While still in primary school Matthew Evans decided that one day he would either play cricket for Australia or become a lawyer. He has at least one of those goals well in hand.
The 23 year old, who is in his final year of a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce double degree, has just returned from a study exchange program at the University of Oxford.
“My exchange involved a four-week intensive program conducted around international human rights law with a focus on the marketplace,” Matthew said.
It was a demanding full program each day, but it wasn’t all hard work.
“With an hour break before dinner, students would gather at the various pubs to relax before returning to finish roughly 100 pages of compulsory reading in preparation of the next day’s class.”
A major highlight of Matthew’s exchange experience was having the opportunity to network and develop alongside other motivated individuals.
“Throughout the program I studied and spent free time alongside judges, barristers and other students. This has increased my global network of connections and also led to an informal offer to work in a barrister’s chambers should I return to England.”
All of this has provided a spectacular boost for Matthew’s career plans.
“My professional ambition is to activate both my law and commerce degree in the financial industry.
“I’ve just recently been offered the opportunity to realise this ambition with global leading company BHP Billiton offering me a place in their finance graduate program at the conclusion of my degree.”
Gold Coast choice
Matthew went to school on the Gold Coast and decided to stay and go to university there too. The former TSS and All Saints Anglican School student was delighted to find a large number of his former school friends had also chosen to study at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus.
“I have many friends who are currently finishing medicine, dentistry and law degrees. In particular one of my oldest and best friends has just recently graduated from his law degree and is now working at a top tier law firm.
“Another advantage of staying at home whilst studying is that it provided me with the financial freedom to take on more volunteer and non-paid experiences.”
And Matthew has certainly made the most of such opportunities.
Benefits of experience
The President of the Griffith University Law Students’ Association and Griffith Business School student leader has enjoyed professional placement opportunities through an internship at Nyst Lawyers, and two clerkships with McCullough Robertson and Herbert Smith Freehills.
“Gaining experiencing through these professional placements has truly benefited me in developing a stronger set of skills in communication, time management and an attention to detail.
“When I returned to university from these placements I discovered I had a much higher level of efficiency that has allowed me to increase my workload and take on new opportunities.”
Another highlight of Matthew’s study program was being sponsored by Griffith Mentoring to attend the Australia Law Students’ Association Conference in 2012.
“I was able to meet students from all across Australia as well as attend educational and careers events, and two Gala Balls. Most importantly, as a cricket fan, I got to attend a cocktail evening at the MCG!”
Which brings us back to Matthew’s other great passion.
Sport is a great way to connect
“Throughout my studies I continued playing cricket for the Gold Coast Dolphins up until this year. I’ve also played for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions cricket team in Brisbane as a way of relaxing and unwinding on the weekends.
“Local sport is a great way to connect and develop strong personal relations with the business world over a stress-free environment and has been a major contributor to providing myself with early opportunities.”
Matthew urges students to seek out and make the most of all the opportunities available.
“University is completely what you choose to make of it. When you begin to work in the business world you are limited by the knowledge you have and the people you know.
“Getting involved in all aspects of Griffith University life is the perfect way to stretch those limits and begin your road to success.”