Term 4, 2017
IN THIS ISSUE...
FROM THE EDITORS
From the Editors
From the SRC President
Message from The Dean
Behind the scenes: Campus revitilisation
Feature: Women in leadership
Alumni spotlight: Gretchen Cooke
Event: 2017 graduation ceremony
Feature: Dimensions of diversity
Careers: The art of networking
Event: MBS Annual Alumni Dinner
In the club: Inside the MBS Marketing Association p15
Dear readers, Welcome to the new-look The SouRCe magazine. This issue aims to bring you more of the content and information needed to enhance your learning and career success while studying at Melbourne Business School. The quarterly magazine will provide an overview of the quarter’s activities and achievements, insights into resources available to students, and helpful tips and advice to keep you in-the-know. Thank you to the previous editorial team for your dedication and support in delivering previous issues of The SouRCe. You’ve paved the way for the new look and feel magazine. It’s with great excitement and pleasure we introduce our new editors: marketing and communications executive Nicholas Brittain, ABC reporter Emily Stewart, cyber security analyst and tech guru Gaurav Vikash, and product manager Sundaresh Gurumurthy. We welcome your feedback on changes to The SouRCe, and invite you to get in touch to discuss upcoming content opportunities and suggestions to further enhance the magazine.
MELBOURNE BUSINESS SCHOOL 200 Leicester Street Carlton VIC 3053
Yours faithfully, The Editorial Team
Program Services T: +61 3 9349 8203 E: email@example.com Student Representative Council T: +61 3 9349 8400 F: +61 3 9349 8404 E: src @mbs.edu W: mbssrc.com.au facebook.com/MBSSRC twitter.com/MBSSRC
MBA Part Time 2016 linkedin.com/in/nwbrittain
MBA Part Time 2017 linkedin.com/in/gauravvikash
MBA Part Time 2015 linkedin.com/in/emily-stewart-abc
Master of Marketing Part Time 2017 linkedin.com/in/sundaresh-g
FROM THE SRC PRESIDENT
Hi everyone, We’ve almost made it through another year at MBS! I hope this edition of The SouRCe finds you all excited for a summer break to recharge.
MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
It’s been another big term for SRC events, with Halloween, Movember and the Christmas Party on the calendar. We hope you’ve managed to get along to a few events this year – and remember, our hard-working team members are always open to feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new editorial leadership team for The SouRCe, Nick Brittain, Gaurav Vikash, Emily Stewart and Sundar Gurumurthy. This is the fourth team to take on the responsibility of managing this important piece of our student community at MBS, and it’s great to have fresh eyes and new ideas for our magazine. I look forward to seeing how The SouRCe evolves under their leadership. A huge thank you to our outgoing team of Carly Versace, Regina Saquin and Grace Yong for their dedication and hard work over the past year.
we do inspires our students to do extraordinary things. You’ve probably seen the advertisements promoting our Part-time MBA students’ success in beating teams from 87 other global business schools to win the Nespresso Sustainability MBA Challenge. And a team of part-time students from our BioDesign subject has emulated that achievement by winning over $215,000 for their advanced catheter to help treat sick infants, which they developed in collaboration with physicians and engineering students from the University of Melbourne.
I recently gave my final speech as Dean at the Annual Alumni Dinner, which was a wonderful event. The occasion allowed me to reflect on just how much has happened at the School since I arrived six years ago. I explained how, despite the strange weather, driving on the wrong side of the road, and the football that didn’t look like REAL football, I fell in love with Melbourne and with the School. And why not? Melbourne Business School is a special place, where the desire for excellence in everything
Also, our full-time students’ recent efforts to launch the new MBAus group, which seeks to promote the value of an MBA and link all Australian business schools with the broad business community, has proved an enormous success and their conference will now become an annual feature of campus life across the country. The other great news recently is our continued success in the rankings, with The Economist announcing our Full-time MBA has jumped seven places to 27th spot in its 2017 Which MBA? ranking, adding to the program’s
Finally, on a personal note, by the time this is published we will be in the midst of appointing a new leadership team for the SRC. After 18 months with the SRC, and six months as President, it is time for me to hand over the reins. Working with the SRC has been an amazing learning experience and I encourage those thinking of getting involved to put their hand up. It has been wonderful to work with so many great individuals within the MBS community. While I’m excited to take on new challenges, it’s a bittersweet change. We, the SRC, have worked hard this year, and I cannot thank the team enough for their support. Lisa Winkler SRC President | MBS MBA Part Time 2016
success in moving up 11 places in the Financial Times rankings earlier this year, and its strong showing in the Bloomberg Businessweek and Poets and Quants rankings. I should also mention the excitement around the School over the publication of Aaron Yeak’s book From Racetracks to Boardrooms … Was an MBA Worth It?, which documents his experience at MBS. The book is the best kind of ranking the School could ask for, and we are proud to have supported its launch. As always there is much to look forward to such as the completion of the new Social Hub at our Carlton campus in December – if all goes according to plan. I conclude by wishing you success in all you achieve in striving for excellence. The success of our students and alumni is really what I love best about our School. Until next time! Zeger Degraeve Dean | MBS
BEHIND THE SCENES MBS Carlton campus revitalisation
Joanne Vella provides an insight into the MBS Carlton campus revitalisation project. What’s behind the plan? Melbourne Business School has embarked on a multimillion-dollar investment to revitalise the Carlton campus, and bring its portfolio of world-class executive education and degree programs together onto a single site. This consolidation is part of the School’s commitment to constant improvement and finding fresh ways to advance business education and practices. At the heart of the first stage of the redevelopment of the School is the creation of a central learning hub in the building at 200 Leicester Street. Internationally awarded design firm peckvonhartel have re-interpreted the space around the central courtyard to create new and expanded teaching spaces, including flat-floor spaces for interactive learning that are adaptable to executive education and degree program requirements. What’s in the plan? More learning spaces The ground floor and level one will be rebuilt to provide more collaborative syndicate learning rooms, new lecture theatres and flat-floor teaching spaces. The former library area in the Mill Building will be renovated to incorporate flexible and collaborative learning spaces for students and participants.
A new and unified dining facility We’re introducing a bar and bringing the main dining room and café, currently separated at opposite ends of the School, into one, unified space, connected to a refurbished central courtyard. This change will create a new social hub that will better support our students, faculty, alumni and guests to connect and network. A revamped reception area The reception area will also be revamped to create a more welcoming atmosphere. This area will feature break out spaces for group learning and meetings. Admissions, Careers and Program Services will move to level one to create more space for teaching and learning on the ground floor. What’s in it for us? When completed at the end of 2017, the revitalised campus will, for the first time, connect our Executive Education participants and clients with the School’s extensive community of alumni, faculty and students from our MBA, Executive MBA, Senior Executive MBA, Master of Marketing, Master of Business Analytics, and MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class programs. In addition to new business opportunities, the state-of-the-art facility will enable local and visiting participants and clients to leverage our proximity to Melbourne’s knowledge and innovation precincts to deepen their professional relationships, many of
which will be garnered throughout their time at MBS. Future stages will look at making improvements to existing teaching, accommodation and community spaces to support the delivery of a world-class business education experience. Insights from students, faculty, staff and alumni will help shape the second stage of redevelopment. Joanne Vella Program Director | MBS
FEATURE Women in leadership Jackie Fairley has been the CEO of Starpharma Holdings Limited for 11 years. She is also on the Board of Melbourne Business School. What was the turning point in your career? How did you capitalise on it? Completing my MBA whilst at CSL, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, was definitely a turning point for me. It allowed me to transition from a technical role into business development, which then opened up a whole range of possibilities and management opportunities. Until that time, I had little exposure to the commercial side of business and no understanding of law, strategy, accounting or finance. Completing the MBA ultimately led to a job offer from Faulding for a global commercial role, and soon thereafter I was appointed a VP with more than 100 staff. The MBA not only gave me a theoretical grounding across a whole range of commercial and management disciplines, but it allowed me to identify and capitalise on new opportunities. It certainly accelerated my career progression and gave me the confidence to contribute to the business more broadly. What personal attribute has contributed most to your success? Tenacity and, if I’m allowed a second, determination. These two work hand in hand. It doesn’t matter what business or industry you’re involved in, the premise that you’re working to some end goal, a static moment, doesn’t exist. To be successful you need to be agile and learn to adapt your strategy and analyse new options as they arise. If you’re confident of an opportunity then don’t give up just because you meet resistance – trust your instincts and fight for it. If I had given up every time I heard it couldn’t be done, or wouldn’t create value, we would have missed out on some great opportunities that are now cornerstones of Starpharma’s business success.
Photo: Jackie Fairley
What unique challenges do you face as a woman in a leadership role? Back in the nineties when I started out at CSL and Faulding it was relatively unusual for a woman to be appointed into a senior management role, but I didn’t really focus on that. To be honest I’ve experienced very few challenges due to gender in my years in senior leadership. Inappropriate comments and gratuitous advice, yes, but not really what I would consider challenges. I do have a few funny stories of the politically incorrect comments I have received though!
“ To be
successful you need to be agile and learn to adapt your strategy and analyse new options as they arise.
knowledge of a situation. As a result it’s much easier to post discriminatory or insensitive content that would never be articulated in more personal situations. How do we get more women into the C-suite? What advice would you give students currently completing an MBA? To do this we need to make sure we include women on the shortlists, deal with stereotypes/bias and ensure that we encourage women to put themselves forward. As a society we also need to accept that the pursuit of C-suite roles requires significant commitment, compromise and sometimes sacrifice, but that with the right support network it can work. We need these women not to be consumed by guilt about missing certain events and not judge them. They should decide how best to balance their work and life, just like their male counterparts. I also think we need to continue to look beyond the C-suite. The MBA graduates of today can and will be the executives and board directors of tomorrow and these tradeoffs will be equally relevant in many, many roles.
Something I am mindful of is that work communities are changing. Physical networks have been joined by social media networks and I can see challenges emerging through these channels. Social media and chatrooms enable people to share opinions without any filter, moderation or even
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Gretchen Cooke Director, Unified Communications & Digital Media Telstra
MBS alumnus Gretchen Cooke shares her thoughts on career transitions, women in Tech and the value of an MBA. You have a distinguished career in the telecommunications industry. How did you transition from psychology to telecommunications? When I finished my MBA, a role in technology was not really on my mind. I started out consulting in a research firm for Optus. I eventually moved into Optus where I held various roles including program manager. I took some time out when I had my child, after which I joined Telstra. I’ve been with Telstra for over 14 years and it has been quite a journey! I feel I have had multiple careers within the same organisation. I have worked in service assurance, product management, managed a huge network exit and now I’m responsible for enterprise sales. Successful career transition involves backing yourself, going on a vertical learning curve, and demonstrating that you can perform. The key is being comfortable about being uncomfortable, to understand that new challenges take time to conquer and to keep learning. For example, last year I did the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course, which was fantastic. It’s important to keep challenging yourself and not remain static. Did you face any challenges moving into technology roles and how did you scale them? Technology is always changing. When I first became a product manager I had to learn a lot about data technology very quickly! Reaching out to and learning from experts especially in your own team is very valuable. I believe that seeking help is vital in all roles and at
all seniority levels. It’s important to ask questions and know that there are no questions that shouldn’t be asked. How have things changed with respect to women in STEM in Australia? It’s still very difficult to recruit qualified women for technical roles. Not enough young women choose to pursue careers in technology and I see a lot of scope for improvement. Telstra has set up a learning academy with a strong focus on bringing women and Indigenous Australians to learn technology. Internships for women starting university helps them explore these career opportunities. In future, it would be great to see more women in technology-focused roles. In my school years, it was considered mostly boys’ stuff. Starting at primary school, we need to show that technology is something everyone can learn. How has the MBA helped your career? The MBA helped me structure my thinking better and gave me powerful analytical toolsets. Courses in finance have been very useful to me in analysis and business decision making. Economics and legal subjects are equally important, especially if you are working within an organisation that is expanding globally. During my MBA, those subjects sometimes seemed very discrete and separate, but in retrospect and on reflection it gave me a phenomenal base grounding for my career. The MBA has definitely helped me achieve the career I have today.
a good strategy. Disruptions always have a tipping point. The uptake of these disruptions is that they become fantastic opportunities for growth for people who can learn to leverage them. An example is video conferencing being a norm at Telstra these days, disrupting the traditional ideas of work locations. What advice do you have for MBA students given the current transformation based on Artificial Intelligence (AI)? I am very excited about AI as a technology and it is going to be critical for many areas. There needs to be in-depth discussions about the ethics of AI, the kind of information collected, and how to manage the application of this technology. During your MBA, put yourself out there and do things that you never thought you would. Take advantage of the opportunities at school to learn things, even if it doesn’t have a direct and specific application as far as you can see. You take away a lot with you from the MBA program and it sits there at the back of your mind and comes back when you need it in future. All the very best!
How does one prepare for the uncertainty of being disrupted? The first step is to have
Photo: Gretchen Cooke
EVENT 2017 graduation ceremony
The School held its annual graduation ceremony on 9th October, celebrating the achievements of more than 330 students. The graduating class, their families, and friends, along with MBS academics, met to celebrate this well-deserved, and long-awaited ceremony. Freezing these moments in time has an emotional effect that motivates people to keep believing in themselves to do better. Speaking at the ceremony, Dean of Melbourne Business School Professor Zeger Degraeve congratulated the members of the graduating class on their achievements, while also reflecting on their MBS journey. The following awards were presented at the Valedictory Dinner: The John Clemenger Memorial Prize recognises the academic performance of the MBA student whose dedication, hard work and talent has helped them achieve the highest academic success during their program. 2017 winner: Phillip Neckers. The Egon Zehnder Leadership Prize is awarded to the MBA or Master of Marketing student who shows outstanding leadership
qualities during their study program. 2017 winners: Paul Jones and Michelle Winzer. The MBS Community Service Prize is awarded to a student from each program in the Full-time MBA, Parttime MBA or Master of Marketing, Executive MBA and Senior Executive MBA who demonstrates ability and willingness to contribute to the School and the wider community. 2017 Executive MBA winner: Linda Sands; 2017 Senior Executive MBA winner: Gabriela Love; 2017 Fulltime MBA winner: Nathan Spence; 2017 Part-time MBA/Master of Marketing winner: Emma Young; MBS Teaching Award winners: Geoff Lewis, Kannan Sethuraman, Don O’Sullivan, Sam Wylie.
influencing the way they think and for giving them frameworks to tackle today’s business challenges. Testament to their journeys are the life-long friends and professional contacts they can count on as they face the next chapters in their lives. With Australia’s oldest and strongest business school alumni network, the MBS graduates are well placed to collaboratively make this world a better place for all of us. We congratulate all graduates for their wonderful achievements.
MBS Foundation Awards of Distinction (Dean’s list) were awarded to 34 students who were able to harness their efforts and talent to achieve the highest academic success. SRC Service Recognition Certificates were awarded to 13 students who dedicated their valuable time to champion the SRC and make it a truly representative body of the students at the School. Reflecting on their journeys, students acknowledged the MBA program in
FEATURE Dimensions of diversity Isabel Metz, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, says the first step in managing a diverse workforce effectively is to be comfortable talking about diversity and its challenges.
What are the various diversity aspects that managers should think about today? How has this changed over the last decade? Today’s workforce is more diverse than ever before, and managers will benefit from understanding how diverse their workforces are and how they can leverage off that diversity. Without knowing how diverse one’s workforce is, how can we effectively manage it? The visible aspects of diversity are gender, race and ethnicity, age and
disability. However, the not so obvious ones such as sexual orientation, mental health and cultural differences are equally important. The past five or so years has seen a refocus on women’s issues (e.g. equity in leadership, the gender pay gap, domestic violence) that had been largely neglected for over 30 years. This disinterest in gender matters can be partly attributed to ‘gender fatigue’, as we like to believe that Australia
is fair and respects women’s rights. Therefore, it is quite uncomfortable and maybe even confronting for some people to accept that this is still not always the case. Nevertheless, our society is becoming more aware that we are not there yet, and I certainly see this reflected in class discussions. It needs to be noted that being aware and comfortable to talk about gender inequity is only the first step towards action. To understand, be motivated continued on page 9
and strong – to become champions of change – requires one to accept that gender inequity exists and maybe join a group of likeminded people to drive the change. Such change occurs slowly. I believe that a better cross pollination of ideas and evidence between academia and industry could help towards this goal. How comfortable and involved are students at MBS in discussing issues where there is still stigma (like LGBTI issues or mental health) or a lack of knowledge (like disability)?
dedicate to the diversity topic, I can only guide students to take the first steps towards understanding diversity and explore it to the depth that is relevant to their roles. I am available for out of class discussions on this topic if any student is interested. The classes have a fairly diverse cultural and racial background. Do classroom discussions bring out the differences in perspective that can assist students in thinking about handling global, ethnically and culturally diverse teams?
Class conversations do tend to veer towards gender. Instead of discussing diversity in general, the discussions end up being just about gender diversity. It is possible this reflects some discomfort amongst students in discussing some of those other topics. My message to students is this: try to become comfortable discussing these other topics. These are real diversity dimensions. Collectively (as a nation), we are worse off if we hold unconscious biases and prejudices towards minority groups, because they can be very valuable contributors to our society. Furthermore, unconscious biases and prejudices towards these groups can lead to reduced quality of life for these individuals. That is, having lower performance expectations of individuals in minority groups can indeed contribute to lower performance. Marriage equality is currently very topical in Australia, and as such LGBTI issues could be a pertinent diversity topic for a case/discussion in Managing People. Do the faculty plan on drawing attention to it?
The classroom discussions could benefit more if all students, including those from a non-Australian background, spoke more of their experiences and their understanding. We can learn from each other. Students are encouraged to feel comfortable and to bring in specific examples so the class can learn from their perspectives and experiences. In lectures I try bringing examples from different parts of the world to highlight some cultural differences in the realm of people management and to nudge students to come forth with their stories.
From my point of view, this is currently a political issue. Engaging in this discussion at this point in time detracts from the main message of what you need to do to be an effective manager, which is to value people and allow them to flourish that potentially leads to improved performance. Diversity is a deep and complex issue and needs much more than a 3-hour classroom session, which is what we currently have. It is a separate subject in itself; to tackle all its aspects adequately takes time. In the limited time we currently
aware and comfortable to talk about gender inequity is only the first step towards action.
At the end of the subject do you feel the students develop enough appreciation of diversity, inter-cultural understanding and gender and sexuality sensitivity to manage the workforce ecosystem in Australia? That is very difficult to tell. Most students certainly do reasonably well in the exams, if there is a case on diversity in the workplace or such. I suspect, however, that there will be a percentage of students who are open and receptive to new information and understanding on this topic, another percentage are receptive but passive, and some others – probably a minority
– have entrenched views. In classes, I try to create a mini ‘road to Damascus’ moment for the students, so as to sufficiently raise their curiosity and motivate them to engage in deeper understanding of these facets of diversity. I have had students who, years later, contacted me to tell me about a situation in which they applied their learning. That leads me to believe that something is working in class, at least in some instances. Students may be concerned that discussions on diversity will cause personal distress, where they have a connection to particular identities (be it themselves or loved ones). What is your advice for students who are worried about this? Teaching this subject requires skill because people already come into it with fairly stable preconceptions and beliefs. Unlike say, accounting, which is a rational topic, people management is a more challenging topic to both teach and learn. The unrecognisable biases in ourselves leads to unrecognisable biased judgements. One of the biggest biases is that this topic is not scientific enough; that is, it is not based on research evidence. This preconception can prevent us from accepting new information and, consequently, obstruct new learning. My advice would be to approach this topic with an open mind and to contribute to class discussions in a way that can help the class learn about managing a diverse workforce by leveraging off its own strength: the incredible student diversity we have in our classes. As I said, the first step in managing a diverse workforce effectively is to be comfortable talking about diversity and its challenges. Any closing comments? As students, you are all on a journey of learning. I encourage you to have an open mind towards new and sometimes personally confronting information. I am fully aware that there will always be a percentage of individuals to whom the learning may come very much later in life, but as they say, better late than never.
STUDENT EXCHANGE The good, the bad and the ugly Interviewed by Emily Stewart
Christine Samy studied at HEC Paris for three months, returning in August. She recently graduated from a Masters of Business Administration and currently works in a business strategy and transformational role. Why did you choose Paris for your exchange? I chose HEC Paris because I am a self-proclaimed Francophile but also because HEC is ranked within the top 15 MBA schools in the world. The three-month duration of the exchange was ideal in terms of the opportunity for immersion in a favoured culture. What was the most challenging part of your exchange? The financial implication was probably the most challenging aspect of the exchange. Paris is a glorious city but demands deep pockets to fully appreciate all it has to offer. Another significant challenge was the vastly different level of engagement from fellow students. Not to be disparaging, but I found the level of student commitment (to group projects and discussions in particular) was sub par in comparison with the MBS student
body. As a result, I tended to shoulder most of the workload in almost every group assignment. What was your best moment? I was very fortunate to participate in an ethics subject that was hosted over four days in a secluded monastery in the Loire Valley. It was a wonderful opportunity to bond with a small group of my peers and to explore the marriage of business and ethics, in a serene environment with copious amounts of French food and wine! How has the exchange complemented your MBS studies? Going on exchange has allowed me to focus on an area and come as close to ‘specialising’ as possible. I chose strategy subjects that allowed me to further develop my interest and skills in this area. How might it change your career? I had the privilege of making connections with a couple of professors who are very kindly helping me to pursue my career options. Aside from this, I imagine that prospective employers favourably regard academic transcripts from top tier schools – as long as you get good grades of course!
Photo: Christine Samy
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE EXCHANGE PROGRAM AT MBS? VisIt LMS or email email@example.com. • Upcoming exchange commences in Feb 2018. • Programs range from one week to three months. • You can obtain credit for up to four subjects. • You must complete all core MBA subjects before you are eligble for exchange. • Selection is based on a 100-word personal statement detailing why you want to go on exchange as well as evidence you are actively engaged in the MBS community. • All classes are in English. • You pay your normal fees to MBS, but be prepared for extra costs! These may include accommodation, transport and administration fees.
CAREERS The art of networking
MBS Career Development Consultant Nicola Barnard tells us why you should build your network ahead of your next career move.
questions you begin to form and build relationships – relationships that may prove useful next time you’re on the hunt for a new role.
Workforce trends are continuously changing. While once we remained in the same job or career with the same company for most of our working lives, today it’s not uncommon to work for dozens of companies, across numerous industries, as our careers grow and change.
To do so, firstly identify the companies in which you’re interested. Then, identify the key contacts within those organisations. Now it’s simply a case of connecting. Reach out via LinkedIn or email to introduce yourself, and follow up with a call or coffee (your shout) to discuss their career journey, the industry, the company and more.
Despite the shifts in how we work, one thing remains constant – the role of networking in securing placement. The old adage ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’ is perhaps more relevant than ever as the digital age of social media enables us to connect directly with gatekeepers and expand our networks globally.
Career networking is not a one-time activity. In fact, it requires maintaining ongoing contact, not just when you need something. This doesn’t mean hours spent emailing, texting and calling your networks each week. It’s as simple as an informal communication to touch base and check-in once a quarter.
In fact, if you intend to change jobs or careers now or in the future, effective networking can mean the difference between staying in your current situation or securing your dream role.
“ It’s important
However for many people mere talk of networking leads to anxiety, irrespective of experience levels or seniority. Fortunately, there’s more ways than one to network if approaching a stranger at an event and starting up a conversation is daunting for you. To help you get started, here are three quick and easy tips to grow and improve your networks. Firstly, if you’re daunted by the idea of networking simply call it something else. I call it research and relationship building. Research occurs by asking questions and collecting information about people, companies and projects in your fields of interest. By identifying the right people and asking the right
to recognise professional success is not accidental.
sharing them with others enables them to assist you to achieve them. These connections may also be ideally placed to influence decision-makers when your resume alone isn’t sufficient to be short-listed for interview. Furthermore, the people we meet during our careers also inspire and motivate us – with the different perspectives and experiences providing new ways to view the world around us.
MBS Careers LMS includes a wealth of free career information, guides, webinars and activities for MBS students and alumni. Careers also provides one-on-one career coaching to current part-time students, including short and long-term career goal setting, job search tips and resources, interview preparation techniques, managing internal and external job offers, and more. If you have any queries regarding Careers resources email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to keep notes on your contacts (easy with most smart phones) so conversations stay current and informed. This may be as simple as noting their interests, what sporting teams they support, their partner’s, children’s or pet’s name(s), or key topics or upcoming events. Amazing things start to happen when people converse, and regular contact means you’re front of mind when off-market opportunities arise. It’s important to recognise professional success is not accidental. Having a clear strategy and both short and longterm goals is crucial. Having goals and
Photo: Nicola Barnard
INSPIRING JOURNEYS p12
Stan Chen (Full-time MBA, Class of 2017)
Gwen Low (MBusA, Class of 2017)
Tell us a bit about yourself. I have a Bachelor of Science in Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Michigan. I worked in research investigating the effects of HIV and drug addiction on memory. It was an eye-opening experience, talking to affected people and hearing their side of the story. It inspired me to see things through a different lens and move from statistical analysis to understanding the reasons behind the numbers.
Why did you choose to do an MBusA? Around this time a year ago I found myself at a crossroads – a month away from completing my Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne, I didn’t know what was next for me. On the one hand, I needed to get a job; on the other, I felt like something was missing. Finance and management wasn’t what I wanted to go into, at least not at such a specific level.
Why did you choose an MBS MBA? I grew up seeing great Australian athletes on television, especially the Olympic swimmers, and have always been fascinated by this country. Like most MBA students I look to leverage the MBA to enable a career pivot. I am keen to explore a generalist career that opens more dimensions of thought than focused research and data mining. The MBS MBA ranking is on par with top US schools. The faculty is talented and approachable. This together with the excitement of living in a new country and exploring what it has to offer inspired me to choose this program. What are your plans post MBA? I am keeping an open mind and attending events at MBS to understand the career options available to me. Consulting is an option; the travelling part of it looks exciting. The School has helped me find a mentor who is an industry consultant, which has been useful to understand what the role entails and the challenges that come with it. I plan to network with more people before deciding on any specific path. My first pay cheque will go towards getting a motorcycle and I have my eye on a Yamaha SR 400.
I came across the MBS Master of Business Analytics while researching further study paths. It was a one-year course, it was at the best business school in Australia, and it allowed me to step back and take a broader view on business while developing skills that weren’t industry specific. Intuition told me that this was what I was looking for, and I haven’t looked back since. What challenges are you anticipating? I’ve learnt so much in the past 10 months, including technical skills I never thought I’d pick up in such a short time. The program ensures all-round development, including soft skills, which for me enables something as simple as initiating conversations with others. As an introvert, interacting with others isn’t something I actively did in my undergraduate studies and MBS has provided many opportunities for me to develop these important professional skills. How do you intend to use your MBusA? I like to describe myself with this quote: ‘You are both scientist and artist, realist and dreamer’. The course has allowed me to explore the science of algorithms alongside the art of being creative in finding insights. I hope to use these skills when I graduate and leave my mark on the world.
Clare Porter (SEMBA, Class of 2017)
Christine Smith (Part-time MBA, Class of 2017)
Tell us a bit about yourself. My background is in Environmental Science and I chose to specialise in water. I spent my early career in a membership-based industry association (Australian Water Association) and used working in water as an opportunity to move to Melbourne (Melbourne Water), Canberra (National Water Commission) and even the UK (South West Water). For the last few years I have been at Sydney Water, working in Corporate Strategy on strategic direction, corporate planning and performance. Why an MBS SEMBA? I was seeking an MBA that was a little different. I liked the concept of working with the same cohort the whole way through. The subjects’ delivery over stages made sense, and the 10 modules over 18 months allowed flexibility to focus on study, but also balance a demanding job with family time. What has been/is the greatest challenge you’ve faced during your program? Challenges are ongoing but it’s all about balance – finding time to be a mum, wife, daughter, friend, manager, leader, coach, employee, colleague, mentor and now a student is challenging! What will you do when you finish your program? I have two goals. Goal one is to work smarter not harder, and even at Module three the knowledge I have gained has helped immeasurably in achieving this. Goal two is to smash the old stereotype you can’t have a rewarding career and also be a mum – for me it’s not a ‘one or the other’ proposition, it’s managing to do both well.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m Zambian and Australia has been my home for the last four years. I have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Russia and a master’s degree in renewable energy from the UK. During my master’s degree I spent eight months in Spain, specialising in the grid integration of renewable and distributed energy. I am currently working as a Maintenance and Reliability Engineer. Why an MBS MBA? I believe the value of an MBA is in the business school. I attended various info sessions and talked to Alumni for feedback on their experience. I liked the feel of the campus, the range of subjects, the central location – and the program ranked well globally. At the info sessions I had an opportunity to speak to professors; the fact they used real-life case studies was attractive. How has your program experience been? Unexpected! The subjects are different to what I’m accustomed to. I’m challenged to think differently, and my problem solving has evolved as I look at things differently. I’m learning from my professors, but also my syndicate members – the diversity and industry experience is invaluable. I’m the SRC secretary, allowing me to interact with faculty and students from other cohorts. The biggest challenge? Balancing work, home and school. I schedule my study time either in the morning or later in the evening, depending on my event schedule. How will the MBA benefit your career? I recently changed jobs and one of my subjects got me there. It was the last interview question, and having studied Data Analysis I was able to explain how to apply the knowledge to the business problem. The MBA is already benefitting my career!
EVENT MBS Annual Alumni Dinner
Impressive and notable MBS community members were honoured at this year’s Annual Alumni Dinner, as Sundaresh Gurumurthy reports. This year’s Annual Alumni Dinner was held on Thursday 26th October at the Melbourne Museum and welcomed more than 430 alumni and guests. Dating back more than 25 years, the dinner is an opportunity to reconnect with classmates and honour the achievements of global alumni and fellows. The evening opened with drinks and networking, followed by welcome addresses from Alumni Council President Dean Ireland (MMktg 1997) and Vice-President Aglaia Nikas (MMktg 2013). Professor Zeger Degraeve, Dean of MBS, spoke of the Carlton campus revitalisation project, which will add new learning, teaching and networking spaces to ensure MBS remains at the forefront of education internationally. Adjunct Professor of Marketing Mark Ritson delivered this year’s Charles Goode Oration with his usual witty repartee, addressing the question ‘Why are MBS alumni the best in the world?’ Commencing in 2010, the Charles
Goode Oration is a commitment by ANZ Bank to honour the service of Charles Goode AC, former ANZ Chairman from 1995 to 2010. Thanks to the generous support by Charles Goode, the oration continues to deliver valuable and relevant content from notable business leaders, enabling MBS to deliver lifelong learning opportunities to its alumni community. Community awards were presented after dinner, recognising truly impressive and notable community members across four award categories. The special evening concluded with closing remarks, dessert and many fond memories. For more details and photographs from the evening visit: my.mbs.edu/aad2017/home/ The Honorary Fellow is the highest honour the School can bestow. It recognises extraordinary service and contribution to both the School and the wider community in the fields of business and management. The 2017 recipients of this prestigious award were Paul J. Rizzo, MBA 1969, and Professor Amanda Sinclair. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognises and celebrates alumni
who have excelled in their careers and civic leadership during their lifetime. The 2017 recipient was David Prior, MBA 1999. The Outstanding Recent Alumni Award recognises and celebrates ‘rising star’ alumni who have excelled in their careers and civic leadership to-date. Typically, they have graduated within the last 10 years. The 2017 recipient was Jodie Auster, MBA 2009. The Alumni Service Award recognises and celebrates alumni who have made outstanding contributions in support of the School, through their volunteerism and advocacy. The 2017 recipient was Aaron Yeak, MBA 2016.
IN THE CLUB Inside the MBS Marketing Association The MBS Marketing Association (MMA) provides a forum for students, faculty and industry professionals to network and explore the latest marketing challenges and opportunities.
What is the vision for MMA? The MMA is a peer-to-peer discussion group, which aims to extend the learning experience beyond class. Meetings are held monthly and members explore reallife challenges faced by those in the marketing industry. MBS professors are sometimes on hand to support discussions. MMA also runs quarterly events featuring leaders from a broad range of industries. What can I get out of attending MMA meetings? MMA is a forum where people can discuss marketing challenges, issues or opportunities either out of personal interest or from a business context. It facilitates ideation and problem solving with an extended network of MBS students, alumni and faculty. Frameworks from class can be overlaid to structure feedback. MBS was recently rated one of the top schools for marketing. What kind of value does the MMA club add? MMA meetings and events are a great way to leverage the accolade the School has received. The ranking means that MBS can attract more marketing talent, which in turn gives students unprecedented access to the industry.
secure your next role, MMA hopes to play a key part in this. The value we add is ensuring that members are always at the coalface of marketing; learning, discussing and workshopping their way to the front of the industry. What events are upcoming? We had an event on Tuesday 31st October with Tiger Pistol, a digital advertising and marketing agency. Tiger Pistol is one of the few Facebook marketing partner’s in Australia, providing social media ad automation through machine learning technology that uses data to drive superior outcomes in a saturated market. There is an exciting set of events lined up for 2018. Early in the year we have Mark Ritson and Ryan Wallman (alum) from Wellmark discussing the ‘antitrends’ of marketing, which should inspire some robust discussion. We’re also looking to run a case competition next year, choosing an industry and tackling one of its biggest challenges. We’ll be getting our faculty involved in the evaluation process, where students can work on a live marketing example. Stay tuned to MyMBS for more events in 2018.
Who are the driving members of the club? Marina Rodato (Asahi Premium Beverages, MBA Jan 2016) and Alexander Papas (Wells Fargo, MBA Jan 2017) are the driving members of the MMA. There are opportunities for more leaders, especially considering our lofty ideas and plans for the club over the next 12 months. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved. How can you get involved? Please join us on the irst Saturday each month for our monthly meetings and be sure to register for our upcoming events. You can always reach out to Alex or Marina if you have a marketing challenge or other ideas that you would like to discuss in the club.
Follow MMA @MBSMarketing MBSMarketingAssociation #Club_Marketing email@example.com
Whether it is gaining a different perspective from someone in the field, or expanding your network to help
Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2016 p16
Published on Nov 22, 2017