Beginning at the University of Tasmania, Simon Baptist's career has taken him all over the world. After completing his undergraduate in Hobart, Simon has studied a PhD in Economics at Oxford University, worked for an environmental economics start-up in London, and is now based in Singapore with world-leading economic consultancy The Economist Intelligence Unit.
"I knew that the University of Tasmania had good departments in the areas I wanted to work in, so asked if it would be possible to do (both Economics and Science as a combined degree). That flexibility and contact with academics you can get in a smaller university was a draw. I liked that the degrees were structured in a way I could take a variety of subjects in the early years and explore," Simon said.
Studying at the University of Tasmania had its advantages for Simon, as he got involved in a range of extracurricular activities, from sports and academic, to political and social societies.
Coming out of (University) being able to do things like speak in public, chair a meeting, organise a conference or motivate a team have been really helpful in my career, and it was these out-of-lecture experiences that developed those. Not to mention all the great friends I made and fun I had.
After pursuing his master's and PhD at the University of Oxford, Simon joined a start-up called Vivid Economics, started by fellow Oxford economics students. The start-up focused on environmental and development economics.
"The chemistry from my undergrad came in handy along with the economics! But it was also rewarding because we were helping governments to design good policy and helping major global energy firms to play a more constructive role in climate action, which was good for their shareholders and also the planet," Simon said.
I'm now both the Chief Economist for the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) globally and also the Managing Director for the business in the Asia region.
"I love the dual intellectual and management sides of my role, and also the variety that comes from Asia being such a diverse and fast-changing region. I also get to meet and talk to a lot of interesting and influential people from government, business and academia and engage in global discussions on big global topics like the US-China trade war, climate change and tech. It hits my buttons of being intellectually stimulating but also making an impact on important issues."
Simon has some advice for those considering studying economics at the University of Tasmania.
"It is a great framework for thinking about important problems. Some people think economics is just about finance, but it is just a small part. So no matter what your interests are, it's likely that you can use economics to make a difference. It is also the language that a lot of people in business and government speak, so if you want to influence them it helps to be able to speak it too.
The grounding I got (at the University of Tasmania) has served me very well in an international context - be that postgraduate study or in the workforce - so you can be confident in the possibilities this degree can open up to you. I still use things I learned at the University of Tasmania every day.
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