CUC made external study more manageable.

20 Mar 2024

Samantha has been working locally in agribusiness since graduating in 2021. In this Graduate Story, she gives us some insight to her university journey and how CUC helped along the way.

Why did you choose your course and what do you enjoy most about it?

I did a Batchelor of Agribusiness with a major in accounting at the University of New England. When I left school, I had a year off travelling and working and like numerous others wasn’t entirely sure about what I wanted to pursue. I did know however that without question I wanted to be involved in the Agricultural industry. I decided Agribusiness would be the most advantageous. Ideally my thinking was that at completion I would have learnt the fundamentals of Business which would be invaluable in any profession and everyday life.

The course offered an introduction to Macro & Microeconomics, Business Law, Marketing, Business Statistics, Analytics, Financial Management and then also touched on Sustainable Agriculture, Resource Management, Food Security & Environmental Scarcity and Risk Management.

I enjoyed the variety and how it broadened my horizons touching on so many different aspects of business. I also really enjoyed the sense of achievement once completing the studies!


Tell us a little about what you are doing now.

I am working full time as an Assistant Relationship Manager at Suncorp in St. George. Offering a mix of Agri and Commercial lending. I find it highly satisfying to mix in a little of the corporate world whilst still being very involved in our local community and playing a part in the Agricultural Industry.  The past 12 months has been a very rewarding challenge – I enjoy the opportunity of being able to support so many diverse agricultural operations.


Summarise your student journey.  What are some of the challenges of studying as a regional student?

I started my degree full-time on campus in Armidale NSW in 2017. I was very lucky to be able to experience the full university lifestyle and all the opportunities that offered. Mid-2018 I was lucky enough to be selected in an NSW under 21 ladies’ polocrosse team to travel to Perth WA & New Zealand. Something I could not pass up, and due to that I returned home and studied externally. This was pre-CUC opening. I found that time difficult, for some of the simplest reasons, we had no wireless internet connection at home, completing exams externally was tricky, I found it hard to structure studying externally with little guidance, and I really missed connecting with other students. So much so that in 2019 I moved back to Armidale to keep studying on campus.


Why do you think the CUC is a great asset to the community?

So, post covid and post CUC starting, I only had 4 units left and after being locked down in NSW I desperately wanted to be closer to my family and friends, so I came home once again.  This time though, with the CUC, I found the experience so much more manageable. Being a part of the CUC community was fantastic, the resources there are second to none and networking with other students and the staff helped add some accountability on my behalf. CUC is such a great asset to the community because it makes studying externally a real possibility for everyone. I am strong advocate for what a great country town and district we live in, and I am hopeful that with the CUC we mean being able to retain and attract more skills and knowledge locally.


What would you tell someone who was thinking about study?

Go for it! The fact that we are able to complete further studies in any field is such a gift. Not only that, but the life experiences gained from applying yourself to studies and then exercising that knowledge is very rewarding. Make the most of all your opportunities, meet people and make as many connections as possible, learn as much as you can, and most importantly enjoy what you are doing!


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