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I am new here, so apologise if I have deviated from the conventions or something. I am a first year student at UTAS in Australia. I am currently majoring in Data Science, and I am curious if anyone knows any good internships/graduate programs I can do over summer/when I finish my degree. I am currently focusing on building career capital (as Benjamin Todd says in the 80,000 hours book, it is better to do build yourself up now so in ten years you can do an immense amount of good, rather than doing feel-good projects at non-profits with limited benefits in the short-term), so I want to get something clouty. I am doing well in my studies (6.75 GPA on a 7 scale last semester. A little lower this semester as I had to learn programming, but I am currently aiming for a High Distinction finish), and I want to get a masters degree at somewhere clouty as well (currently thinking about the 1 year Applied Masters of Data Science at Monash. It's one of the top universities in Australia, but you only need CR average to attend, so it's something I could realistically do. It also is only 2 years part time and online, and also highly flexible, whereas other Australian universities are 1.5 or 2 years for the same thing). If I have a LinkedIn page that says 'Data Engineer at Deloitte (or some other top company. I will be applying to the Big 4 and doing the virtual work experience programs etc., but other recommendations will be listened to)', 'Master's degree at Monash', '5+ years work experience (or however many I have at that time)', I will have built a good foundation for the future, and then I could go into earning to give, or something better if an opportunity comes my way. Fundamentally I want to build myself up though, as this means I can do more good for both myself, and it means I have more options meaning I can do more good in the future. For further context, I am 19 years old, and I have dual citizenship for Great Britain, however data scientists get paid more in Australia from what I know, so will not move without reasons. Any ideas what I should be doing?

Thank you

P.S. It is too late for applying for internships for the end of this year, as it finishes in about a week, but I have things I can do this summer so it's not a disaster. I am mostly writing so I can prepare for next year/ the future.




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I am an over-60 EA, and one of the things that I wish that I had done when I was your age, was to have started saving up for a retirement fund that I could then use for donations in my retirement.  This is because savings that is invested in growth fund can compound at 8% to 12% per year on average over the long term. 

If at 19, I started saving $200/month, then by 30, I would have had over $30,000 saved away (with interest).  Compounding this in a growth fund at 10%/year starting at age 30, would have increased that $30K to $30K x [1.10^35] = $843K by the time I am 65 years old.  With that I could donate it and be saving $843K/($5000/life) = 168 lives.

If I knew at the age of 19, that I could have saved 168 lives by the age of 65 just by saving $200/month until I was 30 years old ... I definitely would have done that. 

So I would recommend that you combine earn-to-give with learning how to save a little and put it in a high-growth retirement fund.  The rapid, compounded growth of the right investment fund can also grow your impact over time in ways that are similar to you developing your earning skills.  


Thank you very much for that. Very insightful and something I had never thought about. 

Out of curiosity, considering there is substantial evidence that the world is fundamentally getting better (I can provide sources if required, however the EA founders themselves acknowledge this), I may be able to do more potential good in the future if I save, but there also may be less people who need the help. It also provides a form of temptation, where I may be willing to take some of that money in the future. In some sense, it's using money less efficient... (read more)

Robert Van Buskirk
If the problems of poverty and health inequality start  being solved, then this should be reflected in the cost per life-saved going up over time.  Because as the problem gets solved at a global scale, there are diminishing returns for new investments in solving the problem.  So the strategy would be to save while keeping an eye on the cost trends in saving a life. If it looks like the cost per life saved is increasing faster than the value of savings is increasing, then you shift the savings to donations.  But as long as the rate of increase of the cost of saving a life is substantially less than your return on investment in your savings account, you will save more lives by keeping the money in the savings account and paying for the lives-saved later.  This also demonstrates that if you have low-yield in your retirement savings, then it is better to donate now to save a life rather than wait later because if the yield is lower than inflation, you don't wind up saving any more lives. And given a choice between saving one life now and one life ten years from now, it is at least a little better to save it now. 
Jack Sands
Awesome. Cheers
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Hello. I forgot to mention, my email address is notfranic@gmail.com. I am not brilliant at responding to forums, so if you really want to get in touch that is worth knowing. This is not my main email address, so I will still be slow, but probably faster than on this site. I am new to this, so I need to make sure that giving away my contacts isn't a remarkably stupid thing to do, so if things go well maybe I can give my main and this will be faster, but not yet. 

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