NEXT STEP: Nicole Bradley, the 2018 recipient of the CQUniCares Mastermyne Group Scholarship.
NEXT STEP: Nicole Bradley, the 2018 recipient of the CQUniCares Mastermyne Group Scholarship. Rainee Shepperson

Position kick-starts career for Mackay student

NUMBERS have always been Nicole Bradley's strength.

During high school, accounting was Ms Bradley's favourite subject, and now in her final year studying Accounting at CQUniversity, the mature aged student has just been awarded the CQUniCares Mastermyne Group scholarship.

The scholarship provides the recipient with the incredible opportunity of a paid position working at Mastermyne in her field of study. Receiving the scholarship is a huge honour for the mum of three who has been studying for the past five years.

"I love accounting. I think being a mature aged student and starting later means that I really have a passion and know what I want to do," Ms Bradley said.

"This scholarship is going to give me so much experience and it will give me a huge jump when I go to apply for a graduate position.

"The contacts I will gain will help me as well. Mastermyne has a large finance team and everyone has different strengths, so learning underneath them is something I'm looking forward to the most."

Ms Bradley completed an internship at Mastermyne previously as part of her university placement and loved every minute. Coming back to the organisation in a casual position is an exciting next step.

"I'll be starting my role as a trainee accountant this week and I'll work three days each week," Ms Bradley said.

"I love the culture here, it's really inclusive in how they learn, you can learn off anyone.

"I'm looking forward to developing my skills. You can learn everything at Uni but until you're actually working you don't get to see all the different aspects involved and how what you've learnt is put into practice."

Before beginning her uni degree five years ago, Ms Bradley worked as a beauty therapist for several years. Studying in her 30s was a challenge with three young children but setting a positive example for her kids has always been a priority for Ms Bradley.

"I started studying part-time when my youngest was at kindergarten," she said.

"It was hard juggling kids and life and study, but I wanted to set an example for them and show them what can be achieved with hard work."

Ms Bradley is certainly an example of a hard worker. With an average grade of a High Distinction at university, the 32-year-old is determined to put her skills to good use and become a commercial accountant.

"I need to learn financial accounting first, which is what this scholarship at Mastermyne will teach me, and then I'd like to get into management accounting," Ms Bradley said.

"I really like the finance team here so it would be great to be offered a permanent position at the end of my degree."

Last year's scholarship recipient, Megan Brunker, graduated from CQU earlier in the year and was offered a permanent role at Mastermyne in the Human Resources department.

Ms Brunker said her scholarship was instrumental in helping her achieve her goals.

"I can't stress how important it is for university students to take opportunities and apply for scholarships," she said.

"The Mastermyne scholarship has changed my whole career. I am not even a year out of university and I am working for a reputable company in the industry that I studied."

Gaining practical experience while studying helped Ms Brunker to "join the dots" when it came to applying her knowledge to real life scenarios.

"I was able to apply what I was learning to the workplace, which was really important for me," she said.

"I was also able to network and make contacts and learn skills from industry professionals.

"I think that is what led to me being offered the permanent role at Mastermyne after I finished my degree."