What does life look for you now?
I’m a 5th year electrical engineering student studying at UNSW in Sydney. My current, soon to be graduate, job is working as an derivatives trader, i.e., I buy and sell financial contracts that derive their value from an underlying asset (for example a company). Weird sounding work, but I promise it’s a lot of fun.
I try to spend my free time doing the most fulfilling things I can find. This could be with friends (many from Radford), or alone.
Tell us what you are passionate about?
I’m passionate about technology - it just absolutely thrills me. I’ll share one example.
I’ve spent more than half of my university years in a solar racing team. We were a group of students that built a solar car over 18 months, then raced it from Darwin to Adelaide. At one point a few members of the team and I took the car around for a ten-day tour of NSW schools (see pic above). We talked about solar and renewables, and encouraged students to engage with the idea of sustainable engineering. It was hard to stop me talking.
When you were young, what were you hoping to be when you grew up?
In Year 10/11 I wanted to do medicine and be a doctor. It was the thing to aspire to if you were a smart student. While completing some work experience, I discovered there was no maths involved - which was a problem.
Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Radford or now?
Elon Musk. Without a doubt an unoriginal answer, but for good reason. The man is a visionary and a leader. He embodies the spirit of using technology to better the world.
How easy was it to decide what to do in life?
Easier than I expected. I tossed my grand plans out the window in Year 12 and decided I needed experience and advice. So I did things and I talked to people - life had a way of falling into place after that.
Did your further study or career go exactly as you'd planned?
If anyone tells you it goes exactly as planned, they’re feeding you lies. I have one- or two-year goals which go approximately as planned. Then an opportunity or setback pops up and I make the next goal.
What do you know now, that you wish you'd known when you were at Radford?
You’ll never have so little responsibility and so many friends in one place ever again.
What advice do you have for current students?
- Talk to people who work the job you want to work
- Seek experiences that align with your goals
- Strive to help the world in some way
Anything else that you would like to share?
Particularly for engineers, university is an amazing place for experience beyond coursework. Your GPA is much less exciting to an employer than your side projects. I’ve worked on building electric bikes, solar cars and autonomous drones. I’ve interned at a self-driving car company and a stock market company. Though my grades have trended downwards (I plot them on a spreadsheet of course), the interest I’ve received from employers has only increased.