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Where a double degree in business and law can take you

Digital marketer Hellen Ho wouldn’t be where she is today if not for the real-world work opportunities she had while studying her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws.

Hellen worked as a ‘student consultant’ for digital marketing agency Synq Digital as part of Deakin Business Development Clinic, a new elective similar to an internship or work placement.

Shortly after graduating, Hellen, who majored in marketing during her double degree, got back in touch with Synq Digital to find out whether any work opportunities were available.

Thanks to the connections she’d made as a student, she was able to secure a two-month SEO/social media internship. This soon led to the digital marketing role she’s in today, managing a team of three people in paid social.

‘It is essential if you’re working in an office, particularly digital marketing, to have strong soft skills,’ Hellen says.

‘The internship helped strengthen my analytical, problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills. Having used these skills in a real-world, hands-on setting helped me put these skills into practice and improve at a faster rate once I started at Synq.’

Hands-on work opportunities for business and law students

Both business and law students at Deakin have the opportunity to get work experience with real clients during their studies, through the Business Development Clinic and Deakin Law Clinic. As a student of the double degree, Hellen was lucky enough to have access to both.

‘I undertook the law clinic unit, and thought it was really good, and after hearing there was a business option available, I was very keen to try it out,’ Hellen recalls.

The unit required students to use their strategic thinking to help the ‘client’ grow an area of profit. Hellen enjoyed learning in a way that ‘wasn’t just answering questions and writing essays’.

‘When completing the law side of my degree I remember writing a statement of claim as an assignment, which is a task solicitors do as part of their day-to-day role. When I was completing one of my marketing units, I had to develop a marketing strategy as a mock task, so you’re completing tasks you would complete if you were working full-time in the industry,’ she explains.

A double degree provides the perfect mix

It’s no surprise Hellen ended up working in marketing after completing her degree, as this was an area of passion for her from early on.

‘I always feel gravitated towards marketing, and I have always found it really interesting. I made this decision to choose it as my major after completing the core marketing unit,’ she recalls.

Despite this focus, she chose the double degree in both business and law as she saw studying law as a way to boost her skills and knowledge in business.

‘I knew early in my degree I didn’t want to be a lawyer, but I thought it might be a good opportunity to strengthen my analytical and problem-solving skills,’ she says.

‘I had heard great things about Deakin’s double degrees and thought the two paired well. Having a legal background combined with business is definitely useful in a marketing setting as we need to be conscious of what we can and can’t say, especially when putting together advertisements, we don’t want to mislead the audience.’

Contrary to what some might think studying law in high school isn’t a prerequisite to entering a law degree. Hellen’s favourite subjects in VCE were Economics and Business Management – and she didn’t actually study Law.

‘I’d like to manage a larger team and gain more experience in more areas of digital marketing like conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and email marketing,’ she says.

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