Fourth-year student Matthew Jacob plans to make the most out of his time at ANU while he’s here on a sought-after Tuckwell Scholarship.
The Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (BPPE) was one of the main reasons behind Matthew’s decision to come to ANU, as well as the scholarship and opportunity to move away from his hometown in Sydney.
“I had never heard about the BPPE until a friend of mine introduced me to it, and after I did some research I realised it was exactly what I wanted,” says Matthew.
“It’s unique in the way it’s taught as three disciplines working together, which is best embodied in the seminar classes, where the disciplines are all meshed together in one synchronised way as opposed to being taught separately. It’s surprised me how much the subjects overlap and work together. The BPPE gives me the flexibility to approach problems from different aspects that you wouldn’t normally study if you were studying just economics, or just politics.”
As a Tuckwell Scholar, Matthew receives not only financial support, but mentoring and various other activities with his fellow scholarship students.
“This scholarship was always about so much more than just the finances, it was the whole program of enrichment. There’s a group of 25 each year, and we’re so close together as a cohort. It’s opened so many doors for me.”
It’s not all about studying though. After an internship he took on last year, Matthew worked in the office of Federal MP Andrew Leigh.
“It was fantastic, and it gave me a way to apply some of the skills and theories that I've learned in class in a real political environment,” says Matthew.
In between work and study, Matthew also competes in the ANU Debating Society (which so far has taken him to Melbourne, New Zealand and Malaysia), works with local Canberra high school students through the Raising Hope Foundation and plays lots of sports including Inward Bound, soccer and basketball. Phew!
Soon he will be going to China for a summer school arranged by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, which he is “tremendously excited for”.
And if you haven’t figured out exactly what you want to do when you start at ANU, Matthew’s advice is not to worry.
“With your degree, don’t be afraid to chop and change. If you’re not enjoying something, change it. If you think there’s something you might enjoy, try it for a bit. There’s so much flexibility at ANU that you can always tack on something else, you’re never locked in.”