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Electrifying project kickstarted Master's degree

Friday, 7 March 2014

FergusBevan-McCrimmon 650Fergus Bevin-McCrimmon, Master of Finance

A new scholarship encouraging electricity market research introduced Otago Finance Masters student Fergus Bevin-McCrimmon to a dynamic, atypical market he’d never considered before.

With his Otago Finance undergraduate degree complete, Fergus decided to embark on the one year Masters course of seven papers plus a research project. Inspired by friend’s suggestion, he asked his supervisor, Finance Senior Lecturer Dr Ivan Diaz-Rainey, whether there were any opportunities for applying for scholarships.

Fergus recalls, “He said there was a project looking at electricity markets with an associated Otago Business School Kick-Start Research Scholarship."

"I knew nothing about electricity markets and it piqued my interest, being different from anything else I’d studied at Otago.”

Energy Link Limited Scholarship

The scholarship was established by Energy Link Limited, a New Zealand electricity market forecasting and risk management firm, to support collaboration between Dr Diaz-Rainey and an Energy Link team led by Managing Director Greg Sise. The scholarship specifically supports ongoing research into electricity futures markets.

Fergus says, “Global energy sectors were deregulated in the 1990s, so energy markets are relatively young worldwide, meaning there are a lot of research opportunities. The financial aspects of energy markets are more developed overseas compared to New Zealand, but even they are young compared to equity and debt markets which have been around for years. Their uniqueness, and not being a typical market, is what attracted me to the project.”

In conjunction with Energy Link, Fergus spent the 2015-16 summer investigating the New Zealand electricity futures market, giving him “real world” and academic experience which fit with his broad ideas for the future.

“I wish I knew what my plans were, but I definitely want to do more academic work at some stage. I also understand the value of practical experience. The finance industry is constantly changing, nothing is static and nothing gets stagnant. No two days are same. That’s not something you get in many other careers.”

Fergus says he has found his supervisor and Otago’s Finance department extremely supportive, especially in the way he and his fellow students have been given direction but also encouraged to think for themselves.

“I had always planned to do post graduate study in terms of having better job prospects and doing something that would differentiate myself. I was also keen from a personal standpoint, knowing it would challenge me more than an undergrad degree – that’s definitely been the case.”

Find out more about the Master of Finance

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