Curtin Alumni Daniel Weston graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Commerce – Finance & Electronic Commerce. He now works in Munich, Germany but took some time to answer our questions!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to play cricket for Australia, do business all over the world and wear a suit.
Can you briefly describe your study/career journey to date?
I was very interested in I.T and the stock market since a young age, so I took it upon myself to start trading Australian stocks as soon and I could and I started an I.T consulting company straight out of high school which I ran for five years and was a great success. I was never a good student academically, and thanks to my parents I realised that getting a University Degree was important to my development, which I did, becoming a Bachelor of Commerce through Curtin University and i am very happy i did so.
Upon graduation did you look for work, was it always your intention to work for yourself?
It was always my intention to work for myself. I love the idea of having no ceilings, no limitations and the ability to decide what the most productive thing to do is each morning I wake up. I am responsible to clients/stakeholders and shareholders of my company, but my own self motivation and my own aspirations is what is the real driving force behind making progress.
What advice would you give students in terms of developing networks?
You can choose your friends, so choose ones that enrich your own life and you improve together. Realise that good people attract good people. Conferences and network events are usually stuffy environments and aren’t as productive in making new networks as relaxed environments where friendship comes first before business aspirations. Ask lots of questions of successful people you meet. Spend time with people who you think are smarter, wiser or more interesting than yourself.
What has motivated and inspired your ongoing innovative career choices?
The desire to have freedom of place, freedom of time and freedom of finances.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced while working overseas?
The Language for sure. Australian’s aren’t so good at picking up a new language because we usually start much later in life – anything is possible but it is lots of work!
What advice would you give students considering relocating for their career?
I think its a win win situation, a negative experience will help you grow, and a positive experience is a bonus.
What advice would you give students thinking about starting their own business?
Again, there is such limited downside in taking a risk which helps you grow and develop. Whether the company is a success or failure financially, it promotes your personal development in a way that prepares you for other life challenges and the sky is the limit or it prepares you for the next business, project or life direction.
What do you think defines a professional?
Being respectful of your client or business partners, and having a priority to achieve win win situations for yourself and people you are doing business with.
What would you recommend students do throughout their degree to improve their employability and professional development?
Talk to people who have different careers or life directions that are interesting to you to see what fits. Take notice of people who are happy in their work life and why. Don’t be afraid to invite relevant people to have a quick coffee and get an honest perspective on what the lifestyle of their career is like – it could save you a lot of time in jobs that are wrong for you!
Thanks for the opportunity to answer these questions!