What's it like to work and study at the same time?

A Bachelor of Commerce student's tips on working while studying
Ricky Rangra, Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Advanced Studies student and Transaction Analysis Associate at AMP, has developed a formula for balancing full-time work with full-time study.

In between meetings with directors and touring AMP's Sydney headquarters, Sydney Scholars Award recipient and 2020 NSW Trainee of the Year finalist Ricky shared what he's learned about working in the financial services industry while studying full-time.

Ricky Rangra presenting in the AMP offices

How did you get your job?

Ricky's been working full-time since he finished high school. After completing an internship at an investment bank in Year 12, he landed a full-time job at a Big Four bank in his first year of university and then secured his current role at AMP.

"You've just got to look for opportunities out there and things that match your experience," Ricky says. "Look at LinkedIn jobs and apply. Even if it's entry-level it's great experience."

Ricky attributes some of his career success - including his selection as a BFO Young Ambassador - to the Careers and Employability Office, which provides Business School students with a range of opportunities to develop career skills and network with recruiters and employers.

I found the Careers and Employability Office's mock interviews, assessment centres and CV reviews highly beneficial.
Ricky Rangra

How do you balance a full-time job and university?

"I call it the Triple C formula: Calendar, Caffeine and Courage," Ricky says.

Calendar. Your time management needs to be in check.


Caffeine. You'll need energy to complete all your tasks throughout semester.


Courage. You might have to roll out of bed early for an assignment or work.

How do you fit in classes and assignments when you're at work?

Ricky has a few tips for getting university work done while working:

  • Take time off work to attend tutorials each week
  • Save up some annual leave to use during exam periods
  • Most importantly, share your timetable with your managers so they can help balance your workload

Though university and work take up a significant portion of Ricky's timetable, he also finds time to relax through activities like going to the gym and participating in the University's clubs and societies.

How do you choose what to study?

"You want to walk into lectures where you actually want to listen to the content," Ricky says. "You want to be in tutorials where you actually want to answer the questions. So whatever interests you is probably the best go-to."

Pick what you love. Pick what you want to do.
Ricky Rangra

Our Bachelor of Commerce offers a wide range of Business study areas in addition to a shared pool of majors across the university, so you have the flexibility to pursue your passions while you study.

What Excel functions do you use?

For work in financial services, Ricky recommends knowing:

  • Vlookups
  • Fuzzy lookups
  • Index matches
  • Conditional formatting
  • Calculation formulas
  • Pivot tables
  • Text to columns

Free workshops in intermediate-level maths and Excel are available to all Business School students. Learn more about our workshops and study groups.

12 October 2020

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