Nick Smith
Owner of Bar Rochford

Bachelor of Psychology

If great bartenders make even better therapists, it should come as little surprise that Nick Smith, owner of Bar Rochford and kingpin of Canberra’s burgeoning bar scene, holds a Bachelor of Psychology from UC.

‘I studied Psychology to learn more about myself,’ Nick explains. ‘I always felt I was good at people and wanted to be a counsellor at the time.’

As Nick moved through his degree, he grew in confidence, building writing skills, learning how to network, and making new friends. ‘UC helped me grow as a person,’ he reflects. ‘It gave me the guts to go out and get a job, and made me feel confident in my ability to write well and connect with people.’

While psychology and hospitality are vastly different fields, Nick applies the skills he learnt during his degree to his current work at Bar Rochford. ‘Running a bar is all about knowing how people tick. I work with people full-time and my degree informs the skills I need when dealing with the challenges of owning a business—giving people a chance, managing my staff’s daily issues, and talking to customers.’

Thanks in part to Nick’s skilled management of talented staff, Bar Rochford has experienced astronomical success in its short life; the establishment won Gourmet Traveller’s ‘Bar of the Year’ in 2017, receiving its first hat the year after. ‘Mum was very excited,’ Nick laughs. ‘It’s amazing to be part of a venue where you feel proud to come in to work.’

When asked to give advice to future students, Nick doesn’t hesitate. ‘Work hard, keep humble, and put 110% into your craft. Otherwise, what’s the point?’