Peter (Leiyu) Wang
Why did you choose to undertake an Honours year?
During my bachelor degree, I became passionate about the world of accounting, especially auditing. Different from a Master degree, Honours degree allows me to focus on my interest area not only through coursework but also extensive research. For the three years of the bachelor degree, we were taught “things” from our lecturers, but I am always wondering if I can discover new things and develop new skills by myself. The Honour’s year gave me the opportunity.
What was your Honours/research topic?
The Impact of Disclosing Key Audit Matters on the Audit Expectation Gap.
How was your Honours year different from your undergraduate degree?
In Honour’s year, we need to apply the knowledge we have learnt in a specific context to undertake research. Although it is supervised, we need to conduct the research independently. In bachelor degree, the lecturer gave us the questions to answer, but for Honours degree, we need to design the question first and then think about the answers. I still remember the only thing I did for the first few months is to find a research topic. Also, unlike a bachelor degree, most of the courses provided by Honours degree are related to research design and are not tested by examination.
How did your Honours year fit in with your lifestyle?
During the Honours year, I spent most of the time reading academic articles and books, highlighting and taking notes in order to gain a full picture of my research field. For some students, Honours degree is a challenge that is exhilarating and stressful. However, for me, the degree offers me a perfect work-life balance. Except for the courses that were prearranged, I was able to be flexible in terms of my daily schedule. I can choose when to study and when to take a break as long as the works can be completed on time.
What specific skills did you learn from your honours that you can apply to your current workplace or job?
After the Honours year, I have gained the skill on how to find sources of accurate and reliable information to use in projects and reports and how to solve the problem more efficiently. This is because, during the year, I had to overcome a number of problems, for example, a difficult topic or hard-to-meet deadline.
What did you enjoy most about doing honours?
To me, completing an Honours degree is rewarding. I have been very lucky in having the opportunity to undertake an Honours degree. I have gone through a significant amount of personal development and learning. My day may seem somewhat mundane to the outside viewer, but having the opportunity to read great literature, try to write something that might contribute to my interested area, and be tutored by world experts in their field, is something I enjoyed most.
How has it helped you get a job / helped with your career?
After Honours’ year, I have been equipped with some highly transferable skills in critical thinking, research design and project management, which increased the employability. Honours degree also proves that you have ambition, self-discipline, and organisation. Those skills are highly valued by the employer.
What advice would you give to someone looking to undertake an Honours year?
You will write a better research paper if you choose a topic you are really interested in. Further, it will make the research process more fun and engaging for you. If you have trouble thinking of subjects, start by recalling your bachelor study. Ask yourself: was there any particular courses you completed that interest you? If yes, was there any specific topics within that courses that you feel most passionate about?