A university scholarship can change the direction of someone’s life. It can empower them to make choices about their future, helping shape their purpose in society. But, when a global pandemic hits and jobs are lost or students are forced to provide for their extended family, a scholarship can be the difference between someone surviving the tough times or not.
For recipients of the Frank Finn Scholarship, this year, like many other students, has been their toughest year yet. COVID-19 has impacted their incomes, study delivery and job stability. Since 2009, two scholarships were awarded annually, but thanks to the long-term generosity of our donors, eight students have benefitted from the Scholarship in 2020. With this support of passionate donors behind them, the students have not only overcome the challenges faced by the pandemic, but continued to excel in their education. They share their stories.
Bachelor of Business Management / Bachelor of Commerce, final year
Prior to COVID-19, I was working two jobs to help support my family and me. But with the pandemic, my hours were reduced and it became quite a challenge to get by. It was quite a stressful time for me as I had to search and apply for other positions while balancing my studies. However, this scholarship alleviated some of the financial pressure for me during an already challenging year (as this is also my final year in my degree). As a result, I was able to focus more on my studies and the most important aspect of university – learning. Continuing my studies and achieving the Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence this semester would not have been possible without this generous support as I was able to fully immerse myself in my studies without the looming stress of worrying about financial stability. I am extremely grateful for this support.
Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Arts, final year
Having the scholarship this year has been a huge blessing to me. With my Dad suffering from a degenerative motor neurone disease and my mum taking on the role of a full-time carer, I am partially supporting my family so money is pretty tight, even in a normal semester. On top of this, the pandemic also meant that I lost my part-time casual job. This scholarship allowed me to purchase a much-needed new laptop, support my family and pay a portion of my HECS-HELP loan – something that would simply not have been possible without it. By not having to worry about finances, I was able to be fully dedicated and focus on my studies, and as a result, did very well academically. I am so thankful for the generosity of the scholarship donors and I could not be more grateful to be chosen as a recipient of the Frank Finn Scholarship.
Bachelor of Commerce, final year
The Frank Finn Scholarship has played a pivotal role during one of the toughest years of my degree. It has enabled me to remain a full-time student during these trying times, by providing much needed financial support for my tertiary education. In 2021, I will be starting my career as a graduate analyst in Goldman Sachs, Sydney. One of the requirements for commencement with the firm was a completed undergraduate degree, which would not have been possible if I had to reduce my educational commitments to support my family financially. However, the scholarship has enabled me to do so and I am extremely grateful to be one of the recipients of the Frank Finn Scholarship.
Bachelor of Business Management / Bachelor of Commerce, second year
The Frank Finn Scholarship has been notably beneficial for me this year. This is not only because of the financial pressures that arose due to COVID-19, but also the disruption to the standard delivery of courses. Financially, the monetary value of the scholarship has given me the stability and peace of mind to keep my attention focused on my studies. Mentally, I have been more motivated to remain committed to my studies and have more easily adapted to the online delivery of my courses. This is the first scholarship that I have been awarded on academic merit, and this recognition of my hard work has helped me to receive high distinctions for all three of my courses in Semester 1, 2020. I am thankful for all of the support that this scholarship has given me thus far and I am looking forward to the commencement of Semester 2.
Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Economics, fourth year
Having this scholarship means I could continue my university studies this year without deferring. Earlier this year my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and I thought I may have to defer and seek full-time employment to help with my family while my Mum underwent treatment. However, the scholarship has helped me by relieving the stress of losing my income due to COVID-19 and allowing me to focus on pursuing my studies. It has also paid for my personal expenditure and has also helped my family with paying for household expenditures. I don’t have the stress of finding part-time work, so I am able to focus on my education and I am enjoying my studies much more. The scholarship has reassured me that there is always help available to those who work hard; I am very grateful for this. Finding out I received the scholarship will be one of my favourite moments of this year.
Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), graduated Semester 1, 2020
The most important benefit of this scholarship was giving me the financial security to continue my studies without having to seek additional employment. My hours were cut this semester, and without the scholarship, it would have been difficult to continue my studies with the same level of dedication without the assistance of the Frank Finn Scholarship. My favourite UQ experience was being selected as one of the top 100 future leaders in Australia earlier this year in the GradConnection competition and also doing numerous student consulting projects with the Business, Economics and Law Faculty, and student societies. I am currently in the process of moving to Amsterdam for my graduate job.
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) / Bachelor of Commerce, second year
This scholarship has helped me immensely and I cannot express how excited I was to find out I had been selected as a recipient. Not only does this help me individually, but it impacts my whole family, who have done their best to support me in my academic studies. The moment the scholarship benefitted me most was around the start of the semester when I realised it was time to pay tuition. As a permanent resident of Australia, I cannot receive a HELP loan, and therefore I have to pay my fees upfront. You can imagine how relieved I felt when I realised I could pay my fees without having to worry about what would happen if I incurred other expenses.
Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Economics, third year
By being awarded this scholarship, it has significantly lightened my financial burden and has allowed me to focus more, and maintain, a good academic performance at university. It has enabled me to find the balance between work and study, which I believe has helped set me up for the future upon graduation in 2021. The moments where I have felt this scholarship has made a significant impact on my studies is during the examination periods. As a full-time student who is also working full-time, I have always endeavoured to find the ideal work-life-study balance and this scholarship has allowed me to do so. I have been able to take more unpaid leave from work without worrying too much about the financial implications to focus on my studies and to also look after my health and wellbeing.
About the Frank Finn Scholarship
Each year, the Frank Finn Scholarship is awarded to up to 10 domestic students enrolled in a full-time Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) program. In 2020, the number of students benefitting from the scholarship rose from two to eight thanks to the generous support from donors.
Established in 2008, the scholarship is an endowment fund recognising Professor Frank Finn’s lifetime of service to the University and to the field of finance. Professor Finn held several positions within the University including Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Economics, Head of the School of Commerce, and Director of Studies at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.
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