Wilson Hua

Bachelor of Information System (Co-op) (Honours), 2017

Thesis project: Internet celebrities of China

Currently Academic, UNSW Business School, School of Information Systems and Technology Management and Entrepreneur at Breakthrough.

Wilson is currently completing his PhD whilst lecturing with the School of Information Systems and Technology Management at UNSW Business School and working on his start-up, Breakthrough. Breakthrough is a business that aims to facilitate the communication of scientific knowledge between subject matter experts and the public. Prior to his academic and entrepreneurial career, Wilson worked as a Risk Consultant in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

What made you decide to take on additional Honours study?

“The Honours program was built into my undergraduate study, but I knew many students dropped the Honours component. There were two factors that motivated me to continue pursing Honours: the prospect of travelling for your thesis and the consideration of a career in academia.

During the internships in my second year, I realised that there were a lot of different industries that I could step into, but a career academia was never obvious. It was only until my 4th year in study, whilst being a tutor that I realised how much I enjoyed tutoring, and I was curious about the prospect of balancing an entrepreneurial lifestyle with research. This was something that I can do with a career academia and the Honours program was a great taste test.”

What was your favourite thing about Honours?

“There were two stand out areas in my Honours year: being able to go overseas to travel for research and data collection on my thesis topic, which included interviewing YouTube celebrities and immersing in the culture; and submitting my paper that to attending a conference in South Korea.

Overall I enjoyed the whole process and journey of Honours and the thesis. It wasn’t just the outcome that was important but the entire embodiment of it – the study, the research, the travel, the conference and being able to make the experience exactly what you like.”

What was some of your biggest learnings from your Honours program?

“My biggest learning from Honours is to be prepared. There were a lot of different components to Honours from learning the skills of how to conduct research, to how to analyse the data, to completing the ethics application for research.

In particular, the ethics application can determine whether the research can happen. If my ethics application wasn’t completed correctly or in a timely manner, I would not have been able to travel to collect my data. My supervisor was very helpful in guiding me from the very start.”

How do you think that Honours helped with your career either when finding your first job or later on in your career?

“Honours helped me immensely in both my current careers in academia and as an entrepreneur. Whilst a Business undergraduate degree tends to gear you to think of big companies and industries like the Big 4 as careers, Honours gave me the perspective of an alternative career path in teaching and research which I may not have received elsewhere.

Honours provided the foundational skills for academia, and it is a great introduction to the process of research. Outside of research and analytical skills, I also learnt how to project management effectively. Completing a thesis was like a snippet of what entrepreneurship was like where you need to create your own project roadmap and plan out your own timelines and goals. This has helped with my start-up business in Breakthrough and the business idea of Breakthrough was directly inspired by Honours and my thesis.”

Any advice for students who are considering taking an Honours year?

“I would advise students who are taking the 1-year of Honours or considering taking Honours to make the most out of it and try to make it the best outcome as possible for yourself.

Honours and a thesis can really be about anything that you want and are passionate about. I would advise to find passion and interest in a topic, and then start reaching out to potential supervisors who can help guide you and answer any questions.”


Find out more about the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) program and the Bachelor of Information Systems (Co-op) (Honours) program