Elke Larsen

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Elke Larsen completed a Master of Strategic Studies.

Elke is a founding member of the student-led organisation ‘Women in Master of Strategic Studies’ which advocates for inclusivity and celebrates the contribution of women strategists at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at ANU.

"I chose the Master of Strategic Studies because I was interested in building my network in Canberra. I previously worked in the international security field at a US think tank, and was hoping to find an opportunity closer to home.

I am originally from Queensland and have lived in the US and UK. Some people have reservations about coming to Canberra, however I have really enjoyed everything the city has to offer - from quirky festivals, to hiking, and the excellent array of restaurants!

The academic who had the biggest influence on my study experience was my sub-thesis supervisor Evelyn Goh. She was a wonderful mentor who helped push the boundaries of my academic skills. She taught me the importance of a rigorous methodology, guiding me through a difficult project until I achieved a product that I was proud of.

The most valuable skills I learnt in my degree were the ability to think about strategy and how it can be implemented. My capacity to think critically has deepened and I have gained a greater confidence in my problem-solving skills. All [these skills] have proven useful in my job as a consultant for the federal government at PwC.

I care about improving the experience of women in the workplace. While at ANU, I was a founding member of a student-led organisation, Women in Masters of Strategic Studies, that advocated a more inclusive Masters program for women and minorities. I am hoping to continue this activism in my new workplace, especially through opportunities to mentor younger employees.

I have chosen against taking a traditional public-sector job upon leaving the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at ANU, and this was the right decision for me. My advice for students in the program would be to keep their minds open and explore an array of different opportunities in the national security and defence industries. You never know what may be the right fit!."