This post is the first of our series about the individual experience of studying with UNE Business School – we’ll be talking to current students, graduates and alumni over the coming months. If you have a story to share, or know someone who does, let us know via email.
Bachelor of Economics, UNE Feb 2010 – Oct 2015
Master of Economic and Regional Development, UNE Feb 2016 – Feb 2018
Priscilla has achieved a lot while studying at UNE, and we’re pleased to have had the chance to sit down and hear about just how many different things a person can pack into 7 years – turns out there’s study, work, travel, fixing the world, launching a business and more. Priscilla checked in from Newcastle, where she’s just finished Trimester 2, and like so many of our external students, is cracking on with the next thing (or several things).
What strikes us particularly about Priscilla’s decision to study Economics is the ways in which she’s used the experience to drive her into such a broad range of other work. Growing up in regional NSW and discovering a love for Commerce, Business Studies and Economics in high school lead her straight into the arms of a Bachelor of Economics with UNE. Initially considering the city for study, Priscilla made the decision to stay regional with UNE and hasn’t looked back, even after a relocation to Newcastle in the second year of her undergraduate degree.
For a lot of our students studying online allows for a lot of other things to happen alongside getting a degree. For Priscilla, fitting study into her life rather than the other way round has been the best thing about studying with UNE Business School.
There’s no way I could’ve been studying this long if I had to attend classes, because I’ve worked full time the whole time. External study is hard, and it takes a lot of discipline, but I love that I get to live life the way I want to and still be able to study”
Studying away from campus doesn’t mean Priscilla isn’t getting to know her lecturers, either; she shares with us a few of her favourites – Dr Shawn Leu, “because he’s the greatest at explaining things”; Dr John Kellett, “because he’s the toughest marker in the world and when he gives you a good mark you feel like a god” and Dr George Chen for a “stunningly perfect explanation of negative externalities” that she still remembers from 2010.
As an undergraduate, Priscilla was Vice President of SIFE (now Enactus) and won a scholarship from SIFE and UNE to go to the SIFE World Cup in America. The first time overseas included meeting people from all over the world and seeing the World Bank and IMF Headquarters, stand-out experiences from the trip.
The move from undergradute to postgraduate study was motivated by a feeling that Economics still held skills and experiences to be unlocked, and has lead Priscilla on her greatest adventures yet – a move she’s happy to call the best decision of her whole life, leading up to the dissertation she’s currently enrolled in.
Her Masters experience has been shaped by a semester-long visit to University of Copenhagen, Denmark – earlier this year, Priscilla pack her bags and moved to the other side of the world in search of pastries, Danish language and the chance to learn from of the world’s leading behavioural economists. Special thanks go from Priscilla to John McKinnon in UNE International as well as UNE Business School’s own Dr Stuart Mounter for approving the overseas study – going global to study is an experience of a lifetime, and has given her that push into feeling she can truly call herself an economist! The idea for her dissertation, currently in progress, came from a professor in Copenhagen who Priscilla is excited to share her research with in future.
Priscilla’s strong passion for people-based economics has lead her to a pretty awesome range of roles, and she’s shared with us the gigs she’s got right now:
Nudge Crowd Australia – Community Manager
“Nudge Crowd is essentially a contest-based crowd-sourcing platform that connects behavioural economists with businesses and governments to help them solve all sorts of problems, and I manage the Australian arm of the company. Behavioural economics is my passion, so this is a really great way for me to share what I’ve learnt with others by running workshops; collaborating with talented researchers on case studies; and gaining some valuable experience working with governments and businesses all over the world. Plus, the company is Danish, so it might help me get a Danish working visa in the future (because let’s face it, that place is home for me now).”
End Rape On Campus Australia – Data Analyst, Ambassador
“End Rape on Campus Australia is a not for profit organisation that works to end sexual violence at universities and residential colleges. My role within EROC is really varied, which I love. My primary role is data analysis, which has seen me liaise with organisations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, The Hunting Ground Australia Project and Fair Ground Australia, as well as working on a number of published reports and newspaper articles. In addition, I get to work alongside some amazing women, fighting for a cause that I really care about. The great thing about EROC is that I get to use economics in a setting that isn’t a typical ‘economics job’ so it’s cool to be doing something really different and challenging.”
Floozy Coffee Roasters – Co-Founder, Head Roaster
“Earlier this year my best friend and I decided to open a coffee roaster, and now we supply specialty coffee all over the world. Our main mission is to raise the profile of women in the very male-dominated coffee roasting scene, and it’s been really well received so far. Of course economics is useful when running a business (hello supply and demand), but I also find it really interesting to learn about the economic development of the regions where our coffees originate, and the micro financing options available to our farmers. It’s an area I’d love to explore in future research.”
Other than that, Priscilla is still working as a hairdresser 3 days a week, which she observes has very little to do with traditional economics, but it is a great way to network! She’s quick to note:
Economics is useful for so many things; you don’t have to be focused on finance or be pursuing a capitalist agenda to love it, or be good at it.
We’re excited to see what comes next for Priscilla – we’re looking forward to hearing more about her dissertation as it progresses, and to cheer her on as she finishes up what has been an awesome Masters, built on top of a strong undergraduate degree. Keep up to date with her and us via our blog, and in the meantime, pop over to Floozy Coffee Roasters to see what all the fuss is about!