewarding aspect of my work,” she said.

“I have found the basic elements of the degree to be the most useful in the workplace as they are the foundation for everything that follows at university and at work.

“The essay writing and research skills have also come in handy when I have been asked by my employers to undertake some tasks that were outside my knowledge base.” 

Ms Hall said having a local USC campus allow her to chase her university dream. “I didn't want to leave my family or relocate them so that I could study.”

She said the highlights of her time at USC Fraser Coast were the sense of achievement that came with doing what she loved and the wonderful support from the lecturers.

“I managed to walk away with an excellent grade point average, which was not only due to my hard work but the hard work of my lecturers, particularly Dr Ratna Paudyal, who always made me feel that I could achieve anything.”

During her studies, she was a member of USC’s Student Representative Committee and at the end of her first year became a member of the Golden Key Honour Society.

Membership into the international society is by invitation only to top-performing college and university students and graduates in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements.

Now Ms Hall has graduated and is working in the industry, she said her career options were vast. “I realise that doing three jobs allows me to keep doors open,” she said.

“At the moment I am just enjoying working and loving what I am doing. I have been asked to do my Honours so you never know, more study could also be on the table.”

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