Adeer Siddiqi

Photo of Adeer Siddiqi

Adeer is in his third-year of a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Commerce at the ANU College of Business and Economics, and is currently interning at the Department of Defence as a Finance Officer. He holds leadership positions in several student societies, including the Financial Management Association of Australia (FMAA), Society of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS), the Sailing Club, and his residential college Burgmann, where he is a student leader. Adeer has worked as a volunteer consultant for 180 Degrees Consulting, and took part in the CBE Special Industry Project (SIP) where he acted as a consultant within a team for CSIRO. His SIP team recently placed first.

Adeer enjoys nature and environmentalism and believes that the biggest issue facing us is the climate crisis. You can usually find him going on hikes or riding long distances on his road bike. Adeer’s favourite book is ‘Freakonomics’, which he says is the reason he wanted to study economics at university.


What is something you wish you knew when you first started your degree? (in terms of careers, employability and getting involved)

To not compare yourself to others. You need to think about what you want to be and how you want to spend your life. Set goals for yourself, and hold yourself personally accountable. For me personally, doing what I want to do instead of what will impress others around me, has been the best thing I’ve ever done.

Also, while you’re studying, take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. You’re only here for a small fraction of your life, but that fraction can define the rest of it. Make the most of your time here by trying as many new things as possible. Take that elective that looks interesting, try out for that play on campus, or create that BBQ appreciation club you’ve always secretly wanted to create. You can’t wait for opportunities to come your way – you have to find them, and if they don’t exist, make them. Don’t fear the notion of added responsibility or work. To quote BoJack: “Every day it gets a little easier… But you gotta do it every day — that's the hard part.”

My FINM1001 lecturer in my first year told me something that stuck with me – the real reason people tell you to do what you love is because there’s so much competition nowadays that it’s usually the students who’re passionate about their relevant fields who get the opportunities. Don’t study something just for the money or the title – study it because you truly love it, and because you believe it’s how you’ll make your mark in the world. If you really don’t love what you’re doing, switch to something that you do, before it’s too late.

How have your extra-curricular experiences helped you develop your skills, experiences and confidence?

I think 50 percent of a university degree is about gaining skills and confidence through extracurricular activities. Some of my favourite things to do have been to volunteer, write articles and be involved in planning society events – it helps you feel involved in the ANU community while also giving you friends for life. Exploring different opportunities has helped me understand the person I am. University teaches you skills like languages, economics, math, programming, problem solving, and all those things we label ‘hard’ skills. But it’s also very important to develop your ‘soft’ skills like leadership, communication, making friends, and thinking critically. These are harder to develop because you have to go and find opportunities to do so, but are the skills that will stick with you after you graduate, and help you in all aspects of your life. Being part of societies at university has helped me learn the invaluable skill of how to work with and manage a group of people. I gave a few speeches in my first year which helped build my confidence, and I would recommend anyone do the same.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences at CBE? (in terms of employability, getting involved, job search or careers)

The most memorable experience has to be taking part in SIP – a course in which we acted as consultants to CSIRO. It was exciting to be able to work on such a big project this early in my working life. I learned a lot about how to develop a strategy for a big organisation, consulting as a career. I also learned a lot from my incredible team, including how to work well within one. It made me appreciate consulting because you’re using your knowledge to solve complex problems by breaking them down and getting creative.

The Momentum initiative was also amazing. My mentor gave me some valuable advice, like always having an elevator pitch ready to go, because you never know when you’ll need it. I also scored an invite to a breakfast at Parliament House. When I went to sit in my assigned seating, it turned out to be next to the CEO of my mentor’s organisation!

My recommendation to anyone looking to get involved is to check ANU CareerHub frequently – always have it open as a tab. I found my current internship there, and there are entry-level opportunities being posted every day. CBE’s career counselling sessions were tremendously helpful. I booked in a session and I got great advice for my resume, cover letter, interview questions and even whether my LinkedIn profile picture was suitable.