How to make your degree fit your needs

6 December 2021
Combine different study areas to supercharge your degree
Elysée Dubois graduated with an unexpected combination that helped her pursue her passions in equal measure – commerce and language studies in French.
Elysee Dubois standing in front of quad holding flowers and wearing a graduation gown

Studying at university is more than just pursuing one degree. Exploring all your interests can be easily done with the right advice.

It may seem obvious to some, but for Elysée combining the Bachelor of Commerce with studies in a language was a pleasant surprise.

“When I accepted my offer for the Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Advanced Studies, I did not actually realise I was able to select a second major outside of the Business School,” she explains. After discussions with an advisor, Elysée made her decision.

“I had just completed a gap year living abroad in Paris, France, and thought continuing my French studies in a university context would be a perfect way to not only maintain my French language skills but also expand my academic experience beyond the teachings of only the Business School.”

Two faculties, one combination

Elysée liked the idea of combining two majors that came with very different components to the study and examination process. Doing so helped her gain insights in practical ways.

“International business is intrinsically driven by an understanding of business operations across various cultures and contexts,” she explains by way of example. “I was able to study while gaining in-depth insight into French culture and practices throughout my French major.”

It was great throughout my degree to have the two majors ‘balance’ each other out and break up the monotony of only studying in one area.

Being able to collaborate with students across different faculties and majors was a bonus, making the interdisciplinary and practical approach to Elysée’s studies more valuable.

“I found the fact I was already coming from an interdisciplinary background really beneficial,” she says. “I was able to apply my knowledge from both the Business School and the School of Languages and Cultures, which really enriched my contribution in discussions throughout both of these subjects.”

“The interdisciplinary unit Industry and Community Project (ICPU), was definitely a highlight,” she continues. “We were able to use the cumulative knowledge from the early years of our studies in a real-world scenario.”

The advantage of working on a group project with the industry partner, Accenture, added to the insightful experience – and helped her secure her first job fresh after graduation.

Practical skills through student exchange and research

Elysée supercharged her degree with a semester abroad, soaking in the knowledge of international professors at the University of Southern California.

“It was great to be exposed to both business and language units of study from international professors at such a highly-regarded tertiary institution like USC,” she says. “And I definitely still applied a lot of the skills and knowledge I had acquired from the School of Languages and Cultures throughout the research process for my 30,000-word thesis!”

Now on the verge of starting the next stage of life after university, Elysée thinks fondly of her time studying two very different majors.

“The analytical skills of my commerce degree have enhanced the more creative and flexible nature of my French and francophone studies major,” she says.

When asked how her degree might impact her future career, Elysée has high hopes.

“I hope to work and live again in France one day, hopefully using my French skills in a business setting,” she says. “I think it will be really rewarding to see the benefits of my double degree come to fruition over the next few years of my life.”

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