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"Deakin had won several awards so I knew the Faculty of Business and Law would be world class".

In his role as a mining geology superintendent, Jamie Davies was often in discussions with his company’s finance managers.

Leading a team of 80 staff and with responsibility for a $35M budget, he was increasingly interested to learn more about the financial aspects of the mining industry.

‘I wanted a greater understanding of the sensitivities of the operation and how value was created throughout the business,’ he says.

This interest led him to Deakin’s Master of International Finance which he completed in 2015 with outstanding results – and a Dean’s Merit Award.

Jamie’s academic pathway began with an undergraduate degree in science, majoring in mine geology, and for the past 12 years he’s worked in West Australia’s (WA) resource industry.

‘I’m currently a Data Management Analyst for the Integrated Planning team at Fortescue Metals Group,’ he explains.

‘My primary accountabilities are to calculate the monthly reconciliation of physicals data which is then used to calculate the business’s costs and for ASX reporting; and to test and implement systems throughout the business.’’

A global leader in the iron ore industry, Fortescue Metals was founded in 2003 and is located in the Pilbara region of WA. Over the past 13 years it has discovered and developed some of the largest iron ore mines in the world.

Jamie says he chose to study at Deakin because the program’s online delivery matched his fulltime work commitments.

‘The range of electives also meant I could target the areas I was interested in. I’d researched rankings for MBAs and found Deakin had won several awards so I knew the Faculty of Business and Law would be world class.’

While Jamie found the first couple of units challenging, his study efforts were rewarded with good results and one of his papers – “The Income Elasticity of Gambling in Australia and New Zealand” – was published in Volume 8 of Deakin Papers of International Business Economics.

He says a master’s degree in international finance has given him greater understanding of Fortescue’s business and financial operations and enables him to communicate key concepts to the company’s finance team.

‘I enjoy the technical aspects of my job and providing quality information so managers and the business can make informed decisions. The major challenge is sifting through multiple disparate data sources to understand what is going on throughout the whole value chain and then to report the most accurate values for the business’ key metrics.’

In the future, Jamie plans to build on his industry expertise and newly-minted finance qualifications.

‘I would like to leverage my operations and mining technical experience with my financial knowledge to work as a mining analyst in the finance industry.’