Katherine Bell

Katherine Bell

Balancing work and study

What did high achieving students do to remain successful during a year of limiting factors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Prior to the lockdowns of 2020, Katherine Bell had underloaded the units she was studying towards a Bachelor of Business degree majoring in Accounting in order to continue exploring a range of career interests firsthand.

She had prioritised what she enjoyed - work and internship opportunities - and aligned her skills and interests with employers’ needs.

“The flexibility to alter my study and explore different work paths helped me transition into my career with more knowns than unknowns. Internships are great preparation because they emulate the steep learning curve of different graduate positions and fields,” she says.

What Katherine gained was tangible experience of how her work style and values might fit across roles and sectors, economy-wide.

During her study, she worked in accounting, telecommunications and Government roles.

She also made time to continue volunteering with health and education not-for-profits and contributed to Faculty mentoring programs and committees, including the Department of Accounting Leadership Program, Beta Alpha Psi.

“Through internships and work experiences, I have found my best fit is in the social impact space, aligning my business skills with an interest in social impact by working in government. I currently work as a Financial Analyst in the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. By analysing and providing advice on policy and initiatives, I’m helping to make an impact on the lives of everyday people,” she says.

Asked how she managed her time among so many competing priorities, she said “I’ve always balanced my time three-fold across work, study and community contribution. It’s not your years of experience that matter, but rather the experiences in your years at university, that will make the best memories and shape a career path you enjoy.”

Katherine’s approach has yielded great results, academically and in practice.

She has been awarded a Course Award for Accounting, a University Medal for Academic Excellence, a Unit Prize for Taxation Law and made the Dean’s Honours list.

She is also a recipient of a Sir John Monash Medal in recognition of her contributions to advancing the Monash University goals of social justice, human rights and a sustainable environment.