Look at graduates of PPE degrees from Universities around the world, and you quickly realise they go places. They are in the top tiers of government, are editors in media, and directors of research institutions. Rewind a bit, and Liam was looking through course offerings, thinking about what to study at ANU. PPE stood out, and an article in The Guardian about the calibre of people who had done it in the UK convinced him it was worth a shot.
“The course itself was quite interesting. The best course I did was ECON3056: PPE integration 3 which was effectively an economic history course, explaining how an off cut of philosophy transformed into political economy which then became economics, which really rounded out my degree.”
In PPE Integration 3, students are asked to consider the origins of economics, and to use a range of humanities disciplines to find the answer, charting the development of economics as a branch of moral philosophy, into political economy, and finally into the modern quasi-scientific discipline that exists today.
Liam is now graduating with a double degree, a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in finance from ANU. Moving from a little farm near Ballarat in 2017, it took hard work to come to Canberra and support himself. He worked at a local paper in Ballarat to earn the money to come to ANU, and continued to work over summers to fund his accommodation at Johns College. The hard work paid off, and he came to ANU, making friends and meeting people with a diverse array of interests and study fields.
“My most fond memory of ANU would have to be dunking on my friend Jason at the ANU basketball courts for the first time. It was funny and a great achievement.”
He was also able to fund an exchange trip in 2019 to Madrid in Spain.
“Madrid was great. It was the first time I had travelled by myself - which was a great experience. I got to visit The UK, Croatia, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and many places in Spain. It was a great experience and I think I was incredibly lucky to have it especially since covid has made travelling difficult.”
The subsequent pandemic has made travel difficult, but Liam still encourages students to pursue those opportunities when they’re possible again. The opportunities for exchange open a wealth of possibilities for study and personal growth, and Liam recommends students consider the support available from the University to allow them to take those opportunities.
Liam’s experience at ANU has an important message, that whatever you think you’re good or not good at, let your interest guide you and take the opportunity for growth head on.
“I struggled with maths in year 12 but I find finance to be very interesting - so I tried to get a finance major. I did the introductory course and then decided to do the hardest compulsory finance subject, and if I could do that I would do a major. I passed that and now have the major which is a personal achievement based on where my skills lie more in humanities and writing.”
Liam is now working for international professional and finance advisory firm KPMG in a technology risk role.