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source 2017 / TERM 2

p 1 5 Finalists! MBS in the Nespresso Sustainabilit y MBA Challeng e final in Switzerl and p 1 4 Business in Asia: One cou ntry, t wo perspec tives

table of contents From the Editors


From the SRC President


Message from The Dean


Inside Clubs: Getting to Know the Business Analytics Club


Leader Authenticity and Team Performance


Alumni Spotlight: Tristan Benfield


Industry Insight: Social Ventures Australia


Inspiring Journeys: Student Profiles


Outgoing and Incoming Student Exchanges


Inside ‘The Company’: Aspen Case Competition


Business in Asia: One Country, Two Perspectives


Nespresso Case Competition: Finalists!




MBS Student Representative Council 200 Leicester Street Carlton VIC 3053 Australia t f email website


+61 3 9349 8400 +61 3 9349 8404 src @

From the editors This edition also covers exciting stories of our fellow students’ journey to the top in the Nespresso Case Competition, as well as the Aspen Case Competition.

a story with us or leave some feedback at

With contributions from some of the most influential individuals in the MBS community, we hope you will find great value in this edition’s compilation of insights.

Read on to find out who from your cohort is featured in our ‘Inspiring Journeys’, learn more about what our Business Analytics Club has to offer, and gain some perspective on our everpopular ‘Business in Asia’ elective.

Regina Saquin MBA Full Time 2017

Within these pages, Dr Carol Gill sheds light on Leadership Authenticity and Team Performance, while Social Ventures Australia highlights the importance of social purpose for organisations.

To all the wonderful contributors to this term’s edition, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude. We would also like to invite our readers to get involved with The SouRCe. Please feel free to share

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to explore our Term 2, 2017 edition of The SouRCe. Every term since the second half of 2015, our peers have produced this publication and we are proud to say that this is our best yet.

Carly Versace MBA Part Time January 2016

Grace Yong MBA Part Time April 2015

From the SRC President We will be competing against AGSM in a debate and three sports over Friday and Saturday. We will need debaters, athletes and a huge MBS support crew to come to Sydney and bring home the Cup.

emma young Hi MBS, I am excited to announce some amazing events we have lined up for the rest of the year! After the incredible annual MBS Ball in May, our next major event is the 2017 MBA Cup from 21–23 July in Sydney.

Coming up in August is the inaugural MBAus Conference from 26–27 August. This two-day conference is being developed by your MBS student colleagues and aims to promote and raise awareness of the value of an MBA in Australia. This student-run conference focuses on providing a forum to connect MBAs with each other as well as leaders of business, academia and politics. Lastly, this will be my last issue of The SouRCe as your President. I will be stepping down in June and my hope is that the timing of this election will

start a trend of shorter terms so that students from all programs – Full Time, Part Time and MBusA – will feel they have the opportunity to stand for an executive role on the SRC. The last eight months have been made incredible by a team who has been relentless in the pursuit of making MBS a better place for you. Thank you to each and every one of you who have contributed countless additional hours to improving the MBS community. I am proud to have worked with such an amazing group of individuals. Emma Young SRC President | MBS SRC MBA Part Time July 2015


Message from the dean In the coming months, work will get underway to create a new café and social space and new teaching and learning spaces in the main Leicester Street building. As always, Jo Vella and her team in Program Services will keep you informed of any temporary changes to access caused by these works, and we will continue to do our best to keep any impact on our students to a minimum.

Zeger Degraeve I’m delighted to let you know that our multi-million dollar campus revitalisation project is progressing well. Work to transform the former library and study space in the Mill building into a new lecture theatre and syndicate space is progressing well, as are works in the previously disused factory fronting Bouverie Street that is being converted into offices for our staff.

The campus transformation project is the largest and most complex project our School has undertaken since the 1980s, when the Leicester Street building was built, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding while this work continues. Amid all this construction, our School has had a strong start to 2017. The first Dean’s Leaders Forum for the year was sold out, with Disney Australia Managing Director Kylie Watson-Wheeler even bringing some Storm Troopers to provide additional security. This success followed strong attendance at the

International Women’s Day event with AFLW commentator Chyloe Kurdas, and the Centre for Business Analytics’ first Talking Data series event with Facebook’s Head of Marketing Science (Australia and New Zealand) Steve Lockwood. Bringing together leaders from a range of fields enables the School to provide opportunities for our students and alumni to network and learn, and I strongly encourage you make the most of these opportunities throughout the year. Finally, I’d like to welcome our 2017 EMBA cohort, who commenced in March, our latest Part-time MBA class, who commenced in April, and our 2017 SEMBA cohort, who commenced in May. I wish them all every success in their time at Melbourne Business School. Until next time! Zeger Degraeve Dean

Leader Authenticity and Team Performance WORDS TO KNOW Behavioural Integrity refers to the alignment followers perceive between a leader’s espoused and enacted values. This is measured through a six-item scale asking followers to respond to items like ‘My manager practices what he/she preaches’. Dispositional Authenticity A ‘disposition’ is a prevailing tendency in an individual


that is reasonably stable over time. This is in contrast to a ‘state’, which can change depending on circumstances. Authenticity is a leader’s felt alignment between her values and behaviour, measured through a four-item scale using items like ‘I live in accordance with my values and beliefs’. Impression Management is a process in which people attempt to influence others perceptions of a person, object or event.

Political Skill is the ability to understand others at work, and use this knowledge to influence them. This is measured on a five-item scale asking followers to respond to items like ‘My leader finds it easy to envision himself/herself in the position of others’. Self-Report surveys ask participants to report on their own behaviours, thoughts or feelings.

See page 7 for full article

JULY 21 - 23



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inside clubs: Getting to know the business analytics Club The Business Analytics Club provides a place for students, alumni and professionals to better understand the growing phenomena of big data and its application in business.

What is the Business Analytics Club? In the last five years, analytics has gone from being a nice-to-have to a necessity in business. The digital revolution has made it easier not only to access data but also to collect it. With the proliferation of data, organisations can understand their customers better, optimise internal operations and improve decision-making. In addition, the mainstream adoption of cloud computing across business continues to put pressure on firms to incorporate relevant data from multiple sources that enables more timely, comprehensive and insightful business decisions. Perhaps the best example of this is Facebook’s targeted marketing based on consumers’ behaviour across multiple applications (Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger). Organisations that choose to ignore the available data and insights on customers, employees and competitors are no longer expected to survive in today’s markets. In this context, the Business Analytics Club was born to empower the MBS community with know-how on the latest tools and technologies in the fields of Analytics and Business Intelligence. The Club also provides people interested in these fields a place to meet and share their knowledge and experiences.


Who is the Business Analytics Club for? The Club is a conglomeration of MBAs, MBusAs and MBS alumni, and is for anyone who would like to learn more about integrating analytics into their business decisions. Every two months we organise workshops for the MBS community to learn about the application of analytics in different business disciplines.

What’s been happening? On Saturday 18th March the Club organised an HR Analytics workshop. Club members Niranjan Thilak and Michael Bennett, under the guidance of Dr. Pete Manasantivongs, presented a case study on using data to reduce employee churn by identifying employees most likely to leave the company within the next year. The presentation as well as the codes and the dataset are available on our Facebook page.

on the business model of Netflix and how they built a billion-dollar empire by perfecting the recommendation process for its customers. At the end of the workshop, participants will understand how to use data to increase customer satisfaction, unlock hidden profitability, and reduce churn. Even though analytics is storming through the world of business and turning historical operational models upside down through massive disruptive changes, so far we have only scratched the surface. The amount of data generated is doubling each year. Information from social media, devices and apps is giving us more insights than ever. Armed with the latest business analytics toolset, members of the Club will enter the analytics oriented market well ahead of their competitors.

How can you get involved? You can reach us on Facebook and Slack! #mbsanalyticsclub

Upcoming events Students participating in the HR Analytics workshop held on March 18th The Club is also part of the Centre of Business Analytics, and on 21st March we jointly hosted Steve Lockwood, Facebook’s Head of Marketing Science (Australia and New Zealand).

What’s next? The next workshop, scheduled for Saturday 3rd June, will be about consumer and marketing analytics. It will be centered

Saturday 3rd June - Consumer and marketing analytics - Netflix and the recommendation process November - Finance analytics - Fraud detection and risks Missed any of our past events? Find all data, results and insights here: groups/1830143543917208/

Leader Authenticity and Team Performance to go home early every night may need to stay late at the office because of an unexpected deadline. When this occurs, followers are likely to attribute the leader’s inconsistency to a lack of authenticity rather than to temporary external circumstances.

Dr. Carol Gill Team performance can be facilitated and enhanced by a leader expressing their values to team members. This allows team members to be clear on what the leader expects, and to perform in line with these expectations. Based on this, it is feasible that a team leader who is clear on their values and expresses their values clearly (is high on authenticity) will have higher team performance. Whilst dispositional authenticity has been examined in terms of individual wellbeing, there is little work on authenticity in the domain of leadership and even less on its effect on performance outcomes. To date, a leader’s authenticity has been measured through self-report because only the individual can know if they are expressing their values. Followers can only report on the external manifestation of a leader’s authenticity, i.e. their behavioural integrity (BI) or alignment between words and deeds. Intuitively, a leaders’ self-report authenticity should be related to followers’ perceptions of their BI. However, in the current turbulent business context it may be difficult for leaders to walk their talk all the time. For example, a manager who values work-life balance and communicates that she intends

We propose that it may be possible for leaders to manage their followers’ perceptions of their BI through political skill, a combination of social astuteness and interpersonal influence. Leaders high on political skill may maintain follower

explanations, we found that political skill does moderate the relationship between leader-felt authenticity and follower-perceived BI such that leaders who have more political skill have higher ratings of BI (which is linked to team performance by providing clear direction to followers on what the leader values). However, we also found that political skill only prevents lower ratings of BI, rather than actually increasing BI. This may indicate that authenticity is not as desirable as theory indicates,

Solid outline indicates empirical model. Dashed outline indicates theoretical mediators. clarity on their values by explaining why they are unable to walk their talk from time to time. Political skill influences whether followers attribute a gap between the leaders espoused and enacted values to internal or external causes.

We tested this proposition in a sample of leaders and followers in 27 service organisations. After controlling for alternative

which is consistent with research indicating that impression management is linked to outcomes. In particular, followers may be more likely to see leader inconsistency between espoused and enacted values when a leader is high on ‘felt’ or selfreport authenticity because they are more likely to espouse their values and thus be held accountable if they fail to walk their talk. That is, they pin a target on their chests. Alternatively, leaders with low self-awareness may inflate their self-report authenticity through incorrect external attributions that preserve their felt authenticity. Regardless, the popular advice of ‘be yourself’ is unwise if leaders do not have political skill.

*Please refer to page 4 for a glossary of terms relating to this article.


Alumni Spotlight: Tristan Benfield

Tristan Benfield MBS alumnus Tristan Benfield tells us about his journey since completing an MBA at MBS, and how he continues to utilise his MBS knowledge and connections.

What has been your career journey since graduating from MBS in 2015? Approximately a month before my final class I received a phone call from the MBS careers team saying that a number of organisations were interested in speaking with me. One of those organisations was Microsoft and, to cut a long story short, they offered me a product lead role in Singapore. I spent the best part of two years in this role developing new skills and gaining better clarity around not only the type of function I wanted to work in but also the content. Microsoft was my first foray into technology (outside my personal passion for it) and the role only further fanned the flames. Due to the breadth of my role I was lucky enough to gain experience and exposure in functions like supply chain,


operations and finance, which were all very new to me. I was also able to supplement my experience in sales, strategy and marketing. It was exciting and challenging jumping into new functions, and built on the theory of an MBA with practical experience to the point where I felt capable. After a couple of years in this role I realised that I was ready for a new challenge, so I gave my notice at Microsoft and began talking with some other global players about technology, digital transformation and the different ways that information can be captured and leveraged. I am about to start a new journey with one of these tech companies in the robotics, AI and cloud analytics space and I could not be more excited.

“My best opportunities haven’t come because of a test score or some random business card exchange, but through people putting me forward because they were able to connect and work amicably with me.”

How are you continuing to utilise your MBA knowledge? The things I learnt in my MBA are relevant to almost every aspect of my career. The MBA helped change the way that I look at problems, how I frame them and how I work through them. Whether it is breaking down a marketplace to understand where the commercial opportunities exist, understanding an organisation’s bottlenecks and removing them, or collaborating with supply teams

around the world to trigger hardware build numbers, these are the types of problems that the right analytical mindset, frameworks and data driven decision-making can unravel.

What advice do you have for current students on how to capitalise on opportunities at MBS? My best tip for current students is that an MBA is about a lot more than grades. Focus on learning how to operate in diverse teams (you think syndicates are hard? Try chairing a meeting with people calling in from three continents speaking different languages and with very different approaches on moving forward!), and on networking with not only your peers but also other people in the business community and alumni. But most of all, be genuine. Every time you speak with someone don’t just try and find an angle where that person can be useful to you, spend time talking to them and building the relationship. My best opportunities haven’t come because of a test score or some random business card exchange, but through people putting me forward because they were able to connect and work amicably with me.

What do you miss about your time at MBS? My amazing friends (both lecturers and students), the football club and of course the Foosball table! I guess there is a lot to be said about spending time with like-minded people who are as driven, capable and as excited about the future as you are. The bond I forged with many of my cohort is pretty special and it’s something that I’ll value for life.

Social Ventures Australia: The other side of the (professional services) coin The SouRCe chats with SVA Consultant and MBS alumnus Dan Code to learn more about this unique social purpose organisation. As society evolves, the problems we face become increasingly complex. Several social ventures have emerged to solve social problems, such as disadvantages in education and housing, but not all of these ventures will be equipped to drive sustainable change. The social sector often requires specialised services that generalist professional services firms don’t offer. Individual consultants who do have these specialisations are rare or do not have enough practical business experience. Social Ventures Australia is determined to fill the gap in professional services by offering support that will scale social impact and help social enterprises be more effective in working towards change. Social enterprises often fail when they become boxed in by ‘not-for-profit’ and ‘for-profit’ definitions. SVA foregoes this distinction and provides social enterprises the ‘for-profit’ services they need to reach their objectives. To maximise impact, SVA is keeping its focus on Australia to leverage local expertise. SVA offers three core services: Impact Investing, Venture Philanthropy and Consulting. Each team shares SVA’s unique strengths: deep sector understanding, extensive experience and strong technical skills. Most of SVA’s associates come from top tier firms in their respective industries. Knowledge is shared across all three teams: on the different social enterprises, on the overall sectors that SVA’s clients are in, and on the work

that happens across SVA. Knowledgesharing particularly differentiates the Consulting team, as few other advisory firms have this advantage.

established partnership with SVA: MBA interns deliver on short-term projects, and a growing number of alumni are joining the team.

Maximising social returns

Find out more about SVA at

SVA is uniquely placed to have a broad view of the social sector and how systems work. As a neutral observer, SVA can identify what would push key players – enterprises, funders, beneficiaries, government – to work towards overall sector change. Potential consulting projects are given an Impact Score, the predicted change that will result from that piece of work. SVA aims for systems change, and provides their support to the organisations that can fuel this. As a not-for-profit itself, SVA’s goal isn’t to find the highest-paying clients, but to find partners that they can collaborate with. SVA also helps enterprises quantify the value they are creating by measuring Social Return on Investment. Putting a tangible number to the work that social enterprises do helps external stakeholders recognise their value and enables these enterprises to continue their innovative solutions.

A passion for purpose Culture fit is key to SVA’s talented roster: new candidates are assessed on their reasons for being at SVA and passion for the impact they can make. Personal reflection and sharing of experiences is encouraged – a critical way for teams to capture their learning. Living the SVA values of accountability, integrity, respect and humility is also emphasised. If you’re interested in making an impact, Melbourne Business School has a well-

Learn more about SROI at advice/sroi-training/

SVA Quarterly Snapshot Here’s the latest from SVA, as taken from the SVA Quarterly website ( sva-quarterly/). The value of a peer operated service Insights from SVA’s analysis of peeroperated mental health services, which reveals why this approach is so valuable to those accessing the service and the local mental health system. Social procurement success: what it takes Vanguard Laundry Services, the most recent social enterprise created by Luke Terry in Toowoomba, exemplifies how to benefit from social procurement opportunities. The hidden business of social enterprises Having a social purpose does not exempt an enterprise from the essentials of business; even if it’s hard to see you must have a sound business engine at the core. If focus is so good for not-forprofits, why do so few do it? Is your organisation focused? If not, what’s getting in the way? Discover the three common obstacles to focus and how to overcome them.


inspiring journeys Meet four current students as they share the challenges and rewards of their MBS journey.

Lachlan McKimmie (Part-time MBA, September 2016)

Tell us about yourself. Coming from a scientific background, my first position was in research at the University of Melbourne. Following a tap on the shoulder I transitioned into industry, providing capital equipment and support to researchers, scientists and engineers across universities, health care and government laboratories. Why did you decide to undertake an MBA program at MBS? I had been considering an MBA since finishing my PhD, and in 2016 I took the plunge, joining MBS for the reputation of the faculty and the opportunity to study with the best minds.

long le (Full-time MBA, class of 2017)

What’s the most humane technology ever invented? Cars, airplanes, the Internet? Technology is exciting. It brought us here today and promises an equally exciting leap into the future. However, a truly humane technology should hold the answer to mankind’s


What has been/is the greatest challenge you’ve faced during your program? The greatest challenge I’ve found during my MBA is one I’m sure everyone faces at some stage: juggling a demanding work schedule, an intensive study program and still maintaining some work-life balance! How will you use your MBA? The MBA is providing a solid grounding in better identifying and addressing business problems, and I believe it will enable me to reach higher posts or transition across sectors … or both!

happiness and fulfillment. By many measures, we’re not on the right path. There are ten times more people suffering from major depression now than in 1945 (Weissman MM, 1992). It affects more than 350 million people in the world and contributes to over 800,000 suicides per year (WHO, 2017). Contrary to common belief, depression is difficult to detect, causing delayed treatment, more severe illnesses, and a lower chance of complete recovery.

been close to my heart. Dr Namunu, a leading Artificial Intelligence researcher, and his wife, a General Practitioner, founded NextGHub in 2016 with the mission to support families around the world being impacted by mental health issues. Together, our team wants to find effective solutions to depression – detection is our first step. The true answer to healthy people is potentially in our relationships with one another and with nature.

Fortunately, an advanced technology that uses speech to detect depression has existed for more than a decade (Low, 2011). Through Melbourne Business School I came to know Dr Namunu Maddage, an alumnus of MBS, and his team. We work together to make this technology accessible to the public. I believe that mental health is a core component for people’s happiness, and making the world a healthier place has always

The most humane technology ever invented may not be technology at all. But rather, it might be a mechanism for us to go beyond the technology and reconnect with one another. There we’ll find a healthy, happy and fulfilled world. If you’d like to know more, please email me at or connect at in/lelong88

Bibliography Low, L.-S. A. (2011). Detection of Clinical Depression in Adolescents’ Speech During Family Interactions. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, 58. Monica Vermani, M. M. (2011). Rates of Detection of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care: A Descriptive, Cross-Sectional Study. The Primary Care Companion to CNS Disorders. Weissman MM, K. G. (1992). The changing rate of major depression: Cross-national comparisons. Cross-National Collaborative Group. WHO (2017). Depression fact sheets. World Health Organization.

Gabriele Wibisono (MBusA, class of 2017)

an analyst at a marketing analytics consultancy taught me that how you communicate data-driven insights to your audience speaks much greater volume and value than the data itself. It was therefore natural that I gravitated towards a program that is less technical and has a stronger focus on the business impact. What challenges are you anticipating? What experiences are you looking forward to?

Why did you choose to do an MBusA at MBS? The fact that the program is offered under the umbrella of Melbourne Business School was the key selling point. My previous role as

Colin Sultana (SEMBA, class of 2017)

Why an MBS SEMBA? There were several reasons why I selected the MBS SEMBA: the quality of the program including the international

Keeping up with the intensity of the course seems to be one challenge that won’t disappear anytime soon! The diversity of the cohort also means that different students find certain material more difficult than others. When a subject gets a little too technical for my liking, I find it helpful to keep in mind that the program aims to equip us with enough knowledge of the various analytics fields so we

modules, the program structure of 10 × 9 day modules was the best fit around family and work life, and the program came highly recommended from work colleagues who had previously studied the SEMBA.

“[My greatest challenge has been] making the transition from subject matter expert and being able to deliver solutions based on my own knowledge, to realising you are working with a group of people with diverse skill sets that bring more depth and experience to creating better solutions and outcomes.”

are able to do a deeper dive should a particular domain fit our interests in the future. Challenges aside, I am looking forward to the industry practicum. The modules leading up to the practicum largely emphasize technical skills, so it would be great to finally have the opportunity to connect the dots between classroom learnings and real-life applications. How will you use your MBusA? I don’t intend to go down the specialist career path in the near  future. My goal throughout this program is to focus on accumulating transferable skills rather than targeting a particular profession in a specific industry. It wasn’t until some years back that the term ‘data scientist’ was coined, which goes to show the importance of being adaptable especially given the continually evolving nature of the analytics field. What has been/is the greatest challenge you’ve faced during your program? Making the transition from subject matter expert and being able to deliver solutions based on my own knowledge, to realising you are working with a group of people with diverse skill sets that bring more depth and experience to creating better solutions and outcomes. How will the SEMBA benefit your career? Even before finishing my SEMBA this course has benefited me in my current career. I have already applied some of the concepts from several different subjects we have studied to challenges faced in my role and this has already provided better outcomes. This has helped me develop as a leader in the business and be able to focus more strategically on the challenges ahead.


Incoming exchange student Kristian Linnoinen Tell us about yourself. I’m a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Helsinki, Finland. My partner and I have our own design agency called Mint & More Creative. We design commercial spaces and business environments, like restaurants, hotels, offices and retail stores. I am studying a Master’s degree in Strategy at Aalto University to gain strategic insight for our business. I enjoy football (soccer, of course), design, travel, good food, beers and wines. Tell us about your home school. Aalto University is a very multidisciplinary and open institution, so you can study pretty much any

combination of subjects. We have a solid Startup ecosystem. Finland is a hidden gem! Why did you choose Melbourne Business School? I chose to come to Melbourne as it seemed to be the design, culture and culinary capital of Australia. I figured an MBA program would have a practical approach, which would suit me well. How has your time at Melbourne Business School been? MBS seems a warm and tight-knit community, which all three of us exchange students hope to join.

outgoing student exchange Jane Edgar (MBA Part Time January 2015) Tell us about yourself. A food and wine obsessed former HR professional, I’m currently the Executive Manager for KPMG Risk Consulting. I completed my BA and MHRM at Melbourne University and have worked across catering and events, insurance and professional services. Why did you choose to do an MBA at MBS? I had always planned to do an MBA. I was attracted to the academic challenge but also needed to expand my commercial skills. There was never a question of where to study – I wanted the best.


Why did you choose to go on exchange to your school of choice? I recently completed an exchange at UTDT, a private university in Buenos Aires. Taking time off was hard, so this was perfect as UTDT offered weekly modules. I took three. The course content also factored into my decision as did the location – Buenos Aires is beautiful. Tell us about your exchange experience. The academics were amazing and I really enjoyed the guest speakers who helped us understand business in LATAM and the challenges of an emerging market. The fabulous food and wine were a bonus.

Inside ‘The Company’: Aspen Case Competition Contestants from MBS in the 2017 Aspen Case Competition had a unique advantage when it came to developing ideas for more effective social programs in business. ‘The Company’ consisted of a three Part-time MBA/MMkt students all from the same family: Rajprathab Gopiraj, Rajkumar Gopiraj and Christine Crawshaw. Prathab and Raj are brothers, and Christine and Raj are married. Through a unique combination of good timing, they all happened to be studying at MBS in April 2017. We created ‘The Company’ to compete in the Aspen Institute’s 2017 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition, and work on an important social challenge. Between us we had legal, engineering, science, marketing and business degrees, so we felt we had a diversity of experience and knowledge that would complement each other. As we already knew each other we didn’t have the usual challenge of team dynamics, where it can take time to understand how each other works best and the value that each person brings to the problem. This was a unique differentiator for ‘The Company’ and something we were keen to protect and leverage. The Case Competition took place over a pretty intense weekend in April. We had three days to understand a problem, develop an idea and come up with an execution strategy. The challenge was to make IBM’s Corporate Social Corps leadership program more relevant and impactful.

Our big idea was Watson Social Intelligence (Watson S.I.), an artificial intelligence platform that could create social programs related to IBM’s business requirements and objectives. It would allow Corporate Social Corps to have a larger and more sustainable impact.

“Something we would advise others to think about in future competitions is that to succinctly and efficiently articulate the big idea is as important as the idea itself.” Watson S.I. would tap into databases already managed by IBM (i.e. Weather Channel) and combine that data with information from social work and projects undertaken through Corporate Social Corps and other partners. We postulated that the data gathered would be fed into this self-learning platform, which has the ability to self-learn, assess, evaluate and create new social impact projects. The idea was borne out of IBM’s corporate vision of becoming a cloud-enabled, A.I. (artificial intelligence) platform business. For this vision to be achieved, we believed data was critical and that data ownership was the new competitive advantage for the business going forward.

The biggest challenge for us, given the tight limits of the competition, was how to best explain this big idea and work on the execution and implementation strategy within an IBM context. Something we would advise others to think about in future competitions is that to succinctly and efficiently articulate the big idea is as important as the idea itself. The Aspen Case Competition allowed us the opportunity to think big and work with each other in a new environment. It was an amazing experience and the chance to work with a team made up of family was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was the first time MBS has participated in this competition, and it felt great to be inaugural winners put forward by MBS for global consideration. Although we were unsuccessful in making the top five to present in New York, we had a lot of fun working on this project together. The Aspen Case Competition has got us thinking: maybe we should create ‘The Company’ in real-life and work together on initiatives and ideas that each of us are passionate about but can deliver more effectively as a collective.


Business in Asia: One country, two perspectives As part of the Business in Asia program, the Full Time cohort completed a two-week study trip in China. Two students share their experiences.

The Business in Asia program allowed me, a half-Shanghai local, to see my hometown from an outsider’s perspective and experience the unbelievably rapid development of China. Shanghai is a dynamic city, full of surprises and opportunities. I believe that our trip to Shanghai eliminated a lot of bias and misunderstandings that my classmates might have had before coming to China. I am so proud of the trip.

There are those rare moments while travelling – when you have pictured a particular location in your mind for so long and finally get to see it in person – that have a genuine impact on your life. This was exactly how I felt the first time I saw the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and again when I was fortunate enough to see the Jinshanling section of the


For most of my classmates, BIA was an adventure to an unknown country and culture. They had to learn how to proceed with our projects in a new environment, and how to deal with unfamiliar people. As the Mandarin speaker in our syndicate, I was pleased to contribute to the team through my language skills and work experience in Shanghai. I talked to a lot of nonEnglish speaking people who were relevant to the project, and set up all the meetings there. I also provided our clients with a short report on how to do business in China, including notes on cultural sensitivities and political issues. On a side trip to Beijing, I offered tips on Chinese table manners, drinking etiquette and how to deal with Chinese government officers. I believe this helped towards the success of our project.

Shanghai is not a typical Chinese city. There are many inland cities that are not as open, prosperous or modern as Shanghai. Business or marketing strategies designed for China as a whole don’t make sense because Chinese consumers are highly segmented. It is not wise to apply the market knowledge collected from Shanghai to other cities. Thinking about the market size, the awareness of the Australian brand, and consumers’ consumption habits, different cities and provinces should be approached differently. I think this should be one of the most important lessons of BIA.

Great Wall of China. After spending three weeks in various bustling and crowded cities around China, the wall felt isolated and peaceful. The isolation gave me the chance to reflect on the trip and how much we had learned about Chinese culture.

becomes noticeable; for example 93 per cent of the population in Tier 1 cities uses WeChat. To put that in perspective, just one Tier 1 city such as Shanghai has a population greater than all of Australia.

One aspect of Chinese society that stood out to me was the penetration and scale of technology. In all of the cities we went to, everything was done via mobile phone: from paying at the checkout with QR codes, to renting a bike, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, reserving a table at a restaurant, on so on – all through the app WeChat. While this does not sound that dissimilar to Australia, the penetration of this technology is where the difference

Yan Liu MBA Full Time 2017

From a business perspective, the Business in Asia experience has completely changed my perception of the Chinese market and its future potential. First-hand experience from the trip really gave me valuable insight into where China has been and where it is headed in the future, knowledge that simply cannot be imparted through a book or any other publication. Matt Richmond MBA Full Time 2017

Nespresso Case Competition: FINALISTS! given the task of finding solutions to the very pertinent problem of capsule sustainability and the impact it has on the Nespresso brand. To do so, they set out to leverage behavioural science and ‘nudge’ theory and armed themselves with a wealth of original and secondary data-driven insights, including conjoint analysis which was made possible through, a start-up founded by MBS Professor Ujwal Kayande and former Bain consultant Nik Samoylov.

This year, Nestle Nespresso, in conjunction with the Sustainable Markets Intelligence Centre (CIMS) and INCAE, invited entrants from business schools all over the world to take part in the annual Nespresso Sustainability MBA Challenge. Currently in its 5th edition, the prestige and reputation of the competition ensured no shortage of interest from MBS. Indeed, much of an MBA is built around the elusive search for synergy, so it is little wonder that a team from Melbourne would perform so well in a case competition centred on coffee! Their commitment to the project was none more apparent than when post exam drinks were eschewed in favour of a weekend spent in syndicate rooms working on their presentation. However, to get as far as they have done has been testament to far more than just caffeine-fuelled ambition.

Indeed, a grilling by Professor Don O’Sullivan confirmed that they were on the right track, and they put together a hugely impressive and wellresearched strategy that impressed the

Yuanyuan Zhao, Maree Swinden, David Creak and Toni Kovacevic were

Nespresso judges. So far they’ve fought off competition from 88 entrants to progress to the semi-finals, down to the last 15 (as we go to press), and a mere presentation away from sipping lattes in Zurich with George Clooney I’m assured. Post script: The SouRCe is thrilled to report that this team will be representing MBS at the 2017 Nestle Nespresso SA MBA Challenge Final in Lausanne, Switzerland! Three finalist teams will be travelling to the Nespresso headquarters on June 19th and will have the occasion to present and convince a panel of international judges of their proposal. This panel includes Nestle-Nespresso top executives, high-level academics and sustainability experts. We wish our team the best in the final! Crawford Ross MBA Part Time January 2016

Announcements upcoming events Thursday 25th May

MBS and George Washington University: Business School Meet & Greet

Wednesday 31st May

Dean’s Leaders Forum: Arianna Huffington

Saturday 3rd June

Business Analytics Club: Consumer Analytics Workshop

Thursday 15th June

Women and Management Dinner

Thursday 20th July

Dean’s Leaders Forum: EY

Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd July



Highlights from the 2017 MBS Ball

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2016 photo credit:


MBS The SouRCe Term 2 2017 Edition  
MBS The SouRCe Term 2 2017 Edition