Football triumphs and financial heights 

13 February 2024
Yanni Plataniotis, Bachelor of Commerce (2023)
From the football field to investment banking, Yanni Plataniotis' journey underscores the power of persistence, passion, and seizing opportunities.
Yanni Plataniotis

Yanni Plataniotis

Yanni Plataniotis has seen firsthand the opportunities that academic and sporting excellence can bring. An all-rounder since he was a young boy, Yanni's persistence and dedication has seen him score winning goals on the football field, achieve academic excellence and earn prestigious internship and graduate roles. 

Yanni originally studied for a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws, majoring in Finance. However, he boldly decided to focus solely on his Commerce degree after receiving an employment offer as an Investment Banking Analyst with Jefferies’ General Industrials and Financial Sponsors team. 

"Whilst I was enjoying the law aspect, I was truly passionate about corporate finance and decided to follow this path."

Pursuing immersive educational experiences

As an intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), he worked within the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Corporate Advisory Team, spending over a year and a half learning from industry leaders. “This passion I had developed for M&A and Corporate Advisory from my internship and university subjects such as FINC3013: Mergers and Acquisitions and FINC3015: Financial Valuation: Case Study Approach,” he explains. “Both encouraged me to consider a career in Investment Banking.”

My degree from the Business School provided me with an essential foundation in finance, economics, and business principles. Financial knowledge and networking opportunities are two key examples of how the Business School has helped prepare me for my career.
Yanni Plataniotis

The networking opportunities enabled by the Business School and finance societies, such as the Business School External Stakeholders Evening and University Network of Investing and Trading (UNIT), allowed Yanni to connect with leading alumni and industry professionals. These events made an influential impact in his university and professional development.

Where football drives finance

A big believer in extra-curriculars, Yanni engrossed himself in sports, teaching and societies to amplify his university experience.

The majority of his time was dedicated to the First Grade Men’s Football Team for the University, which competed in the New South Wales Premier League. Yanni represented and captained the Men’s Football Team at the University Nationals in 2022 and 2023.

Yanni Plataniotis playing football

His achievements in the Elite Athlete Program (EAP) meant he was re-awarded the combined University of Sydney Business School and Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness Scholarship for Outstanding Academic and Sporting Achievement for three consecutive years. 

“The impact of the scholarship, from the perspective of the EAP, is bespoke when it comes to supporting student-athletes in managing the demands of elite sport and academic loads and achieving on both fronts.”

As a student of many facets of life, Yanni was also involved in BusinessOne Consulting, UNIT and the Sydney University Greek Society. He also became a Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Facilitator in the Business School. “This has allowed me to give back to the university, providing first-year Business School students an extra opportunity to excel.”

Advice for new students

As Yanni reflects on his studies, he encourages students to seize every opportunity at university. For him, football offered a unique opportunity to build lasting connections with colleagues and defined much of his time at university. 

“If you get the opportunity, definitely consider going to Unisport Nationals. My experience representing the Men’s Football Team was incredible, forming lifelong friendships and memories.” 

Actively involving himself in Business School and university-wide initiatives also enabled a wealth of opportunities to learn about the industry and connect with like-minded peers and alumni. 

He urges students to study what they’re passionate about and to stay persistent in the face of getting their foot into the door – through internships, networking events and achieving academic excellence.

It does not matter whether you are in your first or final year of study, persistence to do well at university and to apply at numerous firms, despite ongoing rejection, will maximise chances of success in the long-term.
Yanni Plataniotis

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