|26 Feb 2020|
All Jesse Carey wanted to do upon finishing his schooling at Oxford Falls Grammar in 2012 was earn a law degree from the University of Sydney. Things didn’t quite go as he planned! After graduating with an Economics degree, Jesse suspended his Law degree and packed his bags for an uncertain future in Washington D.C. Jesse says “The toughest decision in my career so far was suspending my law degree to look for work in D.C. I had attached so much of my identity to being a law student and the prospect of practicing law, but the allure of working in the US was too enticing to ignore. Every day without a job in Washington reinforced self-doubt about my mission. I was despairing that I had made a mistake.”
Image: Jesse meeting Vice President, Joe Biden who served under President Obama
Persevering, Jesse accepted a role at a strategy consulting firm, specialising in FinTech, advising the likes of Mastercard and Google. From there, he landed an opportunity in New York at Uber and now works in its Uber Eats business as a Senior Strategy & Planning Associate. He calls his team the “swiss army knife” of Uber Eats; they work on a variety of projects with the goal of sustaining the business’ stellar growth. “Right now, I’m exploring whether Uber Eats should redesign its pricing structure. It’s a massive global effort involving data scientists, product leaders, operations managers, and many others. Influencing fundamental business decisions like these is an invaluable learning experience and a tonne of fun.”
Image: Jesse on Wall St the day of UBER's listing on the New York stock exchange
When asked for advice based on his career to date, Jesse says “Never make enemies! It’s so important to be friendly with everyone you meet and build strong relationships”. He speaks from experience, after receiving a helping hand from a former colleague that happened to be related to a hiring managing partner when he applied for a Deloitte internship. Fortunately, the former colleague provided a glowing reference!
For those just starting out on their journey post-OFGS, Jesse would say “Embrace change. Your circumstances will shift unexpectedly and new opportunities will arise. Never turn one down because it doesn’t fit neatly into preconceived notions about your future. Everyone’s life, and career, is more like a lattice than a ladder”.
Long term, Jesse believes he’ll return to Australia, but his experiences encouraged him to view long-term life planning with a skeptical eye. He says “The world is changing faster than ever before; you just can’t predict what will happen in 5 years, much less 10”. He admits living abroad remains a challenge with bouts of homesickness, but friends, especially at work, do help.
When asked to reflect on his time at school, Jesse remembers most fondly his final year and how the shared experience inextricably bonded his year group together with their teachers; “You’re in the trenches trying to conquer a behemoth – the HSC - and have each other’s backs like never before”. Talking about his teachers during his time at school, Jesse shares “It's no exaggeration to say that many OFGS teachers profoundly shaped my life; they nurtured my curiosity, calmed my anxieties, and equipped me with the resources that I needed to broaden my horizons … without a doubt, my relationships with the OFGS community are lifelong.” He recalls some lighter moments, too, such as the agony of missing out on a cheese ‘toastie’ at the canteen, chatting to Nick in his creekside café and even causing trouble in maths!
Image: Jesse and the Class of 2012 student leadership team meeting past Prime Minister, John Howard
If you would like to talk strategy with Jesse or learn a bit more about living and working in the US (or where you can find the best Australian cafes), look him up on the networking directory here.
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