A unique business clinic providing real-world consulting skills has opened a career pathway for Deakin commerce/law graduate Hellen Ho.
The Deakin Business Consulting Clinic is a hands-on small business consulting program that gives Deakin Business School (DBS) students real-world consulting experience while providing businesses with professional advisory services.
Hellen, who recently completed a double Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degree, participated in the clinic as a “student consultant” to real-world business client Synq Digital.
She says their three-student consulting team first studied the seven-lever framework with DBS Professor of Practice Pete Williams, learning how the framework assists a business to grow its profitability.
‘We then met and interviewed our client to get solid understanding on what services they offer and how their business model worked. From there we applied the framework to their business and later outlined a recommendation on how they can improve one of their seven areas of profit,’ she explains.
When Hellen completed her final Deakin exams, she contacted Synq Digital to enquire about any internship opportunities.
‘I had a passion for marketing and was eager to get some experience in the rapidly growing field of digital marketing … within a few weeks I was offered a two-month SEO/social media internship that has now moved into part-time digital marketing position,’ she says.
Hellen’s role with the company is in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) team where she helps implement the company’s SEO strategies and plans for its clients.
‘Our goal is to help clients improve their organic rankings on Google. My tasks include keyword research, on-page optimisation on key landing pages, and writing blogs for link-building. I love working on different client accounts as it keeps the work interesting and varied,’ she says.
She says studying a double commerce/law degree played an important role in strengthening her essential ‘soft skills’ that are vital for workforce employment.
‘My law degree required me to think critically and analytically, while my commerce degree had an element of creativity in units such as Consumer Behaviour,’ she explains.
As part of her law degree, Hellen also participated in a Deakin Law Clinic and says Deakin’s emphasis on practical skills and industry experience is a huge bonus when it comes to consolidating valuable employee attributes.
‘Deakin’s teaching and learning provided practical, real-world assignments that reflect the workforce … this helped us experience what we’d be doing after graduation.’
While she acknowledges that a double degree can be challenging, Hellen says making the most of Deakin’s opportunities – such as workplace learning, overseas study tours, student societies, academic competitions and challenges – ensures the workload is both manageable and enjoyable.
‘The experience I gained from both the Deakin Law Clinic and Deakin Business Clinic gave me the opportunity to showcase and reinforce the soft skills I learnt throughout my course. This has now led me to securing an industry role with the opportunity to grow my career.’