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The benefits of Commerce Honours: Josh's story

18/01/2021 |

Josh McEvoy


Josh is a Bachelor of Commerce student completing his honours in Finance. Honours is an intense and rewarding extra year for high achievers after their bachelor’s degree. We caught up with Josh to find out how it’s going.


What made you decide to continue with honours instead of going out into the workforce?

I decided to continue with honours for two simple reasons. 

First, throughout my undergraduate degree I was able to develop an understanding of the broader business framework, and honours allowed me the freedom to deep dive into a topic that particularly piqued my interest.

Second, an honours degree is a valued differentiator in today’s competitive employment market. 

From my several internships I was frequently reminded by partners and graduates of the desirability of completing an honours degree.

What did you write your honours dissertation on?

I chose to focus my finance honours dissertation on the stock market performance (“resilience”) of environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) stocks in Australia during the COVID-19 crash.

Why would you recommend honours to a third-year Commerce student?

Overall, honours offers students the freedom to explore a topic of interest and the opportunity to further their employability. I would recommend all students to strongly consider an honours dissertation at UWA.

While it is a challenging year, with the support of staff and comradery shared with your cohort, your honours experience is sure to have a positive impact on your university experience and professional career.

What challenges should they be aware of?

Honours is a challenging year. It is no easy feat to complete a thesis in 12 months. Nevertheless it is manageable. It is important to organise yourself and your work early.

If/when you get stuck, take a break. And most importantly, it is vital to maintain your extracurricular activities as an escape.

Have you heard anything from employers about their perceptions of honours graduates and those without the extra year?

From my professional experiences in the finance industry, I have always been encouraged to complete an honours dissertation. While my network acknowledges that it is not a requirement, it is preferred. It is an additional stamp of quality and proof you are capable of achieving success under pressure. It also provides an interesting topic of conversation during interviews and helped me secure an Investment Banking Analyst position at Goldman Sachs, starting in Sydney this February.



Thinking about honours?

Find out how to apply for honours and read more about courses available, entry requirements and average starting salaries.

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