Your UNSW Business School Experience

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UNSW is ranked 43rd in the world1. We are 1st worldwide for Risk and Actuarial Studies2 and 1st in Australia for Accounting and Finance3

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A Career in Business and Technology | This is Catherine Hu

8 things you'll want to know about unsw business school

1. You will be more employable than the average graduate

The 2020 AFR Top 100 Future Leaders Awards named UNSW as having the Most Employable Students, with 20 UNSW Business School students making the list.

Here, your career starts on Day 1. We’re not saying you have to turn up to your first day of class in a suit, but you should enrol in the Career Accelerator program to take advantage of professional development opportunities to kickstart your career. In addition to your classroom studies, you’ll have access to internship placements, mentoring and global opportunities. We can also help build your professional network and make industry connections through:

  • Business Connect – An opportunity to learn essential soft skills while networking onsite at an industry partner’s office.
  • Industry Insights – Employers and industry professionals lead lunchtime workshops sessions that cover new and important industry trends, right here on campus.
  • Business Case Competitions – A chance to compete as a part of a team in highly regarded local and international case competitions.

2. UNSW Business School graduates have some of the highest starting salaries in Australia

Did you know that UNSW has more start-up founders and millionaires than any other Australian university? A report on Australia's Top 50 CEOs also found that UNSW has educated more corporate leaders than any other institution1. In fact, UNSW graduates are more likely to gain full-time employment and earn a higher starting salary than students from most Australian universities2.

3. Travel the world while studying

International travel has been off the cards in 2020, but by the time you're a Business School student we know you'll be jumping at the chance to whip out your passport. When the Covid-19 situation improves, you’ll have opportunities to explore different countries and cultures while studying. Enrol in COMM3020 Global Business Practicum – an experiential and intensive course run overseas with partner organisations. Through this course, you’ll find out what it’s like to work overseas and gain key workplace skills. You can study in global cities that include Bangkok, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Israel and Shanghai. The best part? It’s not all work! You’ll have time to explore your new city, make new friends and experience a unique culture. There are also grants and scholarships available to help cover the cost of heading overseas.

4. You don’t have to be a math genius to study Commerce

Not a math genius? Not to worry. It is a common misconception that HSC students need to have topped their math class to be a good fit for the Business School. While all specialisations within the Bachelor of Commerce will involve some numbers, the weight and difficulty will vary – so you can find the course best suited to you. Find out which study area is best aligned with your career goals by checking out the UNSW undergraduate degrees page and coming along to Info Day to talk to our academics and current students. As a student, there is also academic support on campus if you feel like you need a helping hand with maths or any other course content.

5. You will have support at university – you're not in this alone

If you have any questions regarding university life, feel free to reach out to our Peer Mentors and they will be more than happy to help. For academic support, you can join a PASS group – a free, weekly, out-of-class study sessions facilitated by a student who has previously successfully completed the course you’re studying. This is a great way to get tips about how to ace your next assignment or learn how to study smart for your exams. You can have a look at the course list to see which courses are part of the PASS program. It’s also a great idea to come along to O-week and sign up to clubs and societies you are interested in. Not only do they offer academic support like revision lectures, but they are the heart of social life at UNSW.

6. Don't stress if you are unsure who you want to be when you graduate

If you don’t know where your strengths lie and what you are passionate about – there is no need to worry, this is completely normal. At UNSW, we offer flexible and double degrees to enable you to study a breadth of subjects to find out what you are interested in and maximise your career prospects. UNSW’s Bachelor of Commerce will immerse you in a business environment from the first year, meaning you’ll understand how a range of different study areas work in real life before choosing a major (or two). Create the degree that’s right for you!

7. If you aspire to be an entrepreneur and are passionate about social impact

Want to change the world? As part of the Career Accelerator program, you can take part in Social Entrepreneurship Practicums and Global Consulting Group (GCG), a Pro Bono consulting firm that brings together not-for-profits, consulting professionals and students to create a real impact on social issues around the world. The practicum program enables students to develop professional skills while working in a team on a real social entrepreneurship project. You can check the website and newsletters for most up-to-date information. UNSW is also partnered with the Centre for Social Impact meaning you can study social impact subjects for credit as a part of your degree.

8. Most importantly, you’ll be taught by the best of the best

UNSW is one of the world’s leading universities– consistently placing within top 50 world rankings3. We are a highly esteemed research institution with academics who are international leaders in their fields and Professors of Practice who are exceptional industry professionals teaching at UNSW. This allows you to learn strategies and concepts that are at the forefront of industry, setting you apart from other graduates.

If you want more advice on which degree to choose, please get in touch with our Future Students team.

  1. 2017 BRW Young Rich List
  2. 2018 QILT survey
  3. In 2019, the UNSW Business School has been ranked:
    • 1st in Australia and 15th worldwide for Accounting and Finance (QS World University Rankings by Subject)
    • 1st in Australia and 18th worldwide for Finance (Shanghai Rankings Global Ranking of Academic Subjects)
    • 2nd in Australia and 26th worldwide for Business and Management Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject)
    • Ranked within the Top 50 worldwide for Economics and Econometrics and Computer Science and Information Systems (QS World University Rankings by Subject)

Career Accelerator

Get a jump start on your career. UNSW has a range of professional development opportunities that are exclusive to Business School students.

Find out how Arthur Chao shaped his UNSW experience to achieve his dream career.

How Six Internships Clarified Arthur Chao’s Career Path and Purpose

During an internship with a hedge fund in Hong Kong, Arthur was asked to meet with Japanese listed company executives and hear their investment pitches via a translator. It was a last-minute request, so he was unprepared and had to think fast.

“It was a transformative experience that you can’t get from textbooks. When you’re put into these situations, it forces you to learn. Being thrown in the deep end was an experience that broadened my horizons and taught me to keep cool under pressure.”

Arthur is studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Arts, majoring in Finance and Politics & International Relations, respectively. He’s completed six internships and is about to start working full-time in his final year of study. He says experiencing different areas of the finance industry has given him a broad perspective and a clear understanding of the big picture.

“It’s important to try different paths of the industry you’re interested in. Getting broad exposure helps you know whether or not the job is for you. I’ve had friends go into good jobs only to realise that it’s just not for them.”

Arthur saw the flexible UNSW3+ calendar as an opportunity to take a term off study for the internship in Hong Kong. He also did an internship with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as part of his Commerce degree.

“At ASIC I worked on a strategic review of insider trading levels in the market. It was a fantastic experience and a great time to be there with everything going on with the royal commission,” he says.

Arthur had enrolled in a course that involves completing an internship and submitting a report on the experience. As part of the course, UNSW Business School contacts industry partners, like ASIC, for internship opportunities.

Arthur also found internships through his personal network. He joined societies including the UNSW Financial Management Association of Australia and the University Network for Investing and Trading. He volunteers as Secretary for the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce and has family who worked in banking. However, Arthur found one of his biggest supporters from the UNSW Business School Career Mentoring Program.

“My mentor has gone out to bat for me a lot. Even though our mentorship program ended about two years ago, I still have lunch with him regularly. Building relationships and networks is critical, I’m often surprised how my former bosses will happily reach out to their networks for me when I’m looking for new opportunities.”

When being interviewed for opportunities, Arthur found that it’s important to know what makes you different. For example, he was the banking category winner in the AFR Top100 Future Leaders 2020, and he has won Bronze at the Oceania Junior Fencing Championships.

“Think of something interesting in life that you can share. I’ve had mentors tell me when they talk about candidates they interviewed, it’s easier, for example, to recall ‘that kid who did fencing’.”

Through his work experience, Arthur discovered he was suited to the deadlines, pressure and perks of the banking sector. He also developed political and environmental beliefs – that government reform will come from financial markets and the private sector pushing investment into clean energy.

Arthur’s sense of purpose and experience has led him to a full-time position at Natixis – a leading global renewable energy financier that believes financial institutions have a responsibility for our transition to a low-carbon economy.

Life at UNSW Business School

Life on Campus

Clubs and Societies

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Change Maker You're A Change Maker

UNSW Commerce graduate Monica Wang’s internship did more than give her industry-leading skills, it led her to the philanthropic world of business.

Monica Wang’s UNSW Business School degree gave her industry-leading skills which led to her role as Director of Finance at a not-for-profit start-up.

During an internship at Opportunity International, Monica was told about two UNSW students who were on the look-out for someone with a commerce background, to join their start-up, Kua.

Kua sells Ugandan coffee to Sydney workplaces - with zero waste, in reusable canisters - and then circulates the profits back into Ugandan communities.

After Monica joined the start-up, the Kua team enrolled in subject COMM3030 with Career Accelerator and signed up for the The Big Idea competition.

Whilst in the beginning stages of building a social enterprise from scratch Monica and her colleagues decided participating in the Big Idea would benefit them greatly, through its exposure and coaching.

“It was a great opportunity to validate our idea and progress for the real market,” she said. The Big Idea is Australia’s leading social enterprise immersion and competition for university students, supported by PwC.

Students are set a challenge to explore an area of disadvantage and propose a business case for an appropriate social enterprise. This is where the student team introduced Kua (then known as The Bugisu Project) to the world.

“What really drew me in so much was the social impact aspect of the competition,” Monica said.

The Career Accelerator Program COMM3030 provided the team with weekly mentorship, foundational knowledge about entrepreneurship and helped develop their skills in the lead up to the Big Idea competition.

“Then one thing led to another, we had the semi-finals,” Monica said.

“We pitched (the Big Idea) at the Business School, the Dean’s lounge, and then had a few people who are in the social enterprise space judge. Then got put through as an undergraduate team.”

The team was then sponsored to fly to Melbourne for the finals, where they took out the top prize for the undergraduate division.

Taking out the coveted title of Australia’s top student social enterprise gave Kua leverage to grow and enabled them to secure funding.

“We were also able to turn our prizes into cash, which we invested into our business,” she said.

The Big Idea competition also enabled them to network and introduced them to CEO of The Big Issue Steven Persson, who gave them a glimpse into how an established social enterprise operated.

Monica believes UNSW Business School has given her the industry-leading skills to get her where she is today.

“It's given me a better understanding of my passion and the different pathways I could take to pursue it. I've been lucky to connect with some inspiring people that I would not have had the chance to meet otherwise!”

Monica’s UNSW Business degree also guided her on how a social enterprise could potentially make an impact and inspire social change around the world in relation to International Business and International Development.

Want to find out more about UNSW Business Degrees? Speak to an expert today.

Change Maker You're A Go-Getter

Realise your ambitions with personal and professional development opportunities embedded into your degree. Bachelor of Commerce graduate Jenny Zhai shares what she learned about leadership on the path to her dream career.

Jenny has always been interested in solving problems and finding innovative solutions. When it came to study, she knew she wanted a variety of skills to keep her job options open.

With a natural talent for numbers, Jenny decided to study a double degree, pairing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance with a Bachelor of Science majoring in statistics. Eventually she realised a career in data analytics or data science would be perfect.

Even though both degrees are strong in technology, data and critical thinking, Jenny also developed excellent interpersonal skills like communication, teamwork and leadership.

“During my time at UNSW, I developed interpersonal skills both in the classroom and by participating in extra-curriculars. These skills have been really useful in my career for overall self-confidence and building strong relationships across all levels of an organisation,” she said.

From her first year at uni, Jenny was highly motivated to kickstart her career. She set about making the most of the professional development opportunities at UNSW Business School.

Jenny competed in business case competitions, where teams of students from different universities – in Australia and overseas – aim to impress large companies with their solutions to complex business problems.

“My passion for solving problems also led me to participate in the UNSW Founders New Wave Incubator, where as a team, we were able to build our start-up idea from scratch in just two weeks.”

Jenny also joined the UNSW Accounting Society (AccSoc). At AccSoc she organised events that helped other students develop networking skills and boost their resume with industry technology workshops.

“My two years in AccSoc not only allowed me to develop both personally and professionally, but also connect with like-minded individuals and gain a support network in all aspects of uni, career and life.

“In my year as Co-President, I realised that true leadership is in partnership, in collaboration and as a team; and the success we experience is only made possible by the people around us.”

UNSW has over 300 clubs and societies where you can meet others who are interested in the same things you are, ranging from hobbies to your academic areas of interest. UNSW Business Society is the largest society on campus and caters to all business students, with a combination of social activities and professional development.

Jenny also organised three internships during her degree. The first was with PwC, helping foreign investors comply with Australian financial reporting and taxation laws. Her second and third internships were with EY.

“As part of a large-scale platform transformation project, I developed a customer experience journey map for a financial services organisation. I worked with the C-Suite and leadership team, created presentations and delivered key insights,” she said.

Jenny said the EY internship helped her realise that she wanted to leverage her degree in a data/tech role. Not only a great learning experience, the internship led to a permanent role at EY, where Jenny now has her dream job as a Data & Analytics Consultant.

“The most rewarding aspect of my job is working on a diverse range of projects from advanced analytics & data science strategy to platform design & implementation. It is definitely an exciting time in the world of data & analytics and to see information being used creatively and intelligently.”

Want to find out more about UNSW Business Degrees? Speak to an expert today.

Change Maker You're A Industry Shaker

As a student completing a double degree in Commerce and Engineering at UNSW, Kurt Walkom thought he was on track to become a mechanical engineer. However, the practical knowledge and experience he gained from four different internships taught him otherwise.

It was only after earning a Co-op scholarship and participating in two engineering internships that Kurt realised that he wanted a job that would enable him to see the bigger picture.

“I realised that only a business can dictate what gets to be created. I wanted to understand how to build a successful business rather than focus on how to build machinery,” Kurt said.

This marked a pivotal point in Kurt’s career as he veered to a different career path – the entrepreneurial world of start-ups.

Kurt took full advantage of the flexibility of the courses at the UNSW Business School to balance his study and extracurricular activities. He used his Commerce degree as a springboard into different industries and actively looked for business internship opportunities to better understand what makes a business successful.

Kurt’s third internship led him to Marshall Investments as an investment analyst – which provided him with the opportunity to learn more about how to invest in companies. He was quickly drawn to venture capitalist projects and the ability to create high impact investments.

To explore other aspects of a business, Kurt then took up another internship opportunity with global chemical firm Solvay in its strategic marketing division in Lyon, France.

Through his academic and practical learnings at UNSW and participation in a variety of internships, Kurt identified a need in the Australian market to help people invest in shares, compare investment strategies and achieve long-term financial goals such as financial independence. It was during that time that he came up with the innovative idea of founding his own fintech start-up Pearler.

With support from the UNSW Founders program – Australia’s most comprehensive on-campus entrepreneurship program with over 500 start-up projects; Kurt was able to extend his skillset with practical experience and entrepreneurial thinking.

A key learning from Kurt’s experience at the UNSW Business School is that it is possible to be a successful entrepreneur while studying.

“The UNSW Business school program is structured in such a way that students can fully explore the world of entrepreneurship. I believe that taking part in a variety of internships is the only way for people to find out what they enjoy doing.”

It was only after completing his internships at two engineering firms that Kurt decided that he did not want to become a mechanical engineer. It was only after interning at a global company that he realised that he wanted to create his own start-up. It was only after interning in another country that Kurt realised that he wanted to bring his expertise back to Australia and launch Pearler.

“Internships have definitely complemented my study at UNSW and have influenced my career path as an entrepreneur today.”

UNSW Business School students have the competitive advantage of gaining industry experience and accessing internships through the Career Accelerator program – a suite of opportunities designed to help students build their career skills. To find out more about where your UNSW Business School degree could take you – feel free to speak to one of our experts today.

Change Maker You're A Jet-Setter

The sky is the limit for UNSW Business School’s Commerce and Economics student Saul Brady, who used his global work experience at a multi-national to discover his dream career.

Growing up in quiet regional New South Wales, Saul Brady didn’t know that jet-setting off to Jakarta Indonesia to up-skill at the multi-national Commonwealth Bank would be part of his UNSW Business degree.

For those who want to travel the world and learn hands-on skills out of the classroom whilst gaining their business degree, like Saul did, the Global Practicum is the ideal choice.

Throughout his time at UNSW Saul has been involved in a diverse range of career enhancing programs through the Business School’s Career Accelerator Program, the highlight being the Global Business Practicum (COMM3020) which Saul did during the Summer holidays.

 Through the program Saul had the opportunity to work in Jakarta Indonesia, at Commonwealth Bank.  Saul believes that the experience was a valuable way to build international experience, skills and perspective.

For four weeks Saul learnt hands-on skills in the retail banking division, working with a small-cross disciplinary student consulting team.

The team was given the task of undertaking a market analysis at Commonwealth Bank for the development of a new debit card, which included breaking down the product, analysing data to understand attractive customer segments, and then pitching their recommendations to management.

The international internship also played a paramount role in redetermining the trajectory of the UNSW student’s future career, steering him away from finance and towards management consulting.

 “That’s always good that kind of self-discovery. You’re not going to like everything you initially think you’re going to do. I am grateful that I was able to experience that and realise that maybe finance wasn’t where I wanted to go.”

Saul said he will be able to draw from the skills he learnt when he pursues a career in consulting after graduation.

“I really enjoyed that global experience, getting to see how things are done differently and challenge our perceptions and thoughts on banking from Australia to banking in Asia.”

Besides learning industry-leading skills in Jakarta, he also got to wind down and experience Indonesian culture.

He also got to spend the weekend in Bandung, which is a city set in the volcanoes and explore the tea plantations of West Java.

“It was a relaxing break from the chaos of Jakarta, and we got to explore some of the different cuisine there too- which was super spicy!”

Want to find out more about UNSW Business Degrees? Speak to an expert today.

Tips for applying for a scholarship

UNSW Business School has a variety of scholarships on offer that are just waiting for you to apply for them. What most people don’t know is that not only can a scholarship help you financially, they can also deliver additional opportunities such as chances to network, mentoring relationships, overseas exchange and can even lead to employment opportunities.

Starting a scholarship application can be daunting, so we’ve enlisted the help of scholarship assessors Associate Professor Tracy Wilcox, (Academic Director, Postgraduate Programs) and Associate Professor Christine Mathies (Academic Director Undergraduate Programs). They read through the thousands of applications submitted to the UNSW Business School, and have offered to provide some handy tips and tricks.

1. Common mistakes to avoid

Not reading the application correctly or simply missing questions, are just some of the common mistakes seen in applications.

"Basically, we have to rank them as zero if they have missed a section or they just answer it in five words. They are basically pulling themselves out of eligibility for the scholarship," Tracy said.

Quick tips:

  • Don't rush the application process, and do create a rough draft in Microsoft Word before submitting
  • Research your scholarship and make sure you read and understand all the questions before you start your application
  • Start applying early if possible
  • Ask a friend or trusted source to proof-read before submitting

2. It’s not just about your grades - use personal experience to stand out

Applications that stand out reference both academic and co-curricular achievements. Applicants need to tie in their own personal experience and give the reader a sense of who they are, what experiences have shaped them and what they truly want to accomplish with their degree in the future.

What should you remember when applying for a Undergraduate scholarship?

There can be a lot of overlap in the applications, many students have held leadership positions or excelled in sport; so Christine suggests applicants go beyond only listing those achievements. Applicants should think about what they have done differently to stand out from the crowd.

“What's your why? What’s pushing you? … And why are you taking the next step in terms of studying in Australia, studying at UNSW, studying the degree that you've chosen out of all the options that you've had?” she said.

What should you remember when applying for a Postgraduate scholarship?

Tracy says when it comes to post-graduate applications, she looks for well-rounded students who are open to change and are passionate about their prospective careers.

“They (applicants) have exercised some leadership in the past. They have given back to the community in some way. They have a real growth mindset, so are interested in growing, learning and contributing, and they have a global outlook,” she said.

3. Diverse range of scholarships & benefits other than money

UNSW Business School also provides a wide range of Equity Scholarships, awards and grants to assist students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups, including, indigenous students and students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Some scholarships can include additional benefits such as mentoring from industry professionals, work experience or overseas exchange, so do read the fine print.

4. Apply, apply, apply

Being too selective over scholarships can also be a detriment to applicants.

“You cannot miss out on the scholarship that you haven't applied for,” Christine said.

“What we're really looking for is high achieving students that kind of live and breathe the ethos of the Business School.”

Tracy said awarding scholarships is a way of recognising students who they believe are exemplars of the UNSW community.

“We’re really proud of them. They represent us and they embrace the best of what coming to UNSW is all about,” she said.

Find the right UNSW Business School scholarship for you.

Graduate stories

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Diversity, our greatest asset

The Business School is not only a leading business faculty in Australia, but we also celebrate diversity as one of our greatest assets.

This means we make sure all our students and staff feel valued and supported. Check out some of the ways we celebrate our students and staff.

LGBTQI+ community

UNSW Business School works to build a safe and inclusive environment for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

This includes an official network for people who identify as LGBTIQ+, or as allies.

“The LGBTIQ+ network is an amazing initiative and it needs to be supported and promoted because forming those connections and allies are very important for people to feel safe,” Kaus Trivedi, a UNSW student, and EDI Committee member said. 

“I have made meaningful connections through my LGBTIQ+ network and they have always guided me through my professional journey as an out and proud individual.”

As well as having established an official network, we continue to raise awareness and come together for the LGBTIQ+ community, celebrating important days and events such as Wear it Purple Day and Diversity Week.

Indigenous engagement

We are passionate about empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study business at UNSW. 

This support starts at pre-university stages, all the way to graduation and beyond. From the Winter School programs for high school students to our innovative Indigenous Prep-Program, Indigenous executive education programs and dedicated Indigenous scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. We’re there for our students at every stage of their university journey, working closely with Nura Gili and other partners.

We also engage with the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, thought leaders, academics and researchers. 

Visit UNSW Business School Indigenous Engagement for more information.

Women in business

At UNSW Business School we ensure women have pathways and support mechanisms to be empowered in business.

If you're a woman studying in the Business School, you can join several female-orientated student societies such as Capital W and the Women in Technology Society. These societies hold regular networking nights with industry and give you the opportunity to explore the options available to you as a woman in business. 

We also provide ‘Women in Business’ programs at all levels. This ranges from school programs to women leadership programs and mentoring. 

The inaugural Girls in Business – High Risk to High Tech Winter School is an immersive winter camp designed for girls in years 10 and 11. The program helps girls explore a possible future in the Information Systems and Actuarial industries.

The three-day residential consists of hands-on-workshops, group tasks, site visits and networking opportunities with current UNSW Students, UNSW Alumni and Industry Professionals. The program hopes to inspire the next-gen of female leaders in those specialties.

These are just some of the ways UNSW Business School promotes diversity and inclusion to foster a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all. 

We continue to work with students and community members on our initiatives and how to celebrate diversity across the university in new and more effective ways.

For more information visit UNSW Business School Equity, Diversity & Inclusion 

1 QS World University Rankings 2020
2 Global Research Rankings of Actuarial Science and Risk Management & Insurance
3 QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020

Your UNSW Business School Experience