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April 19, 2019, 03:20:35 pm

Author Topic: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 398312 times)  Share 

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Springyboy

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #450 on: December 04, 2018, 12:17:34 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ETC2420: Statistical Thinking 
Workload: 
1x 1.5hr tutorial per week
1 x 2hr workshop per week
Assessment: 

Computer Lab Exercises 20% - each week you submit a computer lab task in groups of 3-4 by Tuesday 4pm that is carried out in R. These tasks varied in difficulty, to being very easy and straightforward to quite complicated, especially in the Bayesian inference section. However, having some coding experience previously, I found these reasonable to work through, especially because the R interface is setup very well. The best 10 out of 11 of your computer labs contribute to your final mark. Overall, most groups did reasonably well in this, particularly due to the vast amount of information available online to help complete the labs.

In-workshop exercises 10% - In the workshops, there was always a task to do in the middle of learning content. Sometimes it was just a MARS poll, so participation was all that was needed to get the mark for the week. However, there were also quizzes and Rmarkdown files to download and complete tasks in, that required a bit more effort and time to get the marks. These all had to be completed within a set time limit, so it was always difficult to get the tasks done in time. Also, one of the R files had issues that were not noticed before the task was attempted, leading myself and one of the tutors assisting in the task to have to solve the code in lecture, which was quite annoying. That being said, as long as you've acquired some basic knowledge of R by week 2/3, then these tasks aren't too hard and it is relatively easy to get 10/10 for this part. Similar to the labs, the best 10/12 workshop scores count towards your final grade.

In-tutorial exercises 10% - Similar to the workshops, there are also quizzes/Rmarkdown files to complete in the tutorials themselves. These can be quite repetitive, but they are usually out to trick you so they are not too difficult to do. You work through these in groups, usually with the people that you are sitting with on your table, but class interaction is encouraged, so you can generally check with others around the room to make sure you are solving these tasks correctly. Like the workshop quizzes, they didn't seem to be too daunting, but they still have some tricks here and there, so it is crucial that you check through your answers before you submit them onto Moodle, as there are often tiny tricks or mistakes in everything. Like the workshops, the best 10/12 marks in your tutorials contribute to your final grade.

Exam - 60%

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: One sample exam provided with solutions, but past exams are available online

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook required as all resources are provided in Moodle including necessary textbooks for free.

Lecturer(s):
Catherine Forbes - Also chief examiner and unit coordinator. This semester was her first time taking the subject, so she did seem to struggle a little bit with teaching the content. That being said, I found the workshops she taught reasonably engaging due to all of the interactive activities that took place in them

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 87 HD

Comments:
To be honest, coming out of this subject I don't feel like I learnt that much new information. The course starts off with basic randomisation & simulation tasks, which are very similar to those done in VCE Methods/ some parts of ETC1000. Thus, if you have a good knowledge of these, then this part isn't that difficult, as it even goes to as basic as tossing a coin and working out what is a random throw of a coin and what isn't. The next part of the course is regression modelling, which covers model selection and interpretation, much of which is basically repeating what is covered in ETC2410, particularly with AIC/BIC/adjusted R≤ model selection. There are some new parts to the course, but these are relatively straightforward and easy to get your head around, as like the parts above, they are just model selection areas, so they shouldn't be too difficult to do, even if you've only done ETC1000 before doing this unit.

After this, the unit delves into Bayesian Inference, which to be honest should've had much more time allocated to it than just the 3 weeks that it was taught in. You start off with Bayes Rule and basic application of that, but then this evolves into prior/posterior models, Bayes estimators and loss functions. All of these are taught relatively quickly and not that concisely, so reading through the lecture slides and asking questions in the tutorials about these parts is paramount to understanding a full knowledge of these parts of the course. I had Lachlan and Frank as my tutors, and they were both very well learned with these parts of the course, so I'd recommend for sure to have them as your tutors if you're doing the course next year. From what I know though, the course is undergoing a bit of a revamp due to this being the first semester that Catherine has ever taught the subject.

Also, the unit heavily uses R in semester, although there is no R coding in the final exam. For most of the people studying the course, this is their first time using R (or even coding in general) , so it does seem to be quite a learning curve to understanding how to properly code in R. However, I had done some coding in the past using Java, so I found the learning curve to be not as steep, even though the R coding was basically taught via a "Google it" approach if you didn't know how to code something  :-\. Despite this, even though probably 70% of the workload I did in this unit was in R, if you constantly try and attempt the lab exercises to the best of your ability then you should be able to get through them reasonably smoothly.

Tutorials - The tutorials are done in the large rooms of the first floor of the LTB. They heavily focus on group interaction, which is great as I felt that I learnt a lot more in them than the workshops due to their collaborative setup. After doing the tutorial exercises that are explained above, the rest of the tutes are mainly dedicated to working on the computer lab exercises for the following week (if there's any time left in the tutes to do them). Therefore, they helped out a lot in understanding what the computer lab exercises were asking, as well as asking your tutors for any questions that you had about the content in general. Due to the tutorials consisting of about 40 students per tutorial (leading to there being only 5 tutorial options as a whole), then there are 2 tutors who are able to assist you if you have issues with coding the lab exercises for the following week or completing the in-tutorial exercises. I found these very engaging, as you had more personal interaction with the tutors to understand what was going on as a whole.

Exam - The exam consisted of 2 sections. The first section was 10 multiple choice questions, which were very similar to the sample exam questions, and were mainly designed to trick you as much as possible. The second section consisted of 4 questions, which ETC2420 students only had to choose 3, whilst if you are doing the masters unit ETC5242, then all questions needed to be completed. I found the exam very straightforward, as it was very similar to the sample exam, such that I felt like I was repeating my sample exam answers over and over again. Since only 3 out of 4 questions in section B had to be completed, I decided to skip the last question on Bayesian inference, despite having invested so much effort into studying for that section in-semester, as I found working on the CDF/PDF relationship much easier due to doing this unit at the same time as ETC2520. Due to this, I guess that the exam was designed in a poor fashion, as it made it very easy to score high marks due to the relative simplicity of the questions being asked. This may have resulted in the marking being done in a very harsh manner though, which led to my result being a bit lower than I expected. I expect that the exam may change in the future though, as from what I know most students came out of the exam feeling that it was way too simple.

Overall, this is not a difficult unit, so it is quite easy to do decently. The only reason I deducted marks from my rating was due to the way the course was taught, so if you are planning to take this next year (as it is compulsory for a data analytics/ actuarial science student for exemptions), then I'd recommend trying to practice some R coding before you start the unit, as once you realise that you have a 3-4hr lab to complete each week, then it is quite difficult to code unless you have a general understanding of R functions as a whole, even though they do teach you from scratch how to code. Also, from what I know, as said before the course is undergoing a revamp, such that some topics will be removed and a greater focus on Bayesian inference will be added. This will hopefully mean that it should be much more straightforward in the future to understand the coursework. That being said, this was my favourite unit of the semester, due to the relative ease at understanding the content, and my level of engagement in the R coding tasks.

Springyboy

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #451 on: December 04, 2018, 07:14:04 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BFC3241 - Equities and Investment Analysis 

Workload: 
1x 2hr lecture per week
1 x 1hr tutorial per week

Assessment: 
10% mid-semester test
25% group assignment
5% tutorial participation
60% exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture and live streamed

Past exams available:  One practice exam provided with solutions

Textbook Recommendation:

This unit uses parts from two textbooks to support itself, which made it a bit confusing to follow what needed to be read. The first book
Bodie, Z., M. E. Drew, A. Basu, A. Kane, and A. J. Marcus. 2013. Principles of Investments is not necessary, as the lecture slides in detail explain all that you need to know for when it is used.

The second book, which is used from weeks 4-7 only is Business Analysis & Valuation by Palepu et al. I found it to be very useful for the assignment, which is based on content learnt in weeks 4-7, as it gave in-depth steps for accounting & financial analysis in particular, which made it easy to follow the steps by reading through the textbook's explanation. Paul posted a PDF link on Moodle for the book at a reduced rate for the chapters covered, however Monash library also has access through ProQuest, which enables you to download certain chapters at a time. Doing this repetitively enabled me to obtain all the necessary chapters for the book, which helped to save costs throughout the unit. You can download this book at the link here.

Lecturer(s):
Paul Docherty - Also unit coordinator and chief examiner. Delivered lectures 1, 8-12. Very engaging teaching style and easy to understand. Loved how in the last lecture, he was in a moon boot and still able to deliver the lectures at a very high standard, regardless of any pain that he was in.

Viet Cao - Ran lectures from weeks 2-7. A bit tricky to understand, and also she frequently used the document scanner to explain details of the course (particularly the different security lines and their graphical interpretations), but that was still done in a slightly confusing manner. However, I still understood most of what she delivered, even if the content was a bit dry.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: D

Comments:

I found this unit to be a perfect introduction to the third year finance units at Monash. Having only done Foundations of Finance and Corporate Finance 1, I was worried that I would struggle to understand the advanced content that may have relied on other finance units (such as derivatives). Despite this, although there were some references to the Black-Scholes-Merton model (which is covered extensively in Derivatives 1), I found that doing this unit without that prior knowledge was enough to understand what the explanation was trying to tell me about the application of the model.

Also, Paul is an excellent lecturer, and made the course very easy to understand for the parts that he lectured. I'd definitely recommend to do this unit in your second year like I did, if you're interested in a finance elective, as the course was not that challenging to understand and has a lot of real-life applications in the future, particularly with writing an Investment Analysis Report.

Tutorials - The tutes were pretty standard, you just went through the exercises that were all posted on Moodle at the start of the semester. They run one week behind lectures, such that wk 5 content is covered in your week 6 tute for example. One week was dedicated to group presentations, where each group presented a 5 minute pitch for the stock and its 2 competitors that they were writing an investment analysis report on. To earn your 5% tutorial participation mark, all you needed to do was try to assist your tutor once in a while to answer the questions being covered in the tutes, which is pretty straightforward as if you've prepared the questions beforehand, then you should easily be able to score 5/5 for this assessment task.

Mid-semester test - This was done on Moodle, with 1.5 hrs to complete it with one attempt only allowed. This covered knowledge from lectures 1-5. I found this to be pretty straightforward, although all of the questions were multiple choice which made it a pain to put in so much effort for just one mark to click in on your computer. However, there were a couple of tricky questions here and there, so I'd recommend putting some effort into studying before doing this test, as I didn't do any study before it but still did alright.

Group assignment - This was where I really found the workload of the unit to be 3rd year standard. Groups of 3-4 students formed in your tutorial session had to write up a 3000 word equity analysis report on a stock from the Healthcare sector, as well as compare it to 2 other peers that had a similar market capitalisation or PE ratio and were in a similar market to your main stock. The choosing of the stocks were a bit tricky, as I was unsure which peers perfectly matched my main stock. This proved to be a partial detriment, as I scored less than I anticipated on the assignment due to stock selection. Also, the workload for this assignment is immense. I had 2 days at the end of the week before the submission date on the Friday, where I stayed up until 2am finalising financial statements and working out calculations for items that had to end up in the final report. Therefore, I would strongly recommend to start as early as possible on this, like around week 3 or 4 of the semester, such that you have enough time to put everything together and not have to rush too much to complete it. That being said, the assignment was also ordered to be marked harshly to reflect the standard of an investment analysis report that someone in the industry would produce. Due to this, marks were normally around the 60-75% range for groups, reflecting a tough 3rd year assignment.

Exam - The exam consisted of 6 questions, 4 of which came from the second half of the course from weeks 7-12, with 1 question for weeks 1-3 and 1 question for weeks 4-7. I found this to be reasonably straightforward, although there were some tricks here and there. 2 hrs time was allocated for the exam, which I found to be just enough time to finish all my questions and have a quick skim over my answers. That being said, focusing on Paul's lectures from week 7-12 is crucial to ensuring you do well in the exam, as 2/3 of the exam is dedicated to his content, meaning that if you understand the majority of his content then you should be set for the exam.

Overall, this was a really well-taught unit, and for sure the one that I found to have the best lectures for the semester. The course was not that difficult, although the group assignment took me 3x longer than I had for any other group assignment in the past. That being said, this is a really nice finance elective, and if you started your finance major in 2017 or earlier, I'd definitely recommend it, as the content is not that tricky to get your head around. Although it was only the second time that the unit was taught under the 3rd year standard, it is relatively well-written and prepared such that most students should be able to do relatively well in it. From 2018 onwards it is compulsory for a finance major though in commerce, so be sure to do it straight after BFC2140 (Corporate Finance 1) and BFC2751 (Derivatives 1), to understand its linkage to corp fi and derivatives as much as possible.

Springyboy

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #452 on: January 06, 2019, 03:49:04 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: BFC2340 - Debt markets and fixed income securities 

Workload: 
1 x 2hr lecture per week
1 x 1hr tute

Assessment: 
10% tute participation
30% mid-semester test
60% exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: None provided, and sample exam that was given on Moodle is irrelevant as it's from an old course that does not follow the same structure as the current one

Textbook Recommendation:

Fixed Income Analysis, Third Edition - This is the prescribed textbook, and something that you have to get, either in PDF or hard copy, as the lecture slides do not allow you to get a full grasp of the content for each week. Additionally, there are set readings from the textbook each week, so this is a necessity as you cannot rely on just the lecture slides themselves.

Lecturer(s):

Zhongyan Zhu - Also the chief examiner and unit coordinator of the unit. It was his first time taking the subject, and you could see that in terms of the content delivered in the lectures. All of the lecture slides were taken off online sources, and from what I could tell were not his, so they were often riddled with errors that had to be corrected. In addition, there were a number of times that explanations provided in the lectures were not succinct and made it even more difficult to understand the content. In the future, I hope the slides change as this unit was immensely difficult to understand due to the lecturer delivering slides that weren't his.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: D

Comments: Give your overall opinion of the subject, lecturers, assessment etc. and a recommendation, plus anything else which you feel is relevant.

Although the content of this subject is relatively straightforward, the way it was taught made it very difficult to comprehend. Due to this being a complete revamp of the previous semester's content, the course was immensely difficult to understand at first. But once I started reading the textbook more, and attempted the questions provided, then it was far easier to make sense of. However, the amount of material provided to study is not enough, so in the future I hope a sample exam is provided which reflects the content taught in this semester's work.

Tutorials - The tutorials were pretty standard, you just go over the questions set for the week before's content (i.e. content from week 1 is covered in week 2 tutes and so on). There wasn't much room for discussion though, as the 1hr timeframe isn't enough to comprehend all the coursework. Despite this, I would strongly recommend attending every tute, as there is a 10% tute participation mark, which is relatively simple to get as long as you participate to your best efforts in the tutes by answering questions and providing insights when you can.

Mid-semester test - This was held in your week 6 lecture slot, and consisted of 30 MCQ's and 6 short-answer questions to be completed in 75 minutes. I found this reasonably straightforward, as the first-half of the course mainly revised a lot of things from corporate finance before adding on some extra parts such as calculating the full price and clean price of a bond, and some additional theory. I wasn't really pressed for time, however do be advised that most of the questions for the test come from the tute questions covered in previous weeks (lectures from weeks 1-4 and tutorials from weeks 1-5), so if you study and memorise them then you should be fine in terms of answering questions on the mid-semester test. Most people did well on this, with the average being 70% and median being 72%, so if you revise all the lecture content from weeks 1-4 then you should be fine.

Exam - This is what has left a bitter taste in my mouth, and is the reason why I delayed writing this review for some time. The exam consisted of 21 short answer questions, which comprised 180 marks to be set in 2hrs. Originally the content was supposed to be from lectures 5-12 (not including week 6, as this is when the mid-semester test was held), but Zhongyan was kind enough to remove any content covered in week 12 from the exam as it was mainly on portfolio management of bonds, which is higher-level content that he thought was a bit challenging for most students to comprehend. Tbh, I thought I did alright for this, but in the end my mark was far lower than I expected due to marking issues. However, if most students study well for this, then they should be fine, as most of the questions were taken out of the textbook or were similar to ones in the lecture slides. The main difficulty with this was this is the first unit I've ever taken where not one proper practice/past exam was provided to revise from. Due to this, there was a large fear of the unknown, as you didn't know what parts of the course would be asked on the exam, and in particular how the questions would be phrased. The mark allocations were also a bit weird as well, as there was a 32 mark question on the exam for example, which I reckon could've been compressed into a 15-20 mark question. As a result, for the exam I'd just suggest for you to pace out your answers and try and answer the questions as best as possible. The other trouble was that for me in particular, the exam booklet itself (where you were supposed to write the answers), contained no lines so it was difficult to write out everything in an acceptable standard considering the stress I was under in completing the questions.

Due to this, I'd suggest that if you're taking this unit, then try and get the textbook as early as possible to comprehend what the course is about. Additionally, due to this course following all of the CFA exam sections on Fixed Income (in particular levels 1 & 2), then additional material from those areas is key and helps to comprehend the subject in a far easier way. If you can get access to CFA questions or CFA past exams, then that will help a ton, as even though the majority of those are multiple-choice questions, they provide far more detail on the topics covered in the course than just what the textbook provides.

sonnyangel

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #453 on: February 24, 2019, 01:28:25 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ACC1200 - Accounting for managers 

Workload:  One 3hr seminar every week
- Work through a provided workbook with discussion
- Organised into groups from the first seminar

Assessment: 
50% internal
10% weekly quizzes
- Need to watch a series of videos to be able to access the quizzes
- Itís assumed that youíve watched these before the seminar but you can usually still follow in the seminar if you donít
- 5 multiple choice questions which are relatively easy

10% 3 reflective notes
- Required to respond to three questions that vary for each reflective note
- Not too difficult but answering the questions in depth in the 200 word limit is a bit challenging

10% group assignment
- Done in the organised groups
- Required to come up with a business proposal and create a series of financial statements
- Overall, it doesnít take too long but start early as it can take a while to balance all the financial statements

20% Two tests
- First one was a combination of short answer and application questions
- Second one included MC, short answer, and application questions
- Not difficult if you understand and remember the content

50% exam
- Similar to workbook questions, same difficulty
- More focus on the weeks that are not covered on the tests (last few weeks)

Recorded Lectures:  Seminars are not recorded.

Past exams available:  Practice questions were provided but no practice exams.

Textbook Recommendation:  Accounting for Managers, 2nd Ed. Canít remember if it was optional but the online SCORM videos refer to it. Found it helpful (think it was specifically written for this unit) although it goes into more detail than required.

Lecturer(s): TK and Bob Cornick

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: This is one of the two options for the core accounting unit for commerce and I think itís the slightly easier one (especially if you havenít done VCE accounting) as there is less focus on the technical aspects of the financial statements. You learn briefly on how to write all of them, interpret them, and their uses. The content can be a bit dry at times and the last few weeks were harder than usual but itís not too difficult if you stay up to date.
2018: Commerce / Information Technology @ Monash

sonnyangel

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #454 on: February 24, 2019, 01:32:08 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: ECC1000 - Principles of microeconomics 

Workload:  One 2hr lecture every week and one 1hr tutorial every week

Assessment: 
40% internal
10% weekly online APLIA quizzes
- Due after you learn the content
- Can be a bit tricky sometimes, especially in the last few weeks, but mostly okay

10% tutorial participation
- 50% of this is attendance, 30% tutorial questions, and 20% participation
- Questions are from the Principles of Microeconomics textbook and you can use either the 6th or 7th ed
- Tutes may be before the lecture but you get full marks for the tutorial questions as long as youíve shown that youíve attempted them all

20% mid-semester test
- 20 MC questions
- Kind of hard but easier than the exam imo
- There are a few questions where you need to interpret the graphs

60% exam
- Found it very hard
- MC and 3 application questions
- Application questions were about the different market structures, I found these difficult
- Required to draw and interpret graphs

Recorded Lectures: Lectures are recorded with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Previous yearís sample exam was provided but the chief examiner has changed since then.

Textbook Recommendation:  Principles of Microeconomics. Canít remember if it was compulsory but the tutorial questions are in the textbook and you can use either the 6th or 7th edition. Found it helpful but did not show how to calculate things in depth so maybe refer to the lecture slides for these.

Lecturer(s): James Bugden

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: C

Comments: Overall, it was a pretty interesting unit to take and we learnt about how buyers and sellers respond to certain factors in a market and the effect of this. The content gets significantly harder in the last few weeks when youíre learning about the different market structures but if you understand the theory and the graphs then you should be okay. I skipped most of the lectures for this unit and I think you can manage without them up until the topic of the market structures. I had Abby Zhang for my tutes and she was very good at explaining the content each week.
2018: Commerce / Information Technology @ Monash

sonnyangel

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #455 on: February 24, 2019, 01:58:56 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: FIT1047 - Introduction to computer systems, networks and security 

Workload:  Two 1hr lectures every week and one 2hr lab every week
- In the lab you work through a set of questions related to the content from that week and they're usually pretty helpful

Assessment: 
50% internal
5% weekly online quizzes
- 5-10 MC questions
- Answers can be found in online textbook or lecture slides, not too hard

22.5% assignment 1
- First part is based on logic circuits
    - If you know how to build a circuit on Logisim, youíll be fine
- Second part is based on MARIE assembly language
    - Pretty difficult and initially confusing
    - The coding tasks are a lot harder than anything they teach you in lab, they basically make you code a mini search directory
    - You can get help in PASS classes
    - Make sure you comment most of your code
    - There are actually no marks for part 2.6.4 so don't worry if you don't do it
    - Try and start this assignment as early as you can to give yourself time to learn MARIE

22.5% assignment 2
- A lot easier than the first assignment
- The first part is the survey
    - You basically test three or more access points (sources of Wifi) at eight different locations in one building
        - E.g. I tested my home Wifi, neighbourís Wifi, and a phone hotspot in different rooms in my house
    - The report is 600 words and if you donít know the unit content, you can learn what you need to know for the report as you go pretty easily
- Part two involves analysing an article and answering a few questions
- Basically all writing and no coding

50% exam
- There is so much content on the exam, it really does go through all the topics from Week 1-12 but more briefly
- Very very similar to the sample exam (layout and question style)
- Can cram all the content in SWOTVAC if you have to but try not to
- Includes a few small MARIE coding questions

Recorded Lectures: Lectures are recorded with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Sample exam provided

Textbook Recommendation:  Digital textbook provided, pretty helpful but can go into more depth than required. For the most part, I found it more helpful than the lecture notes.

Lecturer(s): Carsten Rudolph and Guido Tack

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: This is a core unit for all IT students and most people find it kind of hard. There is so much information provided that it can be pretty difficult figuring out what is important and what is not (e.g. most history related info). My advice is just to learn the main terms and their definition/main purpose as the exam mostly covers theory and anything that isn't theory, you would have done in the first assignment. The first assignment is probably the hardest thing you'll do in this unit so be as prepared as you can for that!
2018: Commerce / Information Technology @ Monash