20 November 2017
My Master of Professional Accounting experience
Degree and Major: Master of Professional Accounting (MPA)
Why you choose master of professional accounting?
This is my last semester. Studying Master of Professional Accounting is one of the best decisions I’ve made. It has changed my life and my thinking. Interestingly, studying MPA was not in my plans before I came to Australia. I did not perform well in my fundamental accounting unit in my undergraduate, and this held me back from choosing to study accounting. But luckily, a few days before the course application deadline, a friend I met in Sydney told me ‘You can do it.' After my friend’s encouraging words, I changed to MPA. Thinking back, I knew I wanted to challenge myself and I knew I couldn’t let my past experiences stop me from pursuing this new and exciting opportunity.
In my first semester, I worked very hard - I completed the self-study questions, attended the workshops, PASS sessions and consultation. I recommend you attend consultations, the lecturers and tutors were very helpful and took the effort to explain the problems until I fully understood. The more consultations I went to, the more interesting I found learning the content. I am thankful to my lecturers and tutors who fueled my interest in learning the MPA units. I also helped my peers to answer accounting questions which boosted my confidence and gave me the motivation to study harder.
What do you learn in this journey?
Critical thinking skills. Before beginning this degree, I tended to follow other people’s opinion instead of voicing my own. I remember my lecturer telling me ‘You have to have your own opinion.’ Most of my essay assignments required critical thinking to evaluate the impact of different accounting policies. Although it was challenging it was interesting because I had to think critically whether the accounting treatment represented a true and fair view in the financials. Now, when I read a news-piece, I naturally start to analyze the content and ask myself ‘what is my opinion?’
What campus life and study advice do you give master of professional accounting students?
1. Don’t forget to give back to the community and use the university resources
Helping others makes me happy. I love volunteering. I joined the university’s V-team and helped out with USU’s amazing programs which developed my leadership, teamwork and communication skills. The Lucy Mentoring, Business Alumni Mentoring and Industry Placement Program, open to postgraduate students, would aid your professional development. I recommend your regularly check CEO’s announcement and Student News to avoid missing any important events. The MPA is only 2 years so it’s important you make good use of the university’s resources.
2. Attend networking events to build your professional profile.
Learning in the classroom is not enough. What is important is knowing how to apply what you’ve learnt in the classroom in a workplace setting. I attended many professional networking events such as EY Future Female Leader Breakfast, International Women’s Day Breakfast, ‘Be...an Auditor’ workshop presented by KPMG. By talking to professionals in the accounting industry it gave me a better understanding and insight into what I wanted my accounting career pathway to look like.
3. Make a to-do list.
A daily to-do list helped me to manage my workload when I had multiple assignments due within a week. It also ensured I had time to continue to participate in extra-curricular activities may it be volunteering or attending professional networking events.
4. Plan your final exam revision early.
I begin my final exam 2 weeks to 3 weeks prior to stuvac. By reviewing content I’ve learnt earlier in the semester meant I still get enough sleep and maintain a healthy lifestyle when exams come around. I recommend you attend consultation prior to stuvac so you have sufficient time to ask your lecturers and tutors any questions you have.
5. Participate in class discussion actively.
To be an active learner is very rewarding. I love participating in the class discussions. Why? Discussing questions with lecturers, tutors, and peers is an opportunity to practice my English and build on my critical thinking and communication skills. I find the more I participate in class discussions, the better I understand the content and so the better I perform in that unit.