After another successful year, the Women in Business (WiB) Ambassadors are back to support the uplift of women across business disciplines and degree stages.

The primary role of the WiB Ambassadors is to contribute to gender diversity and support the uplift of female participation in undergraduate disciplines in the Business School, where females are typically underrepresented.

Each year, several UNSW Business School students take on the duties of WiB Ambassadors. They run UNSW Business School’s equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, take on responsibility for major events such as the Girls in Business Camp , and advocate for gender diversity. Through the program, ambassadors engage with current and future students to assist them with their career aspirations and share their personal experiences in uni-wide events. 

As part of this year’s ambassador cohort, our six new WiB Ambassadors share their thoughts about their university journey so far. 

Margarita Psaras, Bachelor of Actuarial Studies (Co-op)

Dream career: Working in financial services and data analytics.

What made you pursue your degree?

During high school, I wanted to become a doctor, but I realised that maths was more for me. I saw the words “actuarial studies” on a poster in maths class and asked the school careers adviser about it. It seemed intimidating because the field requires advanced concepts applied to the real world. What urged me to apply was the multiple career paths, and the transferrable skills that I could learn. I soon learnt about the social impact that actuaries can create, which is what made me continue in my pursuit. 

What are you looking forward to the most in your career?

The constant learning journey. Transitioning from uni life to being a full-time professional is a challenge, and having to keep up with what is going on in the industry will be even more so. The tools, programs, processes that we use now will not be the same in years to come. Keeping my mind open to new things will help me develop myself personally and in my work.

Margarita Psaras

Arneet Kalra, Bachelor of Actuarial Studies

Dream career: To be a certified Actuary, preferably working in the Big 4 accounting firms.

What made you pursue your degree? 

In high school, I thoroughly enjoyed mathematics and economics, but I didn’t want to focus on one career pathway. I wanted to pursue a career in a field that challenged me and allowed me to diversify my understanding. This prompted me to pick Actuarial Studies as my degree which combines economics, business concepts, mathematics, probability, statistics and coding.

What inspires you to champion gender equality and female representation? 

In high school, I studied Extension 2 Maths, and in my class, there were two girls and 22 boys. Some of the girls in my cohort had the potential to study this particular subject, however, they didn’t pursue it. This along with knowing the heavily male-dominated nature of the Actuarial and Business industries has pushed me to vocalise and champion my desire for gender equality and female representation. I have always believed that women should come together to support one another to strengthen each other. This will assist in breaking stereotypes and pushing each other to succeed in this evolving world. 

Arneet Kalra

Jessica Mackay, Bachelor of Commerce (Finance)/ Bachelor of Advanced Science (Psychology)

Dream company environment: An environment where I am surrounded by inspiring people who strive to achieve their goals.

What inspires you to champion gender equality and female representation?

I am constantly inspired by exceptional women and it encourages me to step up and be a leader. I am honoured to be one of the WiB Ambassadors not only to be an advocate for women, but to implement ways to improve gender diversity. I want to encourage others to be wholeheartedly and holistically involved in university life and to empower women to become influential figures. I look forward to being at the forefront of positive change for the UNSW community.

What advice would you give to your first-year self?

Hunt for the best food places on campus – definitely Yallah Eats around lower campus or Laksa Delight at upper campus! Beyond food, say hello to new people in class, join a society, attend events, find a good parking spot, find your favourite study spot and say yes to new opportunities. Take advantage of all UNSW has to offer – you are so fortunate to be at one of the best universities in the country!

Jessica Mackay

Lara Murray, Bachelor of Commerce and Science majoring in Finance and Chemistry 

Dream company to work for: Finance role preferably in a Big 4 Bank

What made you pursue your degree? 

I knew that I wanted to study something with mathematics. Commerce stood out because of the mathematics component. After attending open days, I learnt that a commerce degree is applicable to other areas in my life - it makes me think about how to maximise my investments to generate income and how I can add value to other people’s lives. While the finance/chemistry combination may seem odd, I am interested in both fields, and they allow me to develop an analytical mindset that I can apply to future work as a financial analyst. I might even be able to do financial analytics for science firms!

What advice would you give to your first-year self? 

There are so many things that university can offer, but it is up to you to take these opportunities. At the same time, don’t forget to be proud of what you have achieved because first year is tough! University life is driven by you, so it is important to celebrate the small wins like handing in your first assignment.

Lara Murray

Jessica Huynh, Bachelor of Commerce (Business Analytics, Accounting) / Economics (Econometrics)

Dream company to work for: Definitely a company that supports a good work-life balance!

What inspires you to champion gender equality and female representation?

I have a broad interest in pursuing a career in auditing, consulting or even as a business analyst. Despite the wide range of roles available in business, I feel that women continue to be underrepresented. In fact, only 36% of students who studied HSC economics in 2021 were female. As a WiB Ambassador, I can encourage future students to break the gender norms to lead in business related fields. 

What are you looking forward to the most in your career?

I’m excited to meet a diverse range of people that you wouldn’t meet in an academic setting and intrigued to learn more about their personal experiences throughout their career. I look forward to utilising the skills I have developed throughout my degree and extracurriculars to take on greater challenges in the workforce both independently and in a collaborative setting. I know there will be many instances of my future career where I can use my academics skills and my experience as a WiB Ambassador, so I look forward to personal growth.

Jessica Huynh

Yvonne Stiasny, Bachelor of Commerce (Management)/ Bachelor of Information Systems

Dream company to work for: Somewhere I can make an impact and am constantly challenged. Great company culture is something I value, and this doesn’t end at the workplace; culture should include the desire to support the wider community. 

What inspires you to champion gender equality and female representation?

I’m inspired to champion the breakdown of biases, especially gender biases, in the workplace. I think it is pivotal to confront our perspectives, understand why there is underrepresentation, and empower women with the tools to succeed. I believe it is about education and visibility, to push for a world where everyone can thrive.  

What are you looking forward to the most in your career?

I’m looking forward to learning and growing and seeing the business landscape evolve. I’m excited to see new developments, especially in technology, and how I can be a part of innovation. I’m really looking forward to overcoming challenges; hopefully, this wouldn’t be just a personal effort as I’m also looking forward to finding allies who support one another in their careers. I’m also excited to reach a point within my career where I can share my collected wisdom and support others’ growth. 

Are you a female Year 10, 11 or 12 high school student in New South Wales with a genuine interest in studying Actuarial Studies, Banking & Finance, Economics, or Information Systems at the UNSW Business School? Are you ready to start exploring your future in business?

Registrations for the Girls in Business Camp 2022 are now open - register here now:

Find out more about this and other Women in Business initiatives here

Yvonne Stiasny