Bec Weeks (Fr 2003) was one of the first 100 women to attend St Andrew’s College in the early 2000’s and today is the co-founder of a behavioural science app called Pique. We caught up with Bec over Zoom to chat about her time at College and her career moves since.
Born and raised in Sydney, Bec Weeks was inspired to go to College to make the most of campus life: “My dad did the first two years of his commerce degree part-time at night while he was undertaking a cadetship at an accounting firm. He always said he wished he’d had more time on campus to have the full university experience, so he was particularly supportive when I said I wanted to apply.” Bec’s tertiary plans were cemented after meeting some Androvians during Open Day; their warm, outgoing personalities immediately made her feel welcome.
Bec resided in College during a period of significant social change; the introduction of women at St Andrew’s had happened only the year prior. Sport was Bec’s main focus, participating in hockey, athletics, swimming and tennis, for which she held the captaincy in her second year. She led the tennis team to victory and the first-ever Rosebowl Victory Dinner. Bec is impressed with the calibre of talent amongst Andrew’s women today particularly in the sporting arena, noting that “the College is in a virtuous cycle, continuing to bring great women into the community.” Although sport was a big factor in her enjoyment of College, the sense of community, friendships and memories made still remain her favourite parts of College.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Economics and Social Sciences/Bachelor of Laws, Bec spent two years working for a law firm and a Federal Court judge before becoming a management consultant at Bain and Co, where she worked for five years across Australia, the UK and the US. She took time out from Bain to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard University, with a focus on social entrepreneurship and behavioural science.
She returned to Australia to help grow the federal government’s behavioural science research team, BETA. Now based in the US, she has been working with two leading academics to develop a behavioural science app, called Pique. Bec found herself inspired by this field of research and wanted to provide people with access to these insights to enrich their lives. The Pique app aims to achieve this, introducing users to helpful concepts from the academic literature and demonstrating how to apply those ideas in their lives: “We pique your interest in a new concept and help you try it today and beyond.”
Bec finds that the US is the perfect place to conduct her work as it provides access to academics conducting ‘cutting edge’ research in the field, as well as great access to capital, talent and customers. Bec enjoys building a start-up and said, “It’s pretty exhilarating to be setting our vision and building the team to execute on that vision. Of course, since we’re a small start-up, I also do a ton of less-exhilarating things, but they’re all in service of our mission, which is a powerful motivator.”
COVID-19 has impacted Bec’s ability to travel; in her spare time, she has been practicing the ukulele, yoga, and recommends everyone watches Hamilton on Disney Plus.
Her advice for young entrepreneurs? “Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re working on, that it’s something you really enjoy and find all-consuming.”
Being a part of our alumni community is of great benefit to Bec. “As an Androvian you have access to a whole lot of alumni who would love to help in whatever way they can. Reach out. People are more willing to help than you might think. (Let me know if I can help with anything relating to start-ups, behavioural science, or being an ex-pat in the US!)”
Bec also recently volunteered her time as a mentor for the 2020 Androvation event and dialled in from Chicago to talk about start-ups and behavioural economics.
The Pique App is available for iOS on the App Store (head to getpique.app).