Social causes high on agenda for Bay graduate - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

USC News

Social causes high on agenda for Bay graduate

9 Oct 2019

Through her USC studies, Hervey Bay’s Katie Brown had opportunities to use her business and marketing skills to help others in need – now she plans to make this her life’s work.

The 22-year-old graduated recently from USC with a double degree in Business and Commerce (Accounting) and received a Medal for Academic Excellence for achieving a grade point average of 6.65 out of a possible 7.

“A business internship project and cultural immersion in Fiji to set up a homestay business for a local village really opened my eyes to how I could use my use my accounting, marketing, and financial planning skills to help people,” Katie said.

“I first wanted to study business and accounting because so much of our world revolves around business and they were subjects I really enjoyed learning about in school and excelled in,” she said.

“As I got further in my degree, I was inspired to do more. Managing money and resources is something that can make a big difference to people’s lives especially in low socio-economic areas or where financial literacy is not high.”

The former Xavier College student said she hoped other students from the Fraser Coast would find insights and motivation from her educational journey, which included being the first in her family to go to university.

“My parents only continued to Year 10 and my brothers did not go to university, so I too was a bit nervous to apply at first,” she said.

Katie took the opportunity to complete the first part of her degree at the home at USC Fraser Coast, before finishing the remainder at its Sunshine Coast campus.

It is a story she shared during visit to schools and information sessions while working as a USC student ambassador during her studies.

“Being able to inspire school students and other people that university really is for everyone, and is achievable, was a big highlight of my time at USC,” Katie said.

“I chose USC because I could stay at home a little longer and save, and I was attracted by the smaller class sizes and community feel of the campus.

“I loved being able to know everyone I was studying with. It allowed me more time with lecturers and tutors to understand the class content and excel in the assessment pieces.”

Katie said she maintained her high grades through “a lot of hard work, time, effort, and a few tears”, and with the support of her family and USC lecturers and tutors.

Of the skills she developed at university, she said problem-solving was the one she expected to find the most transferable across many jobs.

“My internships with the Sunshine Coast Council’s economic development team in the lead-up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and in Fiji, also cemented that having experience working in a team environment was also very important.”

Katie plans to travel for the rest of the year, before finding a full-time role that could involve marketing for social causes or assisting people and organisations in low socio-economic areas with finance and resource management.

Applications are open to study at USC next year.

— Clare McKay

Related programs

Related articles

Top psychology graduates ready for job ahead
3 Jul

With the Australian Government declaring the study of psychology a national priority and mental health becoming a key focus as the country recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, two talented USC Sunshine Coast graduates have stepped forward at the right time.

Graduate sprints to sporting and career success
8 May

Hervey Bay graduate Thomas Key was chasing a pathway to a successful career and the chance to represent Australia in outrigging canoe racing when he chose to study at USC – now he has achieved both.

USC Marine biologist Dr Bonnie Holmes
Shark researcher brings expertise to USC
1 Apr

A USC marine biologist researching shark ecology along Australia’s east coast plans to expand her focus to address a gap in knowledge of shark movements and behaviours in the Wide Bay region.

Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) +61 7 5456 5669

Search results for

Recent news