Students from the University of New England have travelled from as far afield as Victoria to celebrate alongside prominent members of the accounting profession and business community at an awards function held in Armidale, NSW last night.
The unique event is held annually by the UNE Business School in partnership with national accounting peak body, CPA Australia and recognises the top performing students in areas of study accredited by CPA Australia.
Awards were presented to top achievers in their first, second and third year of study as well as students who achieved outstanding results in one or more unit of study.
Final-year Business and Accounting student, Simon Hughes, who travelled from Sydney to attend, won multiple subject awards and was named the Third Year Top Prize winner.
“It’s fantastic to be recognised and rewarded by the University and the industry professional body for results I was able to achieve with hard work and determination,” Simon said.
“As a distance student, it’s also a great opportunity to connect with the University Faculty, my peers and industry professionals to celebrate together and build networks.
“The involvement of CPA Australia really adds to the significance of the event, reflecting the level of industry support for UNE’s Accounting qualification.”
Second Year Top Prize winner, Christopher Hoffmann, echoed Simon’s sentiments.
“I chose to study at UNE because of the fully online program. I needed the flexibility to fit study around full time work,” Chris said. “The awards night is a nice way for students to be recognised for their achievements and, for me, a good opportunity to meet some of my course coordinators and fellow students.”
The awards evening provides students with opportunity to network with accounting firms, often resulting in mentoring and internship offers.
On-campus student Shannon Bow first impressed senior staff from regional accounting firm, Boyce Chartered Accountants, with her networking skills at last year’s event, resulting in a job offer in their Dubbo office.
“The night is a fantastic opportunity for students to mingle with lots of employees in the accounting industry,” Shannon said.
“I first met with Boyce staff last year when I asked about a scholarship. Later, when a job opportunity arose, they contacted me, and I now have a graduate job at Boyce!”
Event organiser and lecturer, Dr Leopold Bayerlein said the awards night is an annual highlight that celebrates the calibre of UNE students and their dedication to their studies.
“The UNE Business School has a longstanding relationship with CPA Australia and together we have grown this event from an awards night to a two-day occasion for students to interact with industry,” Dr Bayerlein said.
“CPA Australia sponsors a mentoring program where students receive career advice and learn about life as a professional accountant. The two industry days also include campus visits from industry partners offering scholarship, work placement and graduate employment opportunities to our students as well as a visit from Indigenous Accountants Australia.
“Last night it was also our pleasure to host David Chin who delivered the keynote address. David heads the CPA’s Regional Business Development Oceania division and was very optimistic about the future of accounting, believing technology will enhance the way we conduct our work.”