I graduated from UWA in my hometown of Perth having travelled, volunteered, dabbled in student politics and played an unhealthy amount of ultimate frisbee at subzero temperatures. Having also studied abroad at the home of Adam Smith in Glasgow and taken summer classes at the London School of Economics, I came to the slow realisation that I enjoy economics possibly a little more than is considered normal. So after graduating with my bachelors I packed up my things and moved to Sydney to complete my honours in economics at UNSW.
An economist isn’t something I think anyone grows up wanting to be. In fact I don’t think I had even heard of private sector economists until my honours year of university. So for a lot of the usual reasons (teamwork, diverse projects, problem solving) I thought management consultancy was where I wanted to end up. However, after an internship with a large firm working in that area I began to wonder if there wasn’t a better fit. While I had enjoyed working with my project team, I found the bureaucracy of a large firm frustrating. I also realised I was less engaged by the analysis they were doing than by the economics I was learning in my honours classes. This is why I chose HoustonKemp. The people here are interesting and approachable, and the work we do involves rigorous economic analysis of issues informing high-stakes decisions.
I’m glad I ended up joining a young firm. Within a couple of months I had responsibilities on projects across half a dozen industries, going from researching incentives in retail energy markets one week to analysing whether imports constrain price setting behaviour following a large merger the next. My third week in I had sole responsibility for a project’s analysis, working with the partner to inform the advice that was appropriate for the client. At the end of the day I’m enjoying HoustonKemp because of the people I’m working with. Whether I have a question about the gas supply chain or how you define a market, there’s genuine concern in helping me to understand irrespective of how busy everyone else is. That’s a privilege I know most graduates don’t receive.