Treasury Graduate Profiles

Meet New Zealand Treasury at the CDES Business and Law Expo on Tuesday 12 March!

Carlos So

  • Forecasting, New Zealand Treasury
  • Bachelor of Commerce - Economics and Finance
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) - Economics 

Did your career plans change as you studied?
In my final years at high school, I was quite set on a design or science-based career pathway. It wasn’t for any particular reason – these were just areas that were interesting to me, but I didn’t think deeply about where I could go with them, or what it meant for society. I thought I would just go with what I know.

Just before university began though, I was given some advice to go for a Bachelor of Commerce degree instead. It would broaden my perspective, and it would be interesting to explore a new field – I hadn’t focused on commerce in high school at all, and had no experience with economics so I went in blind. But something about economics piqued my interest – this is an area that, at its core, can be used to study society and make it better. I had always been (and I expect to always be) keen to lend a helping hand, so to study economics to help others was the only obvious option for me from then on.

Curiosity to learn about people’s hardships and endeavours, the theory, mechanisms and evidence for why the world is as it is, and learning about what can be done from a policy point of view are what drives me forward. Don’t just stick with what you know – find out what you don’t know - be curious, and you might be surprised.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
I expect to continue my journey in the field of economics in the future. I don’t know where that will take me, but I expect it will be somewhere in the public sector where I will continue to analyse and advise on issues New Zealanders face everyday.

How valuable was your internship OR work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?
I tutored stage one economics at the end of my university days. I was able to connect to a new generation of students, many of whom were like me when I was in their shoes. Economics can be an intimidating subject to pick up, as it can be technical and abstract. However, my goal was to make it as understandable, interesting, and (most importantly) engaging as possible to an audience who might not initially be interested in economics.

I believe people should have an informed opinion about what is happening in the world, so that when they read a news article about an issue, they can engage in a meaningful, evidence-based debate with those around them. That is why I joined the Treasury, the perfect platform for these debates. The issues discussed in class are no longer theoretical – real lives are involved, and striving to provide the best advice to the government to make a positive difference is truly an exciting opportunity.

Rose Boele van Hensbroek

  • Regulatory Quality Team, New Zealand Treasury
  • Bachelors of Health Sciences (Population Health) 
  • Master of Public Policy 

Did your career plans change as you studied?
My career plans changed considerably over the course of my studies, although my passion for helping people and making a positive difference did not. Up until my second year of university I had always wanted to be a police woman. In fact, I only went to university because I was told that I needed to get some life experience behind me to get accepted into police college.

However, the Bachelors of Health Sciences was an incredible degree and expanded my mind and challenged my perspectives. I learnt that government policies are extremely powerful and can affect everyone’s lives considerably. This lead me to studying a Masters in Public Policy.   

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
I see myself working at the Treasury or another government department. 

How valuable was your work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?
My work experience throughout university which varied (coaching gymnastics, working as a medical receptionist, volunteering at Auckland City Mission, Wellington Downtown Community Ministry) did not relate directly to the role I am in now. However, it did reinforce my decision to study and work in policy as I could see first-hand how policy decisions were impacting people’s lives.