As a scholar with a brain for both science and words, Tom Rochford (2012 graduate) has found the perfect career path by marrying a Law and Science degree. Combined with his passion for the Environment, he will soon put his skills and his values to use at KPMG where he will commence his full time career in the Climate Change and Sustainability team.

Tom will hit the workforce running having already studied abroad and having worked for a number of not-for-profits throughout his university studies. He has completed two overseas internships – one on climate law in Denmark and the other with a US firm studying climate finance. He also sits on a local community bank Board in Melbourne.

“Studying in Denmark was a fantastic opportunity not only to travel but to gain a greater understanding of climate change regulation on a broader international platform.

Tom Rochford (centre) in Denmark with friends

“It was a transformational opportunity that changed the graduate opportunities I would seek to apply for when the time came,” he said.

Combining a Law and Science degree was complicated at times so Tom decided to swap from on-campus study at Deakin University to online.

“As I progressed through my double degree, I began taking on a vast range of opportunities that compromised my ability to attend class.

“For example, as a Community Director on a local community bank board in Melbourne, I have the opportunity to work with local community groups to help them to achieve their goals.

“Additionally, I manage the social media portfolio, working closely with an employee to implement a variety of new strategies to help target millennials.

“To allow me to continue doing these types of things, it made sense to transition to an online platform that would allow me to attend the classes in a flexible format,” Tom said.

Whilst at school, Tom worked towards applying for a veterinary science course; however, as the time to make a study commitment drew near, he chose a course that he thought would give him the ability to make a bigger impact. Reflecting on his school days, Tom says that he has two particularly memorable teachers whom to this day, influence his studies and his work.

“Not only was I fortunate enough to have Mrs Kurrle as my Geography teacher, but I also had her as my Head of House.

Tom (left) receiving the Think Tank Challenge award at Deakin University

“She really instilled in me the importance of community spirit not only within the school but also in the broader community. This is something I have taken away from my schooling and I have actively sort out opportunities that allow me to apply my skills to give back to something bigger.

“Mrs MacCulloch was my History teacher and someone who really taught me the importance of having a strong work ethic, and that if you put the work in you will reap the rewards.

“This has been something I have applied across my 5-year degree, and I even still use gel pens she told me to purchase to help assist my handwriting in exams!,” Tom said.

After five very busy years of work and study and, more recently, a four-week trip to Vietnam, Tom says that he feels ready to sink his teeth into a full time career and to focus on what really matters to him.

“I am really looking forward to getting stuck into my graduate role at KPMG and embracing the challenges that it will present throughout 2019,” he said.