HeyU Issue 17 - 17 October 2014 - Page 4

After 30 years working as a chartered accountant, USQ student Camilla knew it was time for a change. Before she started study, Camilla was concerned about the distance and time difference between Australia and South Africa (Australia is 8 hours ahead). She has discovered that studying online means that the time distance doesn’t matter… as long as she remembers to submit assignments by 4 in the afternoon of the due date, she’ll meet the Australian deadline! Camilla’s job is demanding and she describes night time as her ‘oasis of calm’, when she can immerse herself in studying for her Masters of Editing and Publishing degree. Camilla is a mother, grandmother, works and studies full-time and is the honorary treasurer for a children’s hospital in South Africa, where she lives. In the past, she has worked as an auditor and a lecturer, but for the past 18 years she has worked as a forensic accountant, investigating fraud, corruption and corporate crime. She continues to work full-time and is a partner in a ‘big 4’ accounting firm. ‘Despite having long and stressful days, I find that I am so invigorated when getting into an assignment or some research that I tend to stay awake too late and then battle to go to sleep.’ Camilla made the decision to continue working while she studied for financial reasons, and sees her second career (starting her own digital publishing business) as her ‘retirement’ plan. She maintains a healthy work-life balance by being disciplined and making sure she leaves the office at a reasonable hour so that she has time to study. While she regrets not being able to spend as much time with family and friends as she would like, she reminds herself that it will only be for a short time and the end result will be totally worth it!