Richard Conomy grew up in Melbourne and enlisted into the Australian Army at the age of 22. He served on a recovery effort in the aftermath of Cyclone Larry in 2006, on a stabilisation force to East Timor later that year and on a mentoring task force to Afghanistan in 2012. He is happily married to his lovely wife Krystina and they have three amazing children, Arminius, Xander and Helena. Read on for Richard’s UNE experience…

In 2013, while working with Army, I was volunteered to be the Treasurer of our unit social club and while successfully improving the clubs financial position I found that I enjoyed the role. In early 2014 I decided to attain an accounting degree, spent a few months looking into the idea and commenced part time study for a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Professional Accounting and Applied Finance at the University of New England in August 2014.

I chose UNE because of its strong position in distance education and particularly the strength of the UNE Business School.

I was also impressed with the rural and agricultural focus of the university with Armidale sharing many characteristics with my home town of Toowoomba.

Studying online requires a great deal of discipline over many years and it took a lot of effort but I managed to complete the required subjects within 4 years and maintained a strong GPA throughout. The weeks leading up to the exams and major assignments were always the hardest on myself and my family, but the results often made up for it and I was proud to receive several academic awards while a student at UNE. The areas of study I enjoyed the most were financial accounting, macroeconomics, corporate law and financial statement analysis with the ‘Rockstar’ Dr John Anderson.

Last year I transferred to part time work to focus on completing my degree this year. It is a great feeling to have completed all my subjects and I look forward to joining all the other graduands at Armidale in October to celebrate our achievement.

My plan is to gain industry experience in the financial planning and accounting sectors and in the future, I would like to pursue a Master of Science (data science) with an intent to bring together areas of portfolio theory and management, macroeconomic indicators and fundamental equity analysis into relational databases for investment purposes.