RegNet students Franz Carneiro Alphonso, Xiao Jiang, Mallory Dobner and recent graduate Frederick Loughman, talk about their student experience and share their thoughts on what it is like to study a postgraduate degree at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), ANU.
Q: Why did you choose RegNet, ANU to complete your postgraduate studies?
- Franz: “I chose to study at ANU for a multitude of reasons. It’s one of the top ranked universities in the world with a stellar international reputation. Additionally, RegNet offered just the right mix of disciplines to pique my interest, with its unique interdisciplinary perspectives.”
- Xiao: “RegNet focuses on global relationships, regional studies and regulation, which attracted me a lot. Therefore, it was my first choice when I applied for a postgraduate program.”
- Frederick: “I chose RegNet as it is considered one of the best schools in the world to study criminology.”
- Mallory: “My interests intersect a number of disciplines, so being within an interdisciplinary research school was appealing to me, and has allowed me to interact with a much broader range of perspectives than I would have in a more specialised degree. Being at the ANU, I have access to a lot of academics who are leading experts in their area, and being in Canberra I am at the centre of policy decisions in Australia. I also enjoy living in Canberra, because I am able to ride my bike most places, and have easy access to large green spaces right in the city, including on the ANU campus.”
Q: What are some of the highlights of studying at RegNet?
Frederick: “The strong support base. Staff and teachers are very professional and helpful in assisting students.”
Mallory: “RegNet has always got some form of event going on. I’ve been able to attend a number of events that I wouldn’t usually go to, but have shown interesting insights into the work that is going on, which has helped me expand my understanding of the world. Also there are always a number of visitors in the school, or academics working with outside parties, there is always something new to hear about.”
Xiao: “Every course encourages students to express their opinions. It can be a little challenging, but I have learnt a lot.”
Franz: “I have enjoyed the thought-provoking discussions with the multi-disciplinary generalists that I have encountered at RegNet, almost everyone has their own particular areas of interest, and the overlaps are fascinating. I also think that with RegNet being a small cohort, it is community oriented and research focused.”
Q: What is it like working while studying?
Mallory: “There’s definitely been a few times when working at the same time as studying has been a lot of work, but I’ve definitely gained invaluable experience from the various jobs I’ve had. Working has also helped a lot with knowing what I would like to do after my studies, as well as informing my main research interests. The most important thing for me has been forward planning, and knowing when I have big tasks due for uni and knowing that I can’t take something on for work at that time.”
Q: What are your plans after you complete your degree?
Franz: “I aim to use my work and life experience in a way that will allow me to make a difference. Luckily for me, I have the facility to make a late career change because of an extremely supportive wife. A PhD could very likely be on the cards, perhaps some work in a related field on the ground.”
Frederick: “I plan to seek a job with the government in the justice sector and take up an advisory role in regulatory policy regarding the country’s criminal justice system.”
Xiao: “Given my experience as a student here, I am eager to continue my studies in criminology.”
Mallory: “After I finish I would like to go into policy work. While I’ve enjoyed research, I am looking forward to the challenge of implementing what I’ve learnt in practice and connecting it to larger projects.”
Q: What advice would you give someone interested in studying a postgraduate degree at RegNet?
Xiao: “Studying at a postgraduate level can sometimes be challenging. So it is important to manage your time well especially between studying and completing assignments.”
Mallory: “For me the biggest advice I could give someone at RegNet, or at uni in any situation, would be to communicate and build rapport with your lecturers. It is also a really good experience being able to ask the authors of the papers and theories you’re studying, about their work outside the lecture.”
Frederick: “Go for it. You won’t be disappointed. You will directed and assisted by highly qualified professionals.”
Franz: “Talk to everyone: reach out to people. People are friendly and welcoming and willing to help out. The new Master’s degree in Regulation and Governance will open a whole new world of academic insights for you – a perfect ‘the more you know, the more you realise how little you know’ scenario.”
Franz Carneiro Alphonso has worked in the corporate sector for more than a decade as a finance and marketing consultant for the pharmaceutical, banking and FMCG sectors. Franz holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Biochemistry and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. His interdisciplinary journey brought him to RegNet where he is a master student in the Master of Criminology Justice and Regulation* (MCJRE) program and in the Master of National Security Policy program at the Crawford School of Public Policy. In parallel with his studies, Franz is a research officer at RegNet’s newly founded Justice and Technoscience Lab (JusTech) working on the project Sociotechnical Navigation and Problem Solving amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mallory Dobner has an undergraduate degree in criminology and is currently completing her 2nd year in the MCJRE* program , completing research focusing on anti-poaching programs in Mozambique. During her studies she worked part time as a swim instructor and medical receptionist while spending her university breaks working on a small scale solar business in Malawi. More recently she has taken a casual Administrative assistant role within RegNet’s professional team.
Xiao Jiang completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology, but her diverse interests led her to RegNet where is currently completing her final year in the MCJRE* program.
Frederick Loughman is a Lawyer and accredited by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (APG) as Vanuatu’s legal expert on Anti- Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (AMLTF). He holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of the South Pacific. Prior to taking up the MCJRE* program at RegNet from which he graduated in December 2020, Frederick spent 9 years as Legal Officer for the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission. He was instrumental in the law reform exercise and a member of the government task force set up in 2016 to implement international standards of the Financial Action Task Force as adopted by the APG member countries. These international standards had to be incorporated into the domestic legislations in order to remove Vanuatu from the APG grey list and potential blacklisting. Vanuatu was grey listed by the APG in 2015. Previous to this Frederick served the government of Vanuatu for 4 years as a State Counsel and Financial Intelligence Unit legal officer at the State Law Office.