What is your educational background?
I am a sophomore at Villanova University where I am pursuing a B.A. in Philosophy. I chose to study philosophy because of the wide range of applications for the skills I am developing. Through wrestling with complex thoughts and ideas, I’m quite simply learning how to think. As a byproduct, I’ve become a much better writer and am learning how to structure arguments more clearly and concisely. After graduating from Villanova, I plan to attend law school and focus on drug policy.
What have you been working on in your time here at the USSC?
While I’ve been at the USSC, I have spent a majority of my time on two topics. First, I helped with research on possible policy recommendations for Australian energy reform. Second, I spent time looking at the trade relationships between the US, China and Australia.
Assisting with research on these topics has challenged me. Having not studied political science or economics at Villanova, I found myself having to learn some concepts on the fly. However, it showed me the real-world application of the research and writing abilities I developed while studying philosophy. Nevertheless, these complex topics most definitely got me out of my comfort zone and taught me a lot.
What is it like living in Sydney?
It’s an absolute dream. Though most Sydneysiders aren’t able to relate, year-round sunshine and warm weather makes a world of difference. I’m used to waking up to daily snowstorms in January and February, so I appreciate the daily blue skies and warmth.
The city itself has also been incredible. There’s so much to do, and so much variety. I knew that’d be the case, and sometimes it’s even overwhelming. I’ll be living here for five months, and I know I’m still not going to be able to do everything I want to do. With an unbelievable variety of food, events and things to do, there’s never a dull moment.
What do you hope to do with your experience from the USSC?
The real-world application of my research abilities has undeniably been the most important part of my time at the USSC. With a newfound confidence in this space, I’m looking forward to future opportunities to expand on these skills. And, if following law school, I choose a more political-sided career path, the experience I’ve had with policy and economics here will make that transition much easier.