Pros and Cons of a Bachelor of Commerce at ANU | Art of Smart


Now that you know all about studying a Bachelor of Commerce at ANU, what’s next? Before you decide to dive into the degree, how would you like a student’s personal perspective on the course?

We had a chat with Sophie, a third-year Commerce and Arts student from ANU, and she tells us about her study experience and a few things, decisively great or middling, you should know about the course.

Check it out!

Why should you study a Bachelor of Commerce at ANU?
Top 3 Pros of a Commerce Degree
Top 3 Cons of a Commerce Degree
Things to Know Before Starting an ANU Bachelor of Commerce
What Makes this Degree Different
Motivations for Studying an ANU Bachelor of Commerce
Potential Career Paths

Why should you study a Bachelor of Commerce at ANU?

One of the most valuable parts about studying at ANU is the connections you’ll fortify. Whether that’s through studying an overseas or internship elective, attending career information sessions held by the College of Business and Economics, or just talking with your teachers who are both industry professionals as well as academics, ANU offers many opportunities to build constructive relationships with future employers. Simply put, ANU holds a prestigious reputation amongst big employers that you can access! 

Other than that, ANU gives you one of the only universities in Australia that gives the cosy, “conventional” university experience. Sophie reflects on living on campus, telling us, “ANU more generally provides a holistic university experience. While Canberra may not sound appealing to move to, the ANU community is incredibly unique, welcoming, thoughtful and fun!

Social connections are equally as important as your career ones, and they often overlap. With the tight-knit community at ANU, particularly if you live on campus, you’ll definitely flourish and enrich yourself just by putting yourself out there.   

Top 3 Pros of a Commerce degree

#1: Internship and overseas electives 

When it comes to choosing your Commerce electives, ANU offers a few incredible experiences for work-integrated learning where you’ll ”complete internships or travel overseas for credit”. 

In the elective, Economics Internship Program, ANU pairs high-achieving Commerce students with industry partners, where the student will attend a workplace internship of 4 weeks full-time. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with professional colleagues and a workplace supervisor, and possibly continue working for that partner in the future!

There is an opportunity to attend masterclasses from academic experts and industry professionals in the elective, Special Industry Project. While working on a team project, you’ll get to demonstrate your problem-solving skills to a range of multinational corporations. 

If you’re up for an adventure, the electives, Global Business Immersion and Social Enterprise Experience, allow you to travel overseas to experience international business practices and environments. Selected countries include Dubai, Argentina, Germany and Japan. 

These electives are all quite competitive however, they are invaluable and worth trying out for!

#2: World-class teaching

Sophie tells us that when studying the course, you’ll receive world-class teaching from the staff and the College of Business and Economics in general. Despite ranking #6 in Australia for Business and Management Studies according to the QS World University rankings, ANU still ranks as Australia’s top university. 

ANU Bachelor of Commerce - Quote

#3: Flexibility to study cross-disciplinary topics

Once you meet all your core units, Sophie says that you “have the opportunity to integrate non-Commerce subjects studies” and minor in any subject that you’d like. For example, you can take 4 electives to minor in Australian Politics, Chinese Language, Latin or even Engineering Science.

Here, you can pick up a new passion or rekindle an old hobby. Not only does this make your study experience much enjoyable through diversifying your knowledge, you’ll work your brain in different ways and build upon your lateral thinking skills! 

Top 3 Cons of a Commerce degree

#1: Most large, private-sector internships tend to be in Sydney and Melbourne

“It can be hard to secure private-sector internships or work-experience in Canberra, with most Commerce-related internships being in either Sydney or Melbourne,” Sophie says.  

While Canberra makes for a tight-knit university community, it isn’t where most Commerce organisations are located. You may want to relocate between semester holidays for summer internships. This is changing slowly, however.

Consulting organisations like BCG and PwC have growing offices in Canberra, and many professional organisations are opening offices in Canberra, so it’s a great time to jump on the growing opportunities in Canberra,” Sophie adds. 

#2: Less majors 

There are less major choices compared to other Commerce degrees,” Sophie explains. “Compared to other Commerce degrees, ANU has a choice of 8 majors to choose from. However, it offers the common majors of Finance, Accounting and Economics, as well as growing areas such as Corporate Social Responsibility.”

If you’re looking for newer or more niche commerce majors, ANU’s choices for majors may not be right for you. In addition, studying certain majors doesn’t directly give you professional accreditation; for example, in an Accounting major, you will have to ask the professional bodies what units are required for accreditation and plan your electives accordingly. 

#3: No mandatory work-integrated experience

Lastly, there is less focus on work-integrated electives in this course. While ANU has many resources and opportunities for work experience, it’s up to you to put in the effort and most opportunities are competitive. 

Any regrets? What do you wish you had known before starting an ANU Bachelor of Commerce? 

No regrets thus far!” Sophie says in response to her study experience. However, Sophie has some valuable advice on what to do before starting your degree.

“Make sure you plan your degree in full before you start: map out what courses you plan to take for each semester of your degree,” she says. “Of course, this is likely to change as you progress through your degree, but it’s important to go into your degree with a rough outline of what you’re doing and when, to ensure you’re meeting degree requirements to graduate.”

This also includes planning what you want to do after graduation. “It’s also a good idea to really brainstorm where you see yourself at the end of your degree, and what majors or courses will help you get there,” she explains.

What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities? 

As ANU is located in Canberra, it has strong industry partnerships with both the private sector as well as the government. 

“ANU has incredible connections with private-sector and public sector organisations, providing unrivalled opportunities for experience and jobs that can count toward your degree. Take advantage of these opportunities early,” Sophie says.

“They will set you up to be ahead of the game when it comes to the important penultimate year internships that can lead to graduation,” she adds.

What inspired you to choose an ANU Bachelor of Commerce?

“I was always determined to study Commerce or Economics at Australia’s top university. Commerce at ANU gives students a competitive advantage over graduates from other universities by providing first-class learning opportunities, exposure to industry experience from, and the opportunity to build constructive relationships with future employers,” Sophie says. 

Summing up from everything she has said, Sophie chose ANU for the tangibility of the resources and pathways ANU offers.  

“Compared to other business schools, the College of Business and Economics (CBE) provides such a personalised and resourceful service to students, through their commitment to employment and extending learning outside of the classroom and into tangible workplace experiences,” she lastly adds. 

What are the possible career paths?

ANU Bachelor of Commerce - Careers

Depending on your major, as well as your electives or minor, there are a variety of pathways you can unfold while studying a Bachelor of Commerce at ANU. These include:

  • Business risk analyst
  • Auditor
  • Consultant
  • Marketing communications specialist
  • Accountant
  • Systems analyst
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Business development manager

Lynn Chen is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is a Communication student at UTS with a major in Creative Writing. Lynn’s articles have been published in Vertigo, The Comma, and Shut Up and Go. In her spare time, she also writes poetry.

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