Alumni Profile - Besa Deda (BEc '97)

Besa Deda

Name: Besa Deda

Current Position, Organisation: Chief Economist, St.George Bank. Columnist, PrimeSpace, The Australian Newspaper

Describe yourself in 3 words: Hardworking, determined and motivated

Nationality/cultural identity: Australian

Languages spoken: English and Albanian

Countries lived/worked in: Australia only

Best book you have read in the last 12 months: I have a five month old and a toddler, so I have not had any time to read an adult book in the past 12 months. I read plenty of children's books, however. My daughter is loving the Dr Seuss series. So I would have to say "The Cat in the Hat is Back!". Before my children were born, I loved to read and probably the best book I read in recent years was "The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusak.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sydney Business School?

I chose to do my undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney because of its reputation for educational excellence. The feedback from previous students was very positive and it also encouraged me to study at the University. The size of the University also meant there were a lot of choice and diversity offered in the degree. Therefore, I felt that the University would give me the best preparation and opportunities to start and form my career.

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?

I started working; I joined the Colonial Graduate Program of the Colonial Group.

What has been the greatest accomplishment of your career to date?

Being appointed Chief Economist of St.George Bank in 2008.

What business person inspired you most?

There have been a few people that have inspired me in my career, mainly managers I have worked for or alongside. I would have to say they all have a common trait and that is they award hard work and give one the opportunity to succeed.

What are some of your favourite things about Sydney?

The cafés, parks, beaches and its cosmopolitan nature.

What would you say to a prospective student who is considering study at the Business School?

Try and stay open minded and get a broad education from the degree as you never know where your career path will take you. I have university friends who have vastly different careers from their undergraduate degrees, but their undergraduate degrees laid the important groundwork foundation.

Any other comments

One of my earliest managers in my career once said to me, your career will be determined by what you know, who you know and luck. We can't do much about luck but we can improve what we know and who we know. The university environment is a perfect place to acquire the'what you know' and also form friendships and acquaintances that will help form part of the 'who we know' bit.