From a young age, Deakin student Emma Dixon knew that she wanted to study law.
With some practising lawyers in her extended family, Emma was familiar with the profession – and interested in it – but she also wanted a career that would give her a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
Emma is now in her third year of a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce degree after deciding that the combined degree would broaden her skills and enhance her employment opportunities.
‘I wanted to expand my understanding of business and its interactions with the law and people,’ she explains.
This year Emma has further extended her studies by undertaking two international study programs with the Faculty of Business and Law.
In March she took part in the prestigious Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong and Vienna before travelling to China a few months later to study at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE).
SWUFE is one of Deakin’s key university partners in China and it’s ranked in the country’s top 75 national universities with research and teaching in applied economics, finance, theoretical economics and management.
‘I was very excited when I discovered the SWUFE program because it also meant I could complete a compulsory unit for my marketing major in a two-week intensive,’ she says.
Emma travelled with 16 other Deakin undergraduate students who are all completing marketing units across a variety of business and combined degrees.
‘Being able to observe and experience the different strategies in a real life context, as opposed to learning them from a textbook, was invaluable. Of course Australia and China also have important commercial connections which will continue to develop. The industry and cultural insights I gained from this trip will enable me to better adapt to globalised professional roles I will hold after university,’ she says.
Emma chose to study at Deakin because it offered her the choice of multiple campuses and study flexibility.
‘I began my degree at the Geelong Waterfront Campus and then moved to the Burwood Campus at the beginning of my second year. I’ve also undertaken subjects online which has allowed me to fit in more extra-curricular activities and achieve a greater work-life balance. I’m really enjoying the learning flexibility - for example, I can choose to study in T3 which inevitably decreases my workload throughout the typical academic year.’
A high-achieving student, Emma is also the recipient of a Vice Chancellor’s Academic Excellence Scholarship which means that she has more financial flexibility for participating in international study experiences.
‘I love that I can undertake international experiences which are credited back to my degree and I’m currently planning on a semester abroad in the UK in 2019,’ she says.
International travel has always been a part of Emma’s life and before she completed primary school she’d started compiling a list of the countries she’d visited.
‘Travelling to and/or studying in another country is one of the most enriching, inspiring and practical activities we can choose to undertake. Experiencing life in another country makes you a more thoughtful, understanding and non-judgemental person. All of which are attributes that can be carried over into your personal and professional life,’ she reflects.
In addition to her studies, Emma is currently working as a paralegal with one of Australia’s top commercial law firms, Clayton Utz, where she’s gaining valuable, hands-on legal skills.
She plans to continue building on these skills with the added practical experience that’s offered through the Deakin Law Clinic and the Legal Internship unit.
‘While I’m not 100% decided on what I want to do after graduation – and I’m still open to going down the commerce path – it’s more likely I will work towards becoming a practising lawyer.’