Kate Gilkison: on gaining a holistic understanding of business

By Seth Robinson

The Graduate Certificate in Business (GCB) offers professionals from a variety of backgrounds the opportunity to study online and gain a business qualification. We spoke with GCB student Kate Gilkison to find out how she’s applying business skills to her career in the development sector.

Kate Gilkison studied Arts and Foreign Languages in her undergraduate degree, before going on to a Master of International Development. After graduating, she went on to work in the Development sector, and education and training.

Kate Gilkison
GCB Student Kate Gilkison

‘I’ve always had an education focus to my work, particularly in cultural awareness training and research. Last year, I participated in a program called the Observership Program, which places you as a board observer with a non-profit organisation, in my case, at Oxfam Australia. That experience really highlighted for me how important it was to have that grounding in business functions, to have those basics in financial accounting, microeconomics, etc, so I can have an understanding of how the business operates.’

Kate sought out a program that would give her the opportunity to learn about business, that would equip her with those fundamental skills, while allowing her the flexibility she needed as a working professional.

‘I chose the Graduate Certificate in Business (GCB), because I thought it would give me an overview of business as a whole and allow me to zero in on the areas I was most interested in. At the moment, I’ve just started my second subject, which is on the Economics of Markets and Organisations, and I already feel like my perspective has changed. It’s like someone has shone this light on aspects of life, that I can now look at through this new lens and understand why decisions are made the way they are, or why people prioritise certain things,’ she says. ‘Last term I did accounting, which I had never studied before. I thought it was so well organised, and so well structured that it made it very easy for me to approach this content I had never engaged with before. I think the online format works really well, and the quality of teaching has been really key.’

Think the Graduate Certificate in Business might be right for you? Find out more and apply here.



Kate also believes there will be applications for her GCB studies beyond her professional life.

‘For me, part of taking on this graduate certificate was not just about applying it to my work life, but how it changes the way I approach life holistically. I think it’s going to help me understand the set-up of my personal finances, or the stock market, looking at budgeting and the cost benefit analysis of everyday life. There are all of these benefits that extend far beyond my professional life, and those are really important to me as well.’