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How to study and run your own business

Meet Lee, successful hotel franchisee, father of three (soon to be four), and Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) student.

While building his career in the hotel industry, Lee realised an accounting-shaped gap in his skills set, and the Master of Professional Accounting with Swinburne Online was the perfect fit.

Never too late

Lee shows us the importance of continuous professional development, no matter what stage of your career.

I studied a general business degree straight out of high school, but more recently I felt that I lacked knowledge relating to the accounting side of running a business,” says Lee.

Lee lives in Newcastle, NSW and owns two Quest Apartment Hotels with his wife, brother-in-law and sister-in-law. His 15 year career with Quest has taken him all around Australia; first to Canberra, then Adelaide, taking on his first franchise in Maitland, followed by Dubbo, before finally settling in Newcastle.

Our Maitland business was twice named NSW Franchise of the Year, and our Dubbo business won National Franchise of the Year in 2015.

Leveraging off this success, Lee decided postgraduate study would help fill his accounting skills gap.

“It had been over 12 years since I had last been to university. The resources online definitely helped with finding the right balance,” he says.

Swinburne Online allows Lee to work full time and study his postgraduate degree part time. Lee and his wife work together while raising their young family, so flexibility is the key to making Lees study dream a reality.

“I can log in whenever I want. Running my own business means things pop up that are out of my control and need to be dealt with straight away. I can also make study work around my family commitments,” Lee says.

The next step

Lee and his family are currently preparing to welcome their fourth child, with Lee planning to continue juggling work, family and study. Lee is aiming to use his MPA to take the next step in his career.

“I want to continue to run my own businesses, but I would love to be involved in the investment side and sourcing new locations for properties. I believe my MPA will give me the confidence and the required skills to move further into this area,” says Lee.

“And if I ever decided to leave the hotel industry, I believe that moving towards an accounting career would open me up to better professional opportunities in the future,” Lee says.

Learn more about what our Master of Professional Accounting can do for your career.