The triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity is vitally important to Bachelor of Arts graduate Kelly Ashbolt.

Kelly, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2011, says her social enterprise work placement with the University of the Third Age (U3A) reinforced her decision to find work in the not-for-profit sector.

“Social enterprise is incredibly positive as it enables old business models to be used in far more innovative ways,” she says.

At U3A she taught a ‘Documentary and Discussion’ class which involved watching films about various cultures and how they hunt, cultivate and consume food.

“We also looked at the Western world and the consumption patterns we have here and what we can do to make some important changes. It gave me the opportunity to talk about the issues that are close to my heart.”

Seven weeks before completing her undergraduate degree, Kelly applied for a job at Food Connect, a non-for-profit organisation that provides ethically-farmed fruit and vegetables to subscribers. As a subscriber advocate, she is responsible for sales, customer service and administration support.

“It offers a lot of variety and I am loving it,” she says.

“Food Connect’s community-supported agricultural model is vitally important for people and the planet and I want to keep studying the practice of ethical food consumption,” she says.

“My employers have been really supportive by allowing me to work flexible hours and the leadership they provide has been inspirational.”

She says social enterprise offers students a balance of humanities and business skills, while preparing them for work in a diverse range of jobs.

“By studying social enterprise, you become aware of all the pressing social and environmental issues that are happening in the world and how organisations are working to change this.

“At times you feel overwhelmed but then you realise there are solutions and an individual can be part of the positive change.

“Social enterprise really makes the arts degree practical and gives you skills you can apply once you are employed.”