I chose the University of Sydney after hearing a lecture given by Tyrone Carlin who happens to be an incredibly charismatic professor. That lecture settled it for me because it demonstrated the quality of the education I would be receiving, how the Business School uniquely engages with industry and offers such excellent education.
The Bachelor of Commerce has helped me in many ways. Academically it has equipped me with the skills and knowledge I needed to be successful at an investment bank, and the Finance major helped with my CFA preparation.
The intangible skills borne not just from the degree but also from engaging with the University of Sydney campus life and ecosystem is something that is far and above the best preparation for life after study.
In 2016 I started my career at Deutsche Bank in Asia in their Sales & Trading graduate program, after successfully interning with them in 2014. There I worked across a range of different roles including Fixed Income Sales, Structured Credit, Distressed Debt and finally as a trader/structurer in emerging markets special situations.
It was around 2020 when I was put in contact with the CEO of Prezzee, and in the end I decided to give up quite a lucrative career to take a chance at the digital gift card startup as employee #38.
I originally joined Prezzee in the unique role of Manager – Commercial Operations, which was created after some negotiation around what the business needed. I was in this role for about 8 months before being promoted to another unique role, Group Executive – Strategy & Governance which allowed me to focus more on the strategy and governance of the business as it had begun to scale to around 50+ people by that time.
With my success in preparing the company’s strategic plan, I was then finally promoted to Head of Strategy. Overall, the impact on the company’s direction I have had over the last two years as it has scaled is something I would never have had if I was still in finance.
Try and be strategic with what you want out of your time at the Business School because it will be over in an instant. Try and sample as much as possible on the one hand, but quickly try and figure out what "fits" with you the best, because then you can spend the rest of your time honing your expertise in that area, and that will help you substantially more when you go into the workforce.
There's a couple of themes that I have been quite interested in.
My diplomatic mission to Timor-Leste with the organisation the Order of Malta has really demonstrated to me how impactful social enterprise could be. To see the real tangible impact we are having on a country through our free medical services, to the scholarships we provide to those that could not afford it really moved me.
My background in finance, especially my exposure to derivatives, has always kept me very interested in FinTech and the developments around things like blockchain technology and how that can be used for novel applications.
So, I see my next move at the intersection between those two things, social entrepreneurialism and FinTech.