Finding my equilibrium – graduating from the supply and demand curve

Like many, my interest in the world of economics began in high school, it was with the classic supply and demand curves – the foundations of all economic education!

Although sceptical at first, economics quickly became my favourite subject at school. It gave me a language and a framework to interpret the world. This language is understanding human behaviour, trends, markets, and forecasting.


Graduating from supply and demand curves

While supply and demand curves serve as the bedrock, economics is more than a chart. Pursuing a Bachelor of Economics alongside a Bachelor of Arts opened the door to economics being more than just theory and more than just maths.

My studies delved into diverse areas such as game theory, econometrics, development economics, and behavioural economics –just to name a few. These classes revealed that the studies of economics can have real world impacts. Studying economics at university equips you with a versatile toolkit of knowledge and skills, which you can apply in the workplace.


Finding my equilibrium – Canberra, The Treasury and my Bachelor degrees

After graduating, my journey in economics led me to Canberra after I successfully applied for Treasury’s Graduate Development Program. The Program offers 2 work rotations over two years, with each 12-month rotation in a different area of Treasury.

My bachelor degrees’ served me well in both rotations. In my first rotation, I dived straight into superannuation policy, engaging in tasks ranging from ministerial advice to policy overhauls, comprehending consumer behaviour, and assessing how super funds channel investments. My subsequent rotation transitioned me from policy to data, where I now focus on forecasting investment into housing, collaborating on housing policies, and reporting on conditions in the housing market.


A day in the life at Treasury

My morning usually starts with a coffee to go and then a team meeting to assess priorities.

I then get straight into work, which can range from reporting on market conditions, drafting briefs or collaborating with teams across Treasury to provide economic analysis.

Depending on what I’m working on, the afternoon may include meetings with stakeholders to gain insights on a policy issue my team is tackling. I also try to allocate time to learning and building new skills, such as modelling housing data or drafting a note on a topical issue.

Outside of regular day-to-day tasks, I’ve had the opportunity to attend conferences around Australia to speak with and listen to leading economists present their ideas and work.

It may be cliché to say, but no day is the same at Treasury, and the breadth and depth of work and experiences you get to work on  is unique. I can guarantee there will be a team or area of the department that aligns with your economic interests.


To sum it up

Economics isn't confined to the classroom; it's a tool for change.

Whilst still early in my journey of economics, I can highly recommend studying economics at all levels of education and, if you get the chance, applying it in a professional environment. 

By studying economics, you create the opportunity to work on meaningful public policy, academia, data analysis and more – it’s a dynamic field that partners logic with creativity.

Find out more about the Treasury Graduate Development Program and other pathways on Treasury’s website.

Hugh, The Treasury