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Willis News Bi-annual newsletter for the Work Integrated Learning subjects. Connecting past and present alumni, students and clients.


Creating a Graduate Program PAST STUDENT REFLECTION


Rachel Teo


Jacky Yau and Amit Naik


Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur


Growth Through Experiences

Welcome Welcome to the seventh edition of The Willis News. This bi-annual newsletter celebrates Work Integrated Learning at the Faculty of Business and Economics. The Willis News endeavours to connect current students and clients of the practicum and consulting subjects to past clients and alumni of the programs. We hope that this newsletter highlights the great achievements that have come out of the projects over the past six months. The Global Management Consulting (GMC) program in July this year took place in four exciting cities around the globe – Berlin, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore. Each city offered unique and exciting learning opportunities for the 20 Bachelor of Commerce students that were talented enough to be selected for each location. Once again, our valued industry hosts offered some challenging projects to their four person student consulting groups. Some of our industry partners included Ericsson, PwC, Deutsche Bank, IBM, Tourism Australia and Spaceframe. The GMC students found their experience full of valuable learning opportunities, in a new culture and environment. We had 60 students participate in Management Consulting (MC) in Semester 1 2017. These students participated in some exciting projects for 14 different clients such as AFL, Deloitte, L’Oreal, NAB and Sensis. Our congratulations go to the Dentsu Aegis student consulting group (Kyle Bennetto, Julia Holme, Emma Poole, Shane Leong and James Zhao) who won the $2500 FBE Management Consulting Team Prize for the highest performing team during the semester. You can read about their project for Dentsu Aegis on pages 4-5. The Business Practicum showcase was a celebration of the great project results from our combined 15 Melbourne Business Practicum (MBP) and 11 Global Business Practicum (GBP) teams. One couldn’t miss the positive vibe in the room generated by excited students marking the end of these intensive subjects and eagerly sharing their experiences. It was also great to welcome so many industry partners to such an event. In July, 20 students had the opportunity to experience the business culture of Kuala Lumpur, hosted by KPMG, Merica, PwC, QBE and Telekom. 23 students travelled to Shanghai and worked on projects for 31Jiu, AustCham, NAB, PwC, Radisson and Silk Initiative. 59 students were also hosted by our Melbourne based industry partners, including AASB, ANZ, Copia, Discover Wealth, Heart Foundation, Heuristic, Hobspot, IG Design, L’Oreal, Melbourne Markets, Multi BD, OPUS (St. Vincent’s Hospital), PwC and WSP Digital. In Shanghai this July, our Global Management Consulting and Global Business Practicum students were fortunate to attend a social event hosted jointly by the University of Melbourne and the Shanghai office of CPA Australia, bringing together the hosts of both subjects, of which many are alumni or have alumni connections. It was also a valuable opportunity for current students to share and exchange their experiences with past GMC and GBP students. To conclude, we would like to recognise the commitment and hard work that students and clients, past and present, have put into making these subjects a great success. We look forward to these programs continuing whilst growing our alumni and client network.

Professor Nasser Spear

Professor Prakash Singh

Deputy Dean, Melbourne Business School

Head of Department, Management and Marketing



A final year Bachelor of Commerce subject where student consulting teams work on a ten week project. Offered in both semester one (commencing March) and semester two (commencing August) each year, with students working in-company for half a day per week throughout the semester.

Masters students across the range of business disciplines engage in an intensive two-week in-company team based consulting project. Projects run during February and July.

Work Integrated Learning Subjects The Faculty coordinates four key work integrated learning subjects that place undergraduate and graduate student teams in “real world� business projects that deliver results for our partner organisations.



A two-week overseas in-company team project for Masters students. Destinations include Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and London. Projects run during January, July and November.

An intensive two-week in-company project in an international setting for teams of final year Bachelor of Commerce students. Destinations include Singapore, San Francisco, Bangkok and Berlin. Projects run during January, July and November.


Creating a Graduate Program Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) is a full-service communications network built for the digital age. The network is innovating the way brands are built for its clients through its best-inclass expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Overall, the network consists of 22 integrated marketing and communications businesses. The various brands offer services ranging from traditional media to cutting edge data generation and advisory. This presents many opportunities for clients in the new, complex media eco-system, and brings to life the right communication strategy and subsequently, the best results for clients. In 2016, the Network started hiring graduate talent for the first time. However, the organisation had no formalised graduate program in place. To be competitive in the ongoing battle to attract top graduate talent, DAN identified the need to create a graduate program for the network.


This was the context which led to the commissioning of our team’s (Avant Garde Advisory) consulting project with DAN, which formed part of the University’s industry-focused Management Consulting subject. Nervously arriving at DAN for the first of our client meetings, our team was briefed on our task: to design a graduate program which is synergistic with DAN’s complex business model; allows for the development of a highly-skilled, agile, cross-functional network; and is cost-effective for the multinational organisation. With our goals clear and a 12-week timeline in place to deliver them in, our team embarked on the project.

The Project Management Consulting, Melbourne, Australia Semester 1, 2017 Dentsu Aegis Network Kyle Bennetto Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance Major) Julia Holme Bachelor of Commerce (Finance, Management and Marketing Major) Shenghao (Shane) Leong Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance Major) Emma Poole Bachelor of Commerce (Management and Marketing Major) James Zhao Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance Major) Kyle, Julia, Shane, Emma and James were the recipients of the Management Consulting Team Prize for Semester 1, 2017.

“This subject has given us invaluable exposure to consulting and the international business environment.” For the first month, our time was solely dedicated to research. This ranged from primary interviews with a variety of key stakeholders with the Dentsu Aegis Network; including recent graduate hires, the HR team, the graduate recruitment team, and managers responsible for learning and development across the network. This provided us with the required insight into the network’s needs and culture, and ensured the development of a personalised graduate program. Secondary research was conducted throughout the project, which included investigating academic journal articles and industry insight journals to understand best-practice graduate programs currently available. While this was time consuming, it was crucial to the success of our initiative, given our desire to be competitive and attract top talent. With the research complete, our team moved into the ideation phase of the project; actually developing the graduate program. It was clear that creating the ‘perfect’ graduate program was going to be challenging, if not impossible. While, in an ideal world, a graduate program would upskill and develop cross-functionality in all incoming graduates across DAN, the costs and the difficulty of implementing such a complex program would be large, and with potentially overwhelming constraints. To overcome these limitations, our team agreed to propose a set of three key recommendations from which DAN could pick and choose one, or a combination of, to create their own customised graduate program.

These were: 1. Five ‘General Initatives’ such as mentoring and a formalised induction day, which could be easily implemented at DAN in January 2018. 2. A Rotational Program for all incoming graduates, which, due to the complexity of the program, we recommended to be implemented in January 2019, if at all. 3. A Leadership Accelerator Program, which maximised the benefits of recommendation B, but minimised the disadvantages and costs for DAN. This ‘menu’ of potential solutions is not the typical outcome of a consulting project, nor what we initially thought our recommendations would look like come Week 12. However, our team decided that this flexible and compatible set of possible options was the most appropriate and useful recommendation for DAN. Over the course of the 12-week project, there were many lessons learned by our team – not only about the business world and consulting, but also about ourselves. If a few lessons stood out in particular, one was the importance of open, ongoing and honest communication within our team. As a team of five, faced with a multi-faceted project, it was important that we had the right systems in place to communicate, attribute clear responsibility, contribute to, and critique one another’s ideas. By creating a trusting and supportive environment, we were all comfortable brainstorming out loud, accepting constructive criticism,

adding to and enhancing ideas – all in a bid to come up with the best possible graduate program for DAN. One of the major benefits of our team was that we worked collaboratively and were involved in all aspects of the program. Subsequently, each member of our team felt ownership over the entire project and were always willing to put in those extra hours researching, brainstorming, drafting and editing together. The friendly and genuinely fun team environment - which we managed to create and sustain over the course of the project - was what made the semester fly by, and created what will hopefully be a great graduate program for DAN. Looking back over the past semester, it’s hard to believe that the project has come to a conclusion and our recommendations have been made. This subject has given us invaluable exposure to consulting and the international business environment, an ongoing relationship with DAN, and a great new group of friends who will be in touch for years to come, wherever in the world we may be.

“What I loved is that we were not only sitting in class learning about theoretical frameworks but we were also ‘rolling up our sleeves’ and applying our knowledge in the real world” – Julia Hansen Holme “It became clear on day one that the type of work we were doing would literally shape the future of their workforce and business operations” – Emma Poole

Image: The student team with Dentus Aegis Network staff: Isabel Peh, James Zhao, Emma Poole, Julia Hansen Holme, Shenghao (Shane) Leong, Kyle Bennetto, Felicity McKay. 4


Cameron Andrew Gregory Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance Major)

The unique opportunity to work within a team of highly motivated individuals, advise on a real-case business scenario with tangible outcomes, and the selfknowledge acquired during the program made Global Management Consulting the most valuable experience I have undertaken to date. Berlin, Germany Consulting is inherently difficult by nature; notwithstanding the high degree of understanding necessary to provide meaningful evaluations and advice, it also tests ones’ ability to think laterally and thoughtfully under time-constrained conditions, whilst working effectively within a team environment. When my plane touched down at Berlin’s Tegel Airport, I felt capable and prepared.


Upon meeting our point of contact at REMONDIS International and being briefed on the task we would be undertaking over the next two weeks, our team left feeling a bit disconcerted, yet calm. We were required to perform in-depth analytical research into the scrap tyre industry, and from our research, perform a feasibility study with respect to a possible market service expansion. The unfamiliarity of the industry and the level of independence required surprised us all. However, despite the complexity of the task presented before us, our team prevailed. Led by a common goal to provide the best advice we could to a client that had been so appreciative of our presence, along with the strong friendships we developed between ourselves over delicious restaurant outings and late nights, we presented our findings and recommendations with immense satisfaction and pride. This was no easy feat. Without recognising the diversity within our team, and drawing on our strengths to overcome our weaknesses, we would not have been able to present a finished product. The unique experiences and

The Project Global Management Consulting Berlin, Germany July 2017 REMONDIS International Cameron was a recipient of the Global Management Consulting Award for July 2017.

perspectives we brought to the table were crucial in our overall success. Whilst the opportunity to travel abroad and provide meaningful advice was undoubtedly an enriching experience, the most valuable aspect of the program were the life lessons I took away from it on a personal level. The GMC not only gave me the opportunity to test my abilities and apply my knowledge, it gave me a chance to learn; both about an industry I never truly contemplated, my own personal characteristics, and the importance of strong teamwork. I left Berlin excited for the future success of REMONDIS, and excited for the potential pathways my degree can unlock for me.

Jiaxi (Jesse) Zhao Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance Major)

On 27 June 2017, the meeting room of Shilla Stay Hotel in Seoul was buzzing with excitement. Having all flown halfway across the world, a group of 20 anxious and jet-lagged students waited in anticipation to receive their project briefs. Seoul, South Korea I was fortunate to be teamed up with three talented students to consult for Tourism Australia. However our collective skill and talent did not mean that the project was an easy one. Tasked with analysing Tourism Australia’s social media presence in South Korea, the team ran into numerous challenges. The first major obstacle was determining what was actually in the scope of the project, and at times we had to go back to the drawing board to formulate a new plan of attack.

Challenges such as the lack of sleep and cultural differences stood in our way but all of these problems were soon overcome through a combination of coffee, sheer determination and teamwork. My team was diverse in terms of both culture and skill set and soon we were all able to find places in the project to apply our expertise. By drawing on each other’s strengths, we worked collaboratively and efficiently and in the end, delivered a high quality presentation that was well received by our client. One highlight of working at Tourism Australia was the people. On the first day, the Country Manager, who was also our supervisor for the project, spent a large part of his day explaining to us the cultural norms, recommending tourist spots and treating us to a delicious bibimbap, a popular Korean dish consisting of rice, sautéed vegetables and chilli paste. Every person at the office was friendly and approachable which made our daunting task as student consultants in a foreign country all that much easier. My participation in Global Management Consulting was a highly rewarding

The Project Global Management Consulting Seoul, South Korea July 2017 Tourism Australia Jesse was a recipient of the Global Management Consulting Award for July 2017.

experience. It was the first time I had worked in a professional setting and I finally had the opportunity to see how my classroom learning translated into a business environment. It was also highly satisfying to see that our work made an impact, as following the presentation, our client confirmed that they would be looking into some of the recommendations we had proposed. I was also able to strengthen my research, teamwork and presentation skills and also, meet a group of people that I am proud to not only call my colleagues, but my friends.



Roland Allen

Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance Major)

We hit the ground running after landing in Singapore as our team grappled with the task that would occupy us for the next two weeks: assessing the viability of a fractional real estate trading platform for our client, Daniel Teo & Associates. Singapore This project stemmed from a proposal that the client had developed themselves from the ground up, which presented a unique challenge: how to bring fresh perspectives to a client that (it seemed at first) had thought of just about everything. Hours and hours of vigorous brainstorming and research allowed us to crack what was initially a daunting task. In the end, being able to deliver substantial analysis and recommendations for a


client with real skin in the game was an extremely rewarding experience. Delivering the final presentation to our client that comprised all the work we had put in over the two weeks felt fantastic! Global Management Consulting provided a great opportunity to develop presentation skills, which are crucial given that presentations are a mainstay of professional life. Our team was able to bring some of the concepts we’d learned at university to approach the project, but much of the program was a learning experience for us. I gained a lot of knowledge about real estate in particular, which I found enriching given that I had not had a chance to study the field previously. More broadly, my comfort level with approaching open-ended problems and performing extensive research improved significantly over the two weeks, which are valuable skills in both industry and further study. Teamwork is an essential workplace skill and good communication and chemistry between our team was essential in developing the end product. Like any skill, the ability to work effectively in teams is one

The Project Global Management Consulting Singapore July 2017 Daniel Teo & Associates Roland was a recipient of the Global Management Consulting Award for July 2017.

that gets better with experience and GMC provides a perfect opportunity to work on these competencies. Singapore is renowned for being a global centre of commerce and rightfully so, and I got to meet great people that I’d otherwise be unlikely to cross paths with. Ultimately, the experience was unlike anything I had done before. Being able to work on a real consulting project offers a challenge beyond the normal university experience and helps equip you for professional life.

Dean Lee

Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance Major)

By day two in Shanghai it was already clear that this project would exceed my expectations. It would be a challenging experience that would not stay within the confines of a curriculum; and would push me to utilise all the skills, knowledge, and experiences I had. Shanghai, China Uniquely, our team was not only consultants for, but also guests of our client, the Radisson Blu New World Hotel. Tasked with improving the hotel guest experience, the line between work and leisure blurred; as a night out on the Bund could provide ideas for the hotel bar, and relaxing in the pool was an opportunity to conduct observational research and critically analyse our own experiences as guests of the hotel. The project highlighted the importance of immersing yourself in a problem and

creating your own experiences in order to get to the heart of how consumers feel, rather than relying on reports and reviews alone. The scope of the project widened within the first few days, and our initial approach needed to be adjusted to accommodate this. Being able to work adaptably as a team meant being able to pivot focus and change course quickly, whilst at the same time effectively managing stakeholders and their expectations. This is a skill that I had not used before, but which no doubt will become increasingly useful in my future career. I also learnt how much could be gained from working as a team. Coming from a diverse set of disciplines and cultures, we were able to successfully address weaknesses with our respective strengths from within the team. In particular, given that guests of the hotel would be visiting from around the globe, the diversity in our team was key to having a holistic understanding of international customers and their needs. Finally, I was surprised by how incredibly satisfying it was to know that our recommendations were insightful and

The Project Global Management Consulting Shanghai, China July 2017 Radisson Blu New World Hotel Dean was a recipient of the Global Management Consulting Award for July 2017.

tangibly useful. It was illuminating to see how what we learn at University can be applied in a real industry context. To be faced with a problem that affects real people is humbling, and to be given the power to potentially cause real change is daunting, yet thrilling. Global Management Consulting was an invaluable and unforgettable experience that gave me the opportunity, whilst still a student, to take a hands-on look at the global world of business.

Image: Team Radisson Blu: Dean Lee, Chunmin (Charlotte) Yao, Samantha Varghese and Edwin Soon.



A fresh perspective on a new business Rachel Teo is the Director of Daniel Teo & Associates, a real estate investment, development and management company based in Singapore. Rachel is a past president and ongoing member of the University of Melbourne Singapore Alumni Association, having graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1991, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics in 1992. Daniel Teo & Associates have hosted many Global Management Consulting and Global Business Practicum student teams in Singapore, since the subjects’ were instigated. We asked Rachel about her experiences hosting Global Management Consulting.

What attracted you to participating in Global Management Consulting and what did you hope to get out of the experience? Our company was focusing on a new sector. When I read about the Global Management Consulting program, I thought the new sector might be a good platform to engage the students to work on. We were mainly hoping to get a fresh perspective of this new business. What are the benefits of participating in Global Management Consulting? It helps to have young and open minds looking at a different industry through fresh eyes. While they need guidance, they are bright and hardworking enough to meet our expectations. What kind of personal qualities or skills do you think a student needs in order to be successful in the Global Management Consulting program? Students need to be able to think out of the box and to work independently on research. Students also need to show a lot of initiative and drive to research new business industries and models in a foreign country. Do you have any advice for new students doing Global Management Consulting? Do not be disheartened if your initial findings or research do not support an outcome. The important fact is to work on what the research findings support. The process is more important than the outcome. Lastly, there is a steep learning curve, so learn as much as you can and have fun! Do you have any memorable moments from your involvement with Global Management Consulting? One of the most memorable moment was introducing our students to our local culture by taking them to have local ‘kaya’ (coconut jam) toast with coffee and teaching them how to order coffee like the locals do. We taught them to tell the difference between ‘kopi siew-dai gao’ (thick coffee with milk and less sugar) and ‘kopi’ (a standard coffee with milk). Will you be putting any of the findings you received from the students into practice? If so what are the next steps? Yes we will be. The students came up with a name for the corporate identity which we have already adopted. Moving forward we will be working with joint venture partners to see the fruition of setting up this new business model.



London, England

San Francisco, USA

Berlin, Germany Bangkok, Thailand

Seoul, South Korea Shanghai, China Hong Kong

Singapore Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Santiago, Chile

Melbourne, Australia

Where you will find our Work Integrated Learning students Our student consultant teams can be found across the globe; working in powerhouse cities across Asia, Europe and North and South America.


Our clients A snapshot of the varied industries engaging the latest student intakes from our Work Integrated Learning progams.

Sport and Recreation Pharmaceutical

Telecommunication Wholesale and Distribution

Not-for-Profit Education Cosmetics

Banking, Financial Services and Business Consultancy

Real Estate

Hospitality and Tourism Health and Allied Services


Information Technology


Marketing, Advertising, Media and Public Relations

Construction, Infrastructure and Engineering Insurance


Food and Beverage

Banking, Financial Services and Business Consultancy ANZ Melbourne Australian Retail Credit Association BASF Berlin Copia Investment Partners Melbourne Deloitte Melbourne Deutsche Bank Berlin Discover Wealth Melbourne Grant Thornton Melbourne Heuristic Melbourne


Real Estate

AIG Melbourne

Anken Green Shanghai

Medibank Melbourne

Daniel Teo & Associates Singapore

QBE Kuala Lumpur QBE Singapore

L’Oreal Melbourne Construction, Infrastructure and Engineering Linde Korea WeGen Kuala Lumpur

NAB Melbourne NAB Shanghai PwC Kuala Lumpur

Spaceframe Shanghai

PwC Singapore Shinewing Shanghai Signavio Berlin

Marketing, Advertising, Media and Public Relations Dentsu Aegis Melbourne Digital Affair Melbourne Hobspot Melbourne

University of Melbourne: Sustainability Office

Not-for-Profit Heart Foundation Melbourne

Government AustCham Shanghai


Australian Accounting Standards Board

Blackmores Shanghai

Treasury Coporation Victoria

PwC Melbourne PwC Shanghai



KPMG Kuala Lumpur Macquarie Bank Seoul


Sport and Recreation AFL

Information Technology Ericsson Singapore IBM Seoul

Telecommunication Telekom Malaysia

WSP Digitial Melbourne Wholesale and Distribution Manufacturing

Melbourne Markets

IG Design Melbourne Melchers Singapore MTU Berlin

PHD Media Shanghai Sensis Melbourne

Health and Allied Services Multi BD Melbourne

Food and Beverage

OPUS Melbourne

SAB Miller Seoul Vinomofo 31Jiu Shanghai Silk Initiative Shanghai

Hospitality and Tourism RaddissonBlu Shanghai Tourism Australia Seoul



Where are they now? Jacky Yau Jacky Yau is a Consultant at Deloitte. He participated in Management Consulting in Semester 2, 2014 and completed a project for Deloitte. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance, in 2015. Where are you working now? I returned to Deloitte after the Management Consulting subject and am now working as a Consultant at Monitor Deloitte, Deloitte’s strategy consulting practice. Having been at Deloitte for about one and a half years, I’ve had the absolute pleasure and privilege of working with some of the most incredible people I know across a broad range of projects and industries, including public sector, not-for-profits, consumer & industrial products, financial services and manufacturing. I now work primarily in mergers and acquisitions and commercial strategy for the consumer and industrial products sector group, and I am loving what I do!

first thing that comes to mind for students studying the Bachelor of Commerce (or at least it wasn’t for me), it has actually had an incredibly large influence on my career. First and foremost, I had the opportunity to work and form networks with not only my team but my future colleagues at Deloitte. As an added bonus to that, agriculture has actually become my main sector of interest and even allowed me to claim a degree of expertise when I was doing a commercialisation strategy piece of work around ground-breaking lobster aquaculture technology. I find agriculture an incredible industry and a core part of Australia’s history – and hopefully its future too.

Did your experience in Management Consulting influence your career path?

What was your most memorable moment in Management Consulting?

1. Curiosity

The question my team was assigned as part of the Management Consulting subject was around how to position Australian agriculture for the future. While agriculture is not the

My most memorable moment in Management Consulting was the moment we as a team realised what we were able to accomplish over such a short period of time, and the incredible importance of networks

2. Teamwork


- and that not everything is available on the internet! Over the course of the subject we interviewed multiple experts within Deloitte all with unique perspectives – from food scientists, to partners working directly with some of the largest agribusinesses in Australia. We even had the opportunity to interview Professor Snow Barlow at the University of Melbourne, a former member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

If you had to describe your Management Consulting experiences in three words, what would they be?

3. Mastery


Shanghai, China

Sydney, Australia Melbourne, Australia

Amit Naik Amit Naik is a Management Consultant at EY in Sydney. He participated in the Global Business Practicum in July 2015 and completed a project for Spaceframe in Shanghai, China. He graduated with a Master of Management in 2015. Where are you working now? I’m currently a Management Consultant with EY, based in Sydney. I joined the firm in February 2016 after graduating from the Melbourne Business School and I’ve had the opportunity to work across a multitude of roles and diverse client portfolios since then. I started out as a Consultant, focused on the Risk practice and have recently been promoted to a senior role within the Technology space. Did your experience in the Global Business Practicum influence your career path? It had a direct and invaluable alignment to my current career path. The opportunity to work in a strategic problem-solving environment with direct client contact is now what my day-to-day role consists of. The Global Business Practicum really trains you to understand and delve into the mindset of an organisation and understand everything from stakeholder

management to data analysis, to value proposition definition. I feel that the relationships I’ve built with my clients today have been a direct result of the skills I learned during the GBP. What was your most memorable moment in the Global Business Practicum? Coming from an IT background, I had the opportunity to work on a socialmedia and digital driven client for the GBP. The project was delivered successfully and gave me great, valuable insight into the organisational context. My most memorable moment was being recognised by the client for my personal interest and skillset in developing, building and servicing websites – who after the delivery of our project personally requested I stay on as a team member to provide website advice and services. It was great to have that recognition above and beyond just a grade.

Do you have any words of wisdom for new students taking Global Business Practicum? Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid to take on the new opportunities that present themselves to you, no matter how difficult you feel they might be. I’m glad I pushed myself to ask all the questions I wanted, no matter how silly. Also focus on networking and showcasing your skills where you can, people will remember you for them. Who knows, it could even lead to your dream job!

If you had to describe your Global Business Practicum experiences in three words, what would they be?

Absolutely worth it.



Amy Mao

Master of Management (Human Resources)

From the moment I arrived in the 30-degree foreign environment of Kuala Lumpur, it was clear that I was in for a life-changing experience outside my Melbourne comfort zone. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia On day one, we were invited to a welcome briefing session with the General Manager and other senior staff members of the team at Telekom. Our project consisted of investigating the issues in the uptake of digital servicing during the customer journey at Telekom, Malaysia’s leading provider of Telecommunication services. We were challenged by the project scope and all of its intricacies and worked very closely with members of the contact center, customer service and marketing business units. My team was cross-functional and culturally diverse with members from


Spain, India and Australia and studies focused in Management, Human Resources and Information Systems. Together we pushed ourselves to become a high performing team. We soon became comfortable engaging about the project and approached conflict with constructive discussion. As a team, we galvanised each other’s strengths in order to solve our client’s problem. Both our soft and hard skills were given a platform to translate from the classroom to a real-life business context, with reverberating impacts for our client. One of the most memorable moments of our time at Telekom was the invitation to attend their post Ramadan celebration. There were hundreds of Telekom staff members decked out in their traditional attire at the cultural feast. We thoroughly enjoyed the celebratory atmosphere and the numerous food stalls of Malaysian cuisine. At the conclusion of our final presentation, we engaged in a very open discussion with the Telekom team. As student consultants, it was humbling to have our voices heard and ideas encouraged. Through collaboration, we

The Project Global Business Practicum Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia July 2017 Telekom Malaysia

expanded on concepts and deliberated on meaningful insights. Our client applauded our ‘fresh perspective’ and our recommendations were respected and nurtured. As an individual with a global mindset, I plan to travel and work internationally, with Asia right at the top of my list. The GBP allowed me to build cultural knowledge and gain valuable understanding into a different working environment. I have learned a lot both personally and professionally. I am thankful for such a positive, immersive and inspiring experience that brought such driven individuals together. Image: Team Telekom: Andrea-Susana Cuadros Casta, Amy Mao, Adam Legg and Soumya Misra.

Anthony Secoulidis Master of Management

Leaving the winter cold in Melbourne and arriving in the hot and humid summer of Shanghai was just the first of many changes I was going to experience over the coming two weeks of the Global Business Practicum program. Working in Shanghai would prove to be an incredible experience of ups and downs where I would realise just how much I had learned over the course of my Masters degree. Shanghai, China Equipped with both research and the questions our team had prepared from the project brief before departure, I walked eagerly into the PwC office prepared to tackle the problem at hand, anticipating a unique learning

experience. We then found that the project had changed and would require a different skillset and approach than we were originally expecting. I quickly realised that our project would test our team’s creative and logical problem solving skills to their limits; requiring us to leverage our prior experiences to achieve our projects objectives. Coming from an undergraduate science background I never quite understood the reason why my business degree had so many group assessments. However, the teamwork, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills I had developed in these group assignments quickly became something I relied heavily upon. It is astounding how imperative these skills are in the workforce and I am grateful the Global Business Practicum gave me the opportunity to discover this before I enter the workforce. However, the highlight for me had to be how our team of strangers was able to come together, leverage our strengths and put aside our differences to really focus on creating meaningful value for our client PwC. With a whiteboard, post it notes and all our past experience on

The Project Global Business Practicum Shanghai, China July 2017 PwC Anthony Secoulidis and AndreaSusana Cuadros Casta were the a recipients of the Global Business Practicum Awards for July 2017.

hand we were able to overcome a range of challenges and deliver a valuable result for our client. The Global Business Practicum was an incredible opportunity to experience a different country’s work culture, understand the expectations of the workforce, and discover talents I never knew I had. I really felt that we made a tangible impact and contributed to our client’s future success.



Growth through

experiences. Masters students Nijat, Ash, June and Carina participated in the Melbourne Business Practicum in July 2017. They worked for two weeks on a project for Copia Investment Partners, a multi-boutique investment management group. We asked them to document their time there.

The Project: Melbourne Business Practicum Melbourne, Australia July 2017 Copia Investment Partners Jeremy Smith was the recipient of the Melbourne Business Practicum Award for July 2017.

Induction Week - Nijat Hajiyev Master of Finance It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I was excited about the Melbourne Business Practicum from the moment I clicked the “Apply” button. At first, the time spent in-company seemed more appealing than the on-campus Induction Week. The irony hit me on the first day of Induction Week, when the groups were formed. The project outline given to my team seemed very challenging, and I was anxious about working on a project with other students I had never met before. That’s when I understood the importance of the Induction Week to a student with no management background. The seminars dedicated to time management and how to assign tasks within a group were very useful to help us identify the path and the strategy for our project. The seminars also taught us how to deal with conflicts that may arise within a team during the project. By the end of the week I had become good friends with my teammates; we even selected common class streams for our next semester! We were fortunate to be assigned to Copia Investment Partners, a third-party services provider for fund managers, which fit our background as finance students perfectly. The open project


brief gave us a lot of flexibility. After our research proposal presentation at the end of Induction Week, our team felt confident about our strategy and the methodology that we would employ going forward. It was a productive Induction Week for all of us.

The First Day In-Company - Xiaolong (Ash) Yi Master of Finance I felt both excited and nervous on our first day at Copia. It was the first time I would be working in a real business environment. Our new supervisor was very friendly as he welcomed us to Copia and showed us our work place. He then briefly explained his expectations, and we realised that this was a very open project brief. There would be no direct supervision, no set tasks or templates; instead we would be free to follow our own instincts. We would also need to set up meetings ourselves with key people both inside and outside of the company to collect the information we needed. Despite my nerves I felt excited because this was such a valuable opportunity. A door had opened in front of us, with a whole new world for us to explore. There was so much to learn from a real life business operation. I also realised how important and powerful management consultants can be. Looking at the situation from a different perspective,

“I saw that we could really help make a difference and contribute towards the future of this company.” bringing fresh ideas and solutions to a company - I saw that we could really help make a difference and contribute towards the future of this company.

The Half Way Point - Yue (June) Liu Master of Finance As a team of four finance students with limited marketing and management experience, it was initially challenging for us to get a clear sense of the project. During the first week in company, we used a significant portion of our time to determine the specific topics we would need to focus on, as there was so much flexibility with the project scope. We collaborated to evaluate our progress as we worked on our presentation slides and final report, making any adjustments when needed. Through this I realised that effective communication is really the key to productive teamwork and ultimate success. Another part of the experience that was both challenging and exciting was interviewing highly qualified professionals, especially fund managers.

These professionals have very little time, so it was crucial that we asked precise questions to get as much valuable information as we could in a short timeframe. We needed to properly allocate our tasks to get the most out of the intensive in-company period, so we needed to utilise the time management skills we obtained throughout our studies.

The Final Presentation - Wenyue (Carina) Ge Master of Finance We were all eager but anxious for our final presentation to our client. Although we had put in a lot of effort on our presentation and rehearsed it many times, we were still worried about whether our recommendations would suit Copia’s needs. Also, we were told that four company directors would be attending, so we felt a little nervous about the questions these experts might ask. However, after our presentation they gave our team positive feedback; commenting that our presentation was ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’. It was especially rewarding to see that they enjoyed our presentation, and that

our efforts were appreciated and met their expectations. We hope that our recommendations will give Copia some fresh ideas, deliver meaningful impacts, and ultimately make the company even more attractive to fund managers. Over the two weeks of the program I learnt how to work efficiently and effectively in a multicultural and dynamic team with people with different characteristics, personalities, backgrounds and strengths. I was also proud of how our group’s public speaking skills grew as the project progressed. The Melbourne Business Practicum provided much more than I expected; both in terms of enhancing my teamwork abilities, and in understanding my capacity to work in a real-world financial institution. The experience also taught me that if you put in enough effort and keep your mind open, you will learn a lot and, eventually, reach your goal. Image: Team Copia: Xiaolong (Ash) Yi, Wenyue (Carina) Ge, Yue (June) Liu and Nijat Hajiyev.


Key staff Academic Subject Coordinators: Global Business Practicum & Melbourne Business Practicum: Sharon Soltys Work Integrated Learning Teaching Specialist Management Consulting: Paul Wiseman Academic Subject Coordinator Global Management Consulting: Dr Tine Koehler Academic Subject Coordinator Professional Staff: Amanda Marotta, Lucrezia Marino, Hayley Wolfert, Tracey Skordos, Kerry Haines, Rachel Hanley, Amy Stichbury and Clementine Bendle-Thompson. Editor: Clementine Bendle-Thompson.

The A.T. Kearney Prize From 2014, the A.T. Kearney Prize has been awarded to the student with the highest mark in the Management Consulting subject each year. A number of our program alumni have gone onto successful consulting careers at A.T. Kearney and we look forward to an ongoing relationship in the years to come.

Looking to host a student team? Confirmation of projects is sought approximately three months before each offering commences. To get involved please contact: Kerry Haines and Tracey Skordos


Phone: (03) 8344 2011

Are you a student looking to do a Work Integrated Learning Subject? Students are selected for these subjects via a competitive entry process. Applications open in the preceding semester. For more information:

Issue 7 September 2017 The Willis News  

Work Integrated Learning Magazine - Issue 7 September 2017

Issue 7 September 2017 The Willis News  

Work Integrated Learning Magazine - Issue 7 September 2017