Paul Coughlin

  • Diploma of Education, 1975

Your current role?

"I am now Executive Managing Director and the Global Head of Analytics & Operation at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services based in New York. I am responsible for revenues of around $2bn and for the 1600 professionals based in 23 countries around the world that produce Credit Ratings for companies, banks, insurers, governments, structured finance transactions and other entities. My favourite aspect of my role is getting the best out of my subordinates, while we provide a part of the essential infrastructure that allows the global financial markets to support economic growth."

Why did you choose to study at Monash University?

"I took the Diploma of Education course in 1975, and subsequently took some units in the Bachelor Education course. I wanted to be a secondary teacher, and was thinking perhaps in a role in education policy and administration. I was interested in the economics of education and human capital development. Eventually my interest in economics and policy won out over my limited talent as a teacher and I moved on to a number of government roles."

What aspect of the course has best prepared you for employment?

"Teacher training has given me essential skill in communicating and presenting ideas and information to broad audiences. Similarly, my studies related to the economics of education and related matters helped me obtain a position as an economist specialising in youth unemployment in Canberra in the Office of Youth Affairs."

Advice for future students?

"The best advice I have received in my career so far is to spend more time listening, and always imagine being in the shoes of the other person. My advice to current graduates entering the workforce and starting out in their careers is always to think through how they can excel and how they can improve their performance."