Australian Economy

Dual degree graduate setting the bar high – UQ News

Michaela Gyasi-Agyei has always had a love of learning.

The University of Queensland Bachelors of Economics / Laws (Honours) graduate remembers spending just a few weeks in Grade One at her Rockhampton primary school before she was moved to the grade above.

“I was a curious child, and from an early age I read widely about any area which interested me,” Ms Gyasi-Agyei said.

Born in Finland to Ghanaian parents, Ms Gyasi-Agyei arrived in Australia as a baby, living first in Adelaide and Rockhampton before the family settled in Brisbane.

“I finished primary school at Acacia Ridge State School and then went on to Mansfield State High School, which I loved,” she said.

Ms Gyasi-Agyei was a school captain in her senior year and involved in a program mentoring junior students.

“Those roles had a definite impact on me – being involved in public speaking and representing the student body,” she said.

“I really enjoyed speaking with younger students and making sure they didn’t feel lost.”

Ms Gyasi-Agyei said it was a feeling she could relate to.

“I’ve often been one of the only African people in certain spaces growing up, and while diversity is improving, there’s still a long way to go,” she said.

“I hope to encourage young Africans to pursue their dreams.”

Her broad interest in English, maths and the social sciences led Ms Gyasi-Agyei to enrol to study both Economics and Law at UQ.

“I thought it would be an interesting degree – the two areas pair quite well because they both have an element of analysing the reasons why people make certain decisions,” she said.

In her first year on campus she joined the UQ African Students Association, going on to serve as Secretary.

“It’s a really vibrant, supportive group with students from diverse faculties,” Ms Gyasi-Agyei said.

“A real highlight was sharing our different cultures during events like Market Day and Cultural Fiesta.”

The mid-year graduate has excelled in her studies, receiving a UQ Law School Leadership, Excellence and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship, the Tomas Riha Scholarship in Economics and the UQ Employability Award.

She has also participated in numerous undergraduate programs, internships and work experience opportunities as well as volunteering at Salvos Legal.

Ms Gyasi-Agyei is currently working as a research clerk at a commercial law firm.

“I discovered that I enjoy taxation law so I see myself working in that field in the future,” she said. 

“I believe it would be a fulfilling career path, allowing me to utilise both aspects of my dual degree.”

UQ will confer 5400 students this month, including students who were unable to attend graduation ceremonies in 2020 and 2021.

Media: Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, Alysha Hilevuo,  a.hilevuo@uq.edu.au+61 (0)409 612 798.

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