ESSA Networking and Trivia Night: Invaluable Career Advice and Useless Facts Collide!

ESSA Networking and Trivia Night: Invaluable Career Advice and Useless Facts Collide!

ESSA Sponsorship Director Pei Xuan Liu welcomes industry representatives from Gold Sponsor, NAB

Last week more than 200 students with a passion for economics and a penchant for random facts, converged on Melbourne University’s Grand Buffet Hall to attend ESSA Networking and Trivia Night.This was the first ESSA event of the year and also the first event jointly hosted by both Melbourne and the newly formed Monash Branch.The night kicked off with snacks, bevvies and networking. With 30+ industry representatives in attendance from across the private sector (NAB, Deloitte Access Economics, Ernst & Young), Government (DTF, ACCC, Productivity Commission, VCEC), Academia (Monash and Melbourne) and the Not-for-Profit sector (Grattan Institute), students were truly spoilt for choice for career guidance and advice.

Monash Honours Coordinator Dr Simon Angus discusses academic pathways with students

The mix of graduate recruits and senior representatives in attendance gave students a chance to rub shoulders with partners, whilst at the same time getting the ‘skinny’ on what they might expect on rotations in their graduate year.

Academics found themselves cornered by eager students trying to figure out whether to do an Honours year (which naturally, they should). Meanwhile two rowdy Honours students’ tables left members in no doubt as to the unmitigated passion of these students.The MC for the night was the illustrious Dr Mike Pottenger – lecturer in statistics and political economy – who recently caused quite a stir when his article for ESSA ‘The Economics of Batman’ went viral on the internet.

Mike was more than up to the task of keeping the twenty-five or so tables in line. This was in spite of the array of contentious definitional issues that arose during the night, such as: “Do the half-sisters in the Kardashians count as sisters in this question?” and “Do the Chair and Deputy Chair at the ACCC count as Commissioners?”

Competition was fierce and the night was brought to a close with a sudden death ‘Who am I?’ round for the two leading teams.

It was John Stuart Mill.

Special mentions go to the following tables for cheesy team names: The Invisible Hands, The Free-Riders, dy/dx and Animal Spirited.

SONY DSCESSA Presidents Dean Pagonis (Melbourne) and Matthew Vethecan (Monash) saved the best till last, with a surprise announcement that the speaker at ESSA’s next event, the Inaugural Norman Neville Lecture, will be none other than Saul Eslake, Chief Economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Professor Norman Neville also announced a generous donation to  ESSA.

ESSA would like to thank all our sponsors for making this night possible, and to all our members who attended and were in-it-to-win-it.


Founding Sponsors

The University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics

Monash University Faculty of Business and Economics

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Department of Treasury and Finance

Ernst and Young

Essential Services Commission

Productivity Commission

Victorian Competition & Efficiency Commission


Grattan Institute