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Student story

Alex Wilson

20 July 2023

"Learn about different topics and find your drive in the world..."


Bachelor of Criminal Justice


Master of Criminal Justice


Court Registry Officer for the Youth Court, Ministry of Justice


Why Criminal Justice?

Initially when I was choosing what to study after high school, I was really interested in the “Criminal Minds” and “NCIS” shows. Now, the BCJ was no where near what happens in these shows, but it opened my eyes to the criminal justice system. 

I really enjoyed the wide range of topics you learnt about. For a start in first year, it was very broad and gave you a lot of information about almost everything in the criminal justice system. By the third year and postgraduate level, you started to choose where you wanted to go – and for me that’s where I learnt a lot about the youth justice system.

What kind of interesting things do you get to do in a Criminal Justice degree?

I completed an internship for the Criminal Justice Research Centre, designing their website in a group of approximately five of us. This internship was based at UC and I found it was really interesting to work as a group as university studies can be very individual. So, it gave me some experience with working as a team. 

As one of the first graduates of the MCJ degree (congrats!) what advice do you have for future students?

Take any opportunity you get. I got my first job in the industry by signing up to it from a guest speaker who came into a lecture in my third year of the BCJ. 

Another tip would be keep reading things that you are interested in, whether it is policies, newspaper articles, reports, journal articles, posters etc – find your passion and stick with it. There are so many branches under the BCJ and the MCJ – so explore the ones that you are interested in. Learn about different topics and find your drive in the world. 

Since graduating you’ve taken up a role as Court Registry Officer for the Youth Court. How have you found it?

I really like the type of environment that is fast-paced and where no day is the same. Some of my tasks include case management, data entry, court taking, answering emails/phone calls about the Youth Court, receiving and processing inquiries or applications, scheduling, and having a general knowledge of legislation that is relevant to the Youth Court. Furthermore, I am also working in the criminal justice precinct, so it is giving me great exposure to this job industry. 

I also actively play and teach tenor drumming. I teach at my old high school (St Andrew’s College) and play in a grade one pipe band (Canterbury Caledonian). As a grade one band, we have won multiple National Championships that occur every year in March. 

How did your degrees prepare you for Youth Court?

My four years of study has taught me many things that I have taken into my role today. For a start, studying at UC has taught me time management skills that have given me the ability to be in an incredibly busy industry. Along with this, it has taught me the basics of reading legislation and particular bits of policy that are related to the youth justice system. 

Finally, my study has given me the passion to make a difference in the community. 

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