Aaron Yew

Your journey from Year 12 to where you are now:

I entered University as a mature age student, so it was a lot different to many of the students I graduated with. I didn't really know what I wanted to do straight out of high school, but was told by my parents to get a qualification. I went to a local college where I studied multimedia and graphic design. I had a really good time and [it] allowed me to be very creative. This was around the time the internet was becoming mainstream and I wanted to get into web design.

One day I met a local Adelaide design company that had a contract with Nike to design their store concepts for Asia Pacific. They wanted to visualise their designs in 3D to get a better understanding of what the finished design would look like, so I ended up freelancing and doing 3D visualisations for a few years. I was also investing in property by this time as well and I started to get into property development. I started a few small developments until I thought I would try a bigger site. I managed to get a contract on a large block and before it settled managed to subdivide it into nine blocks. By the time settlement was due, the block had tripled in value and I was able to fund the construction from the equity. I thought it was easy and so I did the same with another big block except it didn't go as planned. The builder went broke halfway through construction and lost a bit of money. I realised that property development wasn't as easy as I thought and it was very risky.

I decided that it wasn't for me and thought about where I wanted to go in life. The one thing I didn't have was a university education and it was something I wanted to achieve. So I enrolled into uni not really knowing where I wanted to go, but thinking that I will be a sponge and just soak up everything and make a decision once I feel ready.

While studying I thought about working in accounting, marketing or finance. I decided to choose finance because I thought being a banker sounded really good. Upon graduation I was lucky to get a job with BT Finance a week after I finished my last exam. This was an entry level role in insurance, but it gave me great experience in customer service, something that is not taught at university but is vital in all aspects of a job.

When a job within Bank SA became available, I was lucky to be selected for the role, which is where I currently am now. While working at the bank, I have also become involved in a start-up accelerator through Adelaide University called ThincLab for an idea I am currently working on. I am developing software that allows customers to buy directly from small renewable generation sources rather than buying from a traditional retailer.

Any internships or work placements during your studies?

I worked part-time to supplement my income, so didn't really have time for any work placements.

What about 'outside the classroom' ... what activities did you take part in outside of classes during your time at UoA?

I started up the Adelaide University Entrepreneur Club and developed the idea of the book exchange. I wanted to start a club unlike any traditional club that had sausage sizzles or pub crawls. I wanted my club to feel like a start-up and earn money through ideas and a bit of hard work.

When thinking about future employment, what would be your "Top-3-Tips" for a new student about to embark on their University studies?

Read lots and lot of books. I read every night. Be passionate about what you want to do. If you are looking at one day doing your own business, find a job that allows you to learn skills that you don't have. It will make you a better business person. Finally, be curious, think critically, find out for yourself and make up your own mind.

What are your future career aspirations?

I want to develop my start-up to change the world. I envisage a world where there are thousands of solar farms owned by the communities and my software will connect customers to these generators.

The one thing I didn't have was a university education and it was something I wanted to achieve. So I enrolled into uni not really knowing where I wanted to go, but thinking that I will be a sponge and just soak up everything and make a decision once I feel ready.
I want to develop my start-up to change the world. I envisage a world where there are thousands of solar farms owned by the communities and my software will connect customers to these generators

Graduate profiles

Sarah Clark

Bachelor of Science (Molecular and Drug Design) with Honours in Chemistry
(Corporate Finance & Marketing)
Smart Skills Inspirator, Questacon Smart Skills Initiative

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