Balancing university and undergraduate work

24 March 2020

Emma Sansone, Assistant Accountant, Business Services |

I joined BDO as a part time undergrad in Adelaide’s Business Services team in September 2019. I am lucky to have found this part time role to fit around my studies as I am entering my fourth year in a double degree of Law and Commerce majoring in Accounting at The University of Adelaide.

Why apply for an Undergrad role at BDO?

I think gaining industry experience prior to completing your studies is extremely important. Not only does it allow you to begin developing skills and knowledge for when you do eventually join the workforce full-time, it also allows you to be sure that the path you have chosen is the right one for you. Joining BDO has been a great opportunity because it has helped reiterate that I am enjoying what I am studying and that I can visualise myself being in a role like this in the future.

How easy was it to apply for the role?

I came across the job on Seek after I had been looking for a suitable opportunity for a while. It was really important to me to find a role that would offer support through my studies. I saw BDO Adelaide was advertising an undergraduate role and it really stood out to me as it seemed like the perfect opportunity for someone who is still studying but also seeking a head start in their career.

Once I applied for a role with BDO I was contacted the next day by a member of the People and Culture team and asked to come in for an interview. The interview was with a member of People and Culture, as well as two of my current managers all of whom made me feel really at ease and welcomed any questions that I had. The conversational nature of the interview allowed me to engage with the people I would possibly be working with and be sure it was a good fit for everyone.

The balance between university and work

I am currently working three days per week during the Uni semester, which still allows me to dedicate two days to my studies.  This balance has been crucial in allowing me to manage both work, my studies and the rest of my busy schedule. BDO has been extremely accommodating allowing me to choose the days I work based on what will best suit my university schedule. This means I am able to alternate days to fit in with my timetable each semester, or increase my workload during university holidays.

I think being involved within the industry facilitates better understanding of the area that you are studying. For example, BDO offers tax training every month in which new trends and cases are discussed to provide insight into current issues and events in the industry. It has been very useful for me because it extends the concepts that I have learned or am currently learning, and explains them in more depth or in different ways. Additionally, putting the skills and knowledge that I am acquiring at uni into practice at work and gaining a real-world view of the concepts being taught has allowed me to confirm my understanding and follow up on things that may need further clarification.

Taking on part-time work while at university can seem overwhelming, but it offers many opportunities and benefits both currently and in the long term. My advice would be to keep an eye out for a job that will support you and help you in your studies, and give it a go.

To find out more about opportunities at BDO, visit our student recruitment website.