An interview with a business consultant in China


Alex Houseman went to school in Britain and has a degree in international studies from the University of Sydney. He now lives and works as a business consultant in China.

What did you study at university?

I studied a Bachelor of International Studies, with honours in political economy. I did a double major in political economy and in government and international relations.

Why did you choose to study at Sydney University?

At the time, my strongest option in the UK, where I went to high school, was for economics at Newcastle Uni. I was faced with the choice of travelling further north for university or a LOT further south to Sydney. The other key factor at the time was that I was interested in the multidisciplinary character of international studies at Sydney. Pure economics, with its quantitative emphasis, was becoming less attractive to me at the time.

How did living with international students affect your time at university?

I lived in [campus accommodation] International House for three years. Without sounding too clichéd, it was a fantastic opportunity to get exposure to cultures beyond the Sydney Uni microcosm. It brought colour to the day-in, day-out aspects of studying. To this day, I feel I am very lucky that I can travel to every continent and be confident I can find a couch to crash on, simply because of the networks I built in International House. 

What was your favourite part of life at university?

Without a doubt it was the ‘student experience’. I always struggled to give studying the high priority that it deserves during university. Instead, I threw myself into campus life, both in International House and into the student political community. I cherish the experiences gained in this setting, personally, professionally and otherwise.