Philip Greatrex

Philip completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History and Politics and International Relations and is now a policy officer in the Europe Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Philip Greatrex

“I’m a policy officer working in the Europe Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington. I currently cover New Zealand’s relationship with eight European countries, one of which is the United Kingdom. Next year I will be moving to Cairo to learn Arabic before taking up a diplomatic posting at the New Zealand Embassy in Riyadh. 

“One of the most enjoyable parts of the job is working on some high profile issues – being on the UK desk when Brexit happened is not something I will soon be forgetting! 

“Studying Politics and International Relations and History at the University of Auckland gave me an understanding of the principles and theories underpinning foreign affairs, and exposure to some of the key issues in the post-Cold War, post-9/11 world of international relations. 

“My degree also gave me the critical thinking and analysis skills that are essential when we’re suddenly faced with responding to an unprecedented event like Brexit that has massive geopolitical importance.

“My main piece of advice for anyone considering a career in foreign policy would be to gain experience outside of the classroom. While the skills and knowledge you will learn in your courses are essential, extra-curricular or work experience that complements your study is well regarded. I volunteered with UN Youth New Zealand while I was in my final year of university, and did an internship at the British High Commission in Wellington after I graduated.

“Above all though I’d say have fun, make friends, attend tutorials, and enjoy being a student while it lasts!”


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