Alice Wang – Female Recipient of the 2012 BCG Scholarship
Alice Wang is in her fourth year of a conjoint Law and Arts degree at the University of Auckland. After a brief stint in philosophy, Alice is majoring in Economics for her Arts degree and resuming her interest in ethics through an honours class in medico-legal issues for her Law degree.
Alice attended Avondale College in Auckland, where she discovered her inability to say no to anything that caught her interest. As a consequence of being far too curious for her own good, she left high school with double the normal amount of final year subjects and studied her first university paper at the University of Auckland at the age of 15. Alice also involved herself in a wide range of extra-curricular activities in high school, including playing netball, debating and serving a term on the Auckland City Youth Council.
Rarely short on energy, Alice’s love for music also drew her into a wide variety of musical pursuits. She hauled her trombone around Germany for 2 weeks in 2008 with the Aotea Youth Symphony and has also performed in the Sydney Opera House with her high school’s concert band, playing the oboe. Alice played keys in the jazz combo and cites one of the highlights of her school year as the annual trip down to the Tauranga Jazz Festival over Easter. Alice has a dipABRSM in piano performance and also loves to compose in her spare time. After winning a national composition competition in 2008, Alice was privileged to perform one of her quartet pieces at the Auckland Lantern Festival the following year.
Deciding what to study at university was initially a tough choice, as Alice had set her eyes on conducting, but Arts and Law were the areas that aligned best with her fascination with the way society works. Alice’s academic interest lies mostly with economics and the way that it is able to transform societies in both structure and culture. She dropped her double major in order to pursue her economics major in more depth, and still can’t quite get enough. Alice has also found her law side really useful in providing a conceptual framework to explore some very interesting issues and tensions in society.
At university, Alice is a slightly more sensible version of her curious self. She sits on the governing body of the University as one of two members of the University of Auckland Council elected by the students. In 2011, Alice was one of two students selected from the University of Auckland to spend just short of two weeks at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, learning about the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in the 21st century. This fuelled an interest in the entrepreneurship culture and subsequent involvement with the University of Auckland entrepreneurship initiative, Spark, on the education team.
Alice is lucky to have had some incredible teachers and mentors in her life, and education is something that has always captured her enthusiasm. Alice leads Make a Difference with Economics (MADE) at the University of Auckland, an organisation that brings students face to face with real world economic problems. She also started the Applied Economics Workshop initiative, which equips and challenges senior undergraduate and postgraduate economics students to take economics out of the classroom and apply their skills to improve societal outcomes in a tangible way.
Alice is an Asia:NZ Young Leader and has a strong interest in China’s development and the growing economic and political prominence of the Asia-Pacific region. She attributes part of this to her academic interest in international trade and globalisation, but also to her heritage. Alice was born in Beijing and, although has spent most of her life in Auckland, remains active in the Chinese New Zealand community. She facilitated the Leadership Development Conference run by the New Zealand Chinese Association in January 2012, and attended as a delegate in 2011.
On a more personal level, Alice keeps in touch with her musical side by teaching piano, attending as many concerts as her wallet can afford and recording the occasional song on her makeshift recording gear (her garage ‘studio’, as she likes to call it). She is a huge tennis fan and attempts to build up her tennis tan every summer, keeping fit during the rest of the year playing indoor netball. Alice has a feisty cat, a very cheeky dog and a weak spot for Greek yoghurt.
Alice is not quite sure exactly where she will end up in the future, but is optimistic that she will find something challenging, stimulating and fun. She knows that big dreams and aspirations need to be coupled with a disciplined execution, so she looks forward to rolling up her sleeves and embracing new learning experiences. Getting industry experience and developing strong analytical skills are on the list of things to do professionally, and Alice also sees herself back at university a few years down the track. Ultimately, Alice hopes to find herself in a position to create positive change and she looks forward to meeting many interesting and inspiring people along the way.
Alice feels humbled and very privileged to be awarded the BCG Scholarship for 2012 and to be associated with a firm that values determination to think bold and make a difference. She is grateful for the support that the scholarship will provide in allowing her to pursue the things and projects she loves.
Glyn Ayres – Male Recipient of the 2012 BCG Scholarship
Glyn Ayres is in the third year of a Juris Doctor degree at Melbourne Law School. He also holds a double degree in Arts and Music from the University of Melbourne, with majors in history and music composition. He enjoys travelling, reading American novels, and attempting to cook exotic dishes — with varying degrees of success.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Glyn spent a year working at the Victorian Court of Appeal. He worked primarily on criminal cases and on matters in which one or more of the parties did not have legal representation. This experience gave him an interest in law and its relationship with social justice, and in 2009 he went to Tanzania to work as an intern at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He worked in the Office of the Prosecutor on two high-profile trials, and also spent time travelling around East Africa. The experience was a formative one. Glyn returned to Australia with a keen sense of the problems faced by communities living in the East African region, but also an appreciation of how much can be achieved when dedicated people work together.
In 2010, Glyn returned to Australia to start a law degree. He particularly enjoyed public and international law, and quickly became involved in mooting. In 2011, Glyn led a team of Melbourne Law School students to first place in an international moot court competition on the law of the World Trade Organization. This involved working for several months on a complex problem about the way in which international trade rules apply to the regulation of genetically modified animals. The competition involved teams from universities around the world. The Melbourne Law School team ultimately won the grand final in front of a panel of distinguished international judges and lawyers at the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Glyn was also a member of the winning team in the Castan Centre Human Rights Moot Competition later that year, and since February 2011 he has served as a Member of the Editorial Board of the Melbourne University Law Review.
Recently, Glyn has become interested in international economic law and the ways in which it shapes and restricts national autonomy. He has produced a number of written pieces for publication and as a consultant on issues such as European energy subsidies, import prohibitions on illegally logged timber, and the scope of public policy defences in the WTO. Glyn also worked as an assistant editor on a forthcoming book that looks at the domestic and international legal issues surrounding the introduction of plain tobacco packaging in Australia. He hopes to continue this line of research in the future.
In addition to his academic interests, Glyn has worked on several occasions with the civil liberties organisation Liberty Victoria. In 2009, he worked on ‘The Gist Of It’, a website featuring interviews with prominent Australians about the fundamentals of the Australian political system. In 2011, he directed ‘People Smugglers: Friend or Foe?’, an exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Australia featuring interviews with refugees from all over the world about their experiences with people smugglers. Glyn led this project from start to finish, managing a small team to produce a thought-provoking exhibition dealing with a difficult but important subject.
The BCG Scholarship will make a significant difference to Glyn’s academic career. In 2011, he decided to apply for the Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford University as part of a joint degree program with the Juris Doctor at Melbourne Law School. Although he was happy to be accepted into the program, Glyn needed to find a way to fund his overseas studies. He was delighted to receive the BCG Scholarship, which will be of substantial assistance in that regard. The Scholarship will make it possible for Glyn to study at Oxford, for which he is very grateful.
Glyn is also happy to be associated with BCG. He believes that BCG does important and interesting work in a wide range of areas and he looks forward to learning more about its business. He has enjoyed meeting BCG staff from numerous parts of the organisation and is impressed by the variety and complexity of the work they do.
Glyn has always pursued a wide range of interests and he hopes to continue to do so in his future career. He enjoys law and would eventually like to work as a barrister, but he is also interested in exploring other options in the meantime. Although he thinks it is important to have professional goals, Glyn thinks the most important thing is to do interesting and satisfying work wherever you happen to be. He is grateful to BCG for its support in the final year of his studies.