When Evan graduated from Ballarat Clarendon College in 2016 and moved into Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, he was oblivious to the opportunities that were about to unfurl. But now, nearly four years on, he’s harnessed countless opportunities and has made valuable connections that will last a lifetime. And to anyone thinking about moving into a college after school … Evan wholeheartedly recommends it.
‘Really, it’s been meeting one person, then meeting another person as a result of that conversation, that has led to a lot of opportunities for me,’ says Evan, explaining his impressive string of internships, part-time jobs and upcoming full-time role, which he’s secured well ahead of his graduation at the end of 2020.
Far from profiting from random luck (though Evan admits a bit of luck was sometimes at play), the commerce student has taken an active role in building his network and has always been the type to step forward when an opportunity drifts his way.
As an extension of his days as a keen student in Ballarat, when Evan arrived at college in Melbourne, he not only got involved in sports (seconds football topped his list of passions) and the musical, but took a leadership role as a sustainability intern too, where he coordinated events like ‘plant a tree day’.
All the while he was tapped into Trinity’s online community, reaching out to alumni all across Australia and the world to learn more about their life journeys and careers. ‘I have a pretty big running debt with the Trinity alumni network given the amount of coffees that I’ve had bought for me,’ he laughs. ‘I’ve been blown away by how generous people are with their time, and I’m definitely keen to repay it all in the future.’ Given Evan is now happily meeting with other, younger students to share his experiences, the pay-it-forward train (and coffee repayment scheme) is already in motion.
Evan admits that this strong community aspect of college life came unexpected. ‘To be honest, I had no idea what Trinity was before I arrived,’ he says. ‘I thought it was just a place to live, but I feel that was good in a sense, as I was always pleasantly surprised after each turn.’
As well as capitalising on Trinity’s extensive alumni network, Evan also relished the connections he was able to make with fellow students during his university years, crediting the broad range of skills and interests of those around him for opening his eyes to new friendships, opportunities and ways of thinking. ‘[Going to college] helped me realise how much I don’t know, which is actually a pretty valuable thing,’ he says. ‘Trinity does a fantastic job of exposing you to new ideas you never thought existed. I had conversations every day with my friends who were, say, computer science students or medical students about topics that I would never have thought about as a finance student. The whole experience makes you a pretty well-rounded person.’