In a university-sector first, students studying the new Professional degrees at Griffith University are on-campus before trimester one starts and mixing with industry through a professional development program.

The new Bachelor of Commerce (Professional) offered in Accounting or Financial Planning was introduced this year in response to industry demand — for more qualified professionals and job-ready graduates.

Griffith Business School Program Director Dr Mark Brimble said the three day Ernst & Young Bachelor of Commerce Professional Development Program was the first of many initiatives built into the degree to ensure students were job-ready when they graduate.

“During the Ernst & Young Bachelor of Commerce Professional Development Program students will get to hear and interact with industry representatives,” Dr Brimble said.

“On the final day we’re holding an industry breakfast where students will get to network with more than 20 industry representatives. Both students and industry are really looking forward to it.”

Ernst & Young Queensland Managing Partner Jenny Parker said the firm was delighted to support the new and innovative approach to learning offered at Griffith.

“Ernst & Young views the approach of combining technical skills with professional development activities taken by Griffith as imperative to the future success of graduates,” Ms Parker said.

“Technical skills are only one component in what makes people successful in business.

“Griffith’s focus on providing students with the opportunity to develop further skills throughout their degree and practical hands on experience provides a great platform for success.”

Through the degree students study over trimesters and after the first year complete a paid industry placement part-time and study part-time for the remaining two years.

Professional development programs will run separately for both accounting and financial planning first year students. Congruent sessions also run for second and third year students changing into the new program mode.

The sessions cover everything from dealing with clients, understanding the practice, professional attire, networking, time recording and budgeting to file management, personal planning, goal setting and an introduction to industry software.

The program also includes ‘pod’ sessions where small groups of first, second and third year students team up with industry representatives to discuss industry issues and have their questions answered.

“Through the program students and employers will be able to network and gain a greater understanding and appreciation of each other,” Dr Brimble said.

Firms involved include Ernst & Young, KPMG, Tupicoffs, Bentleys MRI, WMS, Viridian Wealth Management, SRW Professional, ICAA, the Financial Planning Association and several Griffith graduates working in the industry.

In addition to sponsorship from Ernst & Young, KPMG, Infocus Money Management and Marsh Ticknell are supporting the event as Gold Sponsors with Tupicoffs also a sponsor.

The Ernst & Young Bachelor of Commerce Professional Development Program runs January 30 — February 1 at Griffith’s Logan campus. The breakfast, ‘The Importance of Work Integrated Learning for the Future,’ is February 1, 8am – 9.30am also at Logan in the Auditorium (LO8).