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'I entered without hesitation and ended up having such a great time.'

Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws student Patrick Rowe completed the Advanced Financial Planning subject two years ago, when his lecturer gave the class the option to enter the AMP University Challenge instead of completing the major assessment task.

A chance for students to demonstrate their problem-solving and financial planning prowess and to be judged by a panel of industry experts, this was an opportunity for Patrick to hone his skills.

‘I entered without hesitation and ended up having such a great time that I decided to compete again in 2015,’ he says.

This year Patrick has made it all the way to the finals and is getting ready to compete for the top spot on 26 October. 

He explains that the AMP University Challenge is an opportunity for students to combine their technical knowledge and communication skills in a real-world scenario.

Patrick says that in his opinion, the challenge offers the same benefits as the assessment task in the financial planning unit.

‘Additional benefits, if you make the finals, are that you get a chance to go and interact with a number of senior AMP members and participate in a number of activities on the assessment day.

‘Also, there is prize money up for grabs, which is always a nice incentive.’

The purpose of the exercise is to showcase how exciting and fulfilling the industry can be, and to help students experience first-hand what it takes to be successful as a financial planner.

Patrick first discovered his passion for the industry when he was in high school and his friend's dad introduced him to the stock market and the world of trading with speculative investment tools - such as derivatives and forex.

‘This helped me to develop an interest in all things commerce.

‘I picked up the law component of my degree a year or two into my degree because of some advice from a family member.’

Patrick says that he has enjoyed his time at Deakin so far, as there is always some new development going on, and he gets on really well with staff and fellow students.

‘At this point I am still unsure what my future plans are, as I have a couple of years left and want to see where they take me. There is still plenty of the world to see, so for the meantime I will focus on that,’ he says.