Not everyone could juggle part-time study, managing a financial planning practice and still find time to teach scuba diving on the side.

But not everyone has Bachelor of Commerce student Jessica Harris’ passion forher industry.

Ms Harris was working in a different field when she decided she wantedto focus more on finance.

“From what I was aware of, and had read, the finance and commerce units at Griffith University were very highly regarded,” she said.

In her first year, she completed a financial planning subject and fell in love.

Real-world information and supportive lecturers encouraged Ms Harris to start searching for a new job that would allow her to put this passion into practice.

“I was ambitious, but also had tangible experience, which enabled me to get the role that I did,” she said.

Ms Harris was employed by My Wealth Solutions as a client service officer, but was told they were also searching for a practice manager.

“They told me to come in for the CSO role I’d applied for but, based on my interview and experience, suggested I’d be capable of both.”

Three months later, at a probationary review, she took the initiative to present a range of ideas for the business and was given the additional responsibility.

“It’s all been incredibly relevant,” Ms Harris said. “It’s helped me so much with the exams and the study that I’m doing.”

She added she’d also been able to use her experience to help fellow students.

“It’s all changed my life so dramatically and I’m really happy with where I’m working.

“I think it’s incredibly interesting to know what you can do with your money – and most people are so uneducated about this!”

While it may seem worlds away, she likens financial planningto her other great love – scuba diving.

“It’s incredible under the water and you just don’t realise…it’s similar [in financial planning]. No one knows what’s out there, so I’ve got to show them, because it’s so interesting.”

Ms Harris said she knows there’s a lot more to learn – and she’s looking forward to it.

“Even though I work in the industry and have a good understanding of it, I want to have a great understanding.

“I enjoy mentoring and seeing people grow and develop. To lead a team in an industry I’m really passionate about, and to help those people achieve their goals, that’d be incredibly satisfying.”