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James is taking on the Real World

12th July 2011

Starring in Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) new fast-paced and funky ad was "some of the best fun I've ever had", engineering graduate and 2011 Queensland Rhodes Scholar James Tilbury said.

Watch the ad and you will see some of James' life in Cambodia and exciting future at Oxford University flash before you.

At just 23, James already has the world at his feet: he has a place at one of the most prestigious universities in the world to study for a Masters of Environmental Change and Management.

He is a high-achieving civil engineer who gained a 6.8 grade point average out of a maximum of 7 at QUT which puts him at the top of one of the most sought-after professions.

James could work anywhere in the world, and has already been employed by blue chip firm Ernst & Young as a consultant in climate change and sustainability services.

James intends to use his prodigious talents to "alleviate poverty through sustainable development", hence his 10-month stint in Cambodia with international development organisation, CARE, and his choice of a sustainability themed degree at Oxford.

"It's been amazing living in Cambodia - from the craziness of Phnom Penh to the simple living in Ratanakiri in the north-east, it has been a great experience," James said.

"I'm learning a lot about international development and how developing countries work, which will be invaluable information in my future career."

James took time out in April to travel to Oxford University to film the QUT ad which allowed him to check out where he would be living and studying from October this year.

"It was quite surreal going to Oxford. I don't think you could find a greater contrast to Phnom Penh. I really appreciated the opportunity to take a sneak peek into where I would be living for the next two years," he said.

"Making the ad was some of the best fun I've ever had, which is saying something because I normally hate being filmed and photographed.

"I'm happy to be doing anything I can to raise awareness about humanitarian work. It is very worthwhile and I think a lot more people should give it a go, even if that just involves volunteering on the weekend. Working to make poor people richer is infinitely more rewarding than working to make rich people richer."

Follow James on Twitter @James_Tilbury.

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