Alumni Profile - Vanessa Suen


Vanessa Suen

Name: Vanessa Suen

Current Position, Organisation: Strategic Development & Partnerships Intern at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (last position)

Nationality/cultural identity: Australian

Languages spoken: English, Cantonese, Bislama

CEMS Exchange Universities: HEC Paris, London School of Economics and Political Science

Countries lived/worked in: Australia, Nepal, Vanuatu, France, England, USA

Education overview:Global Executive MBA, University of Sydney and Associate Diploma, Personnel and Operations Management. University of New South Wales

Best business book/motivational book you have read in the last 12 months? Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen

Describe yourself in 3 words: Curious, analytical, entrepreneurial

Daily website 'favourites': Time Out NYC, Gothamist, Sydney Morning Herald

Motto to live/work by: Be the change you want to see in the world

LinkedIn profile: Vanessa Suen

Why did you choose to study the Master of Management (CEMS)/CEMS MIM at the University of Sydney Business School?

I chose to study the Master of Management (CEMS)/CEMS MIM program as I wanted the experience of studying at different schools in different countries. Also, I had experience in management consulting but no theoretical background and I did not believe I had enough experience to do an MBA. I felt like the Master of Management program would be a good bridge between the two.

What was the best part of studying the Master of Management (CEMS)/CEMS MIM program.

The best part of the program was the opportunity to study at prestigious institutions such as HEC and LSE, and to experience how teaching is different in different countries. Given that CEMS is such a new program at the University of Sydney, it was also interesting to see and experience the alumni network that had developed at these schools where the CEMS program had been established for over 20 years.

Briefly describe your CEMS exchange experience

Being on exchange at HEC and LSE were two very different experiences. Most people live on campus at HEC given that the school is not exactly located in Paris, and the atmosphere there was much more collegiate. In contrast, I had many Australian and New Zealand friends already living in London, and was able to be more independent.

What was the most challenging aspect of your CEMS exchange experience?

The terrible food in the RU at HEC.

What was the highlight of your CEMS exchange experience?

The highlight of the CEMS exchange program for me was the chance to live in Paris and London, and the opportunity to take advantage of facilities at schools such as LSE where I attended talks by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Dalai Lama, Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, but this is closely followed by the motivation of studying with top students from different universities across the world.

How has completing the Master of Management (CEMS)/CEMS MIM at the University of Sydney Business School changed you both professionally and personally?

The CEMS program has been a great personal experience, through exposure to situations beyond what occurs in Australia. Professionally, the CEMS program is very well known throughout Europe and has a well-developed alumni network which I hope to take advantage of in the future.

What have you done since graduating?

Following my final exchange semester, I applied for an internship at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The UNAOC is a social partner of the CEMS program, and the internship opportunity was advertised through the CEMS network. I spent 6 months doing my internship at the UN, working at the Chrysler Building in New York, and having the opportunity to undertake activities such as volunteering at the General Assembly in September 2012 and having dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I am currently job-hunting in New York.

What does being a Master of Management (CEMS)/CEMS MIM alumnus mean to you?

To me, being a CEMS alumnus means that I graduated from an international program that is very regarded in Europe, and has a well-established international network.

What does being a University of Sydney Business School alumnus mean to you?

Being a University of Sydney Business School alumnus means that I graduated from a school which is establishing innovative new programs within Australia, and I am keen to follow their development.

What would you say to a prospective student who is considering studying the Master of Management (CEMS)/CEMS MIM at the University of Sydney Business School?

For the personal experience of studying in an international degree and the networking opportunities available as a CEMS alumnus, and for the commitment of the University of Sydney staff to making this program a success in Australia, I would definitely recommend the experience of the Master of Mangement (CEMS)/CEMS MIM to any prospective student.

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