It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the first edition of our Faculty of Economics and Business Postgraduate e-newsletter.
In this and future issues of our e-newsletter, we will be providing you with information and ideas that we believe you will find both interesting and useful in your studies with us as a valued member of our learning community.
As one of the largest and most research-active business faculties in our region, we pride ourselves on the quality of the learning experience that we make available to our postgraduate students. Whether you are studying full-time or part-time, or whether you are a local or international student, our aim is to assist and resource you to develop the knowledge and skills that will help take you to the next stage in your career.
We offer a wide variety of services to support our postgraduates. For instance, all students have access to the Careers and Employer Relations Office (CEO) and the student support services. For more information on the CEO and the services it offers, please read the faculty spotlight section below.
In this issue, I would like to introduce you to two of our most outstanding postgraduate students: Andrew Knevitt and Kristina Koenig. Andrew, is president of the Business Information Systems Association (BISA) and is currently completing a Master of Commerce majoring in business information systems. Kristina, a Master of Management student, has set her sights on using the knowledge gained from her studies to work in the area of development economics to promote sustainable tourism in less developed countries.
For those of you who attended the Postgraduate Information Evening held on Wednesday 21 April, it was a pleasure meeting you. I would encourage you finalise your applications at your earliest convenience so that you can meet the 31 May closing date. For those considering longer-term possibilities, our next Postgraduate Information Evening will be held in October.
My colleagues and I look forward to seeing on campus!
Associate Professor John Shields
Associate Dean (Postgraduate)
- Event Profile: Postgraduate Information Evening
- Awards for Teaching Excellence
- Connecting with America's Chief Economist
- Our Students
- Faculty Spotlight: The CEO Office
- Our Alumni
An impressive group of more than 200 prospective students, armed with a number of thoughtful questions, descended on the Hilton Hotel, Sydney in April to discover more about the possibilities of postgraduate study at the Faculty of Economics and Business.
Fifty faculty academic and administrative staff were on hand to provide one-on-one advice to prospective students and their families who attended.
Associate Dean (Postgraduate), Professor John Shields, said, "This is a pivotal annual event in profiling the faculty to prospective domestic students and the feedback from session attendees has been very positive. The level of questioning from participants regarding program choice, structure and content was especially well informed and probing. Interest in graduate certificate programs (an important point of entry to postgraduate study by domestic students) was particularly high."
In addition to gathering information from discipline representatives, guests were treated to inspiring presentations from Dr Daniel Nyberg (Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies) and Dr Leanne Piggott (Centre for International Security Studies), about the strength of research and teaching at the faculty.
If you missed out on this event, you can attend our Semester Two, Postgraduate Information Evening to be held later in the year. Details will be made available shortly.
Four outstanding academics from the Faculty of Economics and Business have been named as winners of the 2009 Faculty's Teaching and Tutoring Awards.
Dr Catherine Sutton Brady from the Discipline of Marketing and Mrs Sandra Seno Alday from the Discipline of International Business were recently awarded Wayne Lonergan Outstanding Teaching Awards.
Mr Mark Fisher (Discipline of Business Law) and Mr Sean Foley (Discipline of Finance) received the 2009 Faculty Awards for Excellence in Tutoring.
The award recipients were all selected from a number of worthy nominees by the Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee, Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching, Director) Michelle Scoufis, and a panel of faculty colleagues.
Michelle said Catherine was chosen for demonstrating strong leadership and commitment at multiple levels of teaching and learning. "Catherine is known for creating an active, stimulating, challenging and relevant learning environment in her classroom and carefully designing units of study. She also shows leadership in the wider enhancement of learning and teaching through research and publications."
The selection panel noted that Sandra, whose award recognised an early career academic who demonstrated an impressive commitment not only to her students learning in the classroom but also beyond with her engagement in faculty mentoring. She regularly assists students in adjusting to the expectations of successful university study in Australia.
Professor Peter Wolnizer, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business commended the efforts of the award winners saying: "I acknowledge with gratitude Catherine and Sandra's outstanding dedication to supporting and enhancing the student learning experience, their commitment to scholarly teaching, their innovative teaching methods and their considered approach to research-led teaching."
Both Mark and Sean's commitment to teaching was also commended by the panel. Their contribution to the development and support of new tutors and assisting students at risk had resulted in significant improvements.
Professor Wolnizer said: "Our tutors are at the forefront of our students' learning experience. The Faculty Awards for Excellence in Tutoring recognise the critical role each of our tutors play in supporting our students to achieve unit and program learning outcomes. These are indeed most worthy efforts that support our faculty in building and sustaining the leading learning community in business, economics and the public sector in Australia and its region."
The Faculty of Economics and Business hosted the Chief Economist of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr James Overdahl, at a corporate briefing event during his visit to Sydney earlier this year.
Dr Overdahl accepted an invitation from Professor Alex Frino, in his capacity as both Professor of Finance in the Faculty of Economics and Business and Chief Executive Officer of the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (CMCRC) Ltd, to speak at the annual SMARTS conference. SMARTS is an Australian company specialising in market surveillance technology for exchanges, regulators and stockbroking firms.
After presenting at the conference, Dr Overdahl spoke to a small group of faculty corporate partners about current regulatory concerns in the US and about how he thinks the Australian and US economies are faring following the global financial crisis.
Dr Overdahl said: "A number of academics from the Faculty of Economics and Business have presented their latest research in the US, so we are very familiar with the important work being done on market regulation. In fact, some of the work being conducted within the finance discipline uses data provided by the SEC, so we are both benefiting from the collaboration. We certainly don't feel like we own any issues in the US, and view our job more as time-raisers. We hope that the faculty researchers will work with us to find solutions of benefit to all."
Professor Frino said: "Dr Overdahl's presentation gave us a wonderful insight into the current state of market regulation. It also provided the faculty with an important opportunity for dialogue with senior business leaders and emphasised the ongoing connection between the University and our corporate partners."
After finishing the first semester of the Master of Management (CEMS) degree, we asked Kristina her thoughts about the program as she embarked on the international component of the CEMS Master of International Management, in Milan, Italy.
What do you enjoy about your course the most?
We are around 40 students from completely different national, social, and academic backgrounds, which contributes immensely to in-class discussions. By the end of the semester, we have become quite a close-knit group, and long-lasting friendships have been established. Also, the business projects have been a fantastic opportunity to engage with real-world issues, apply the theory, and get some professional feedback.
What subjects have you particularly enjoyed?
Managerial Economics was great since the subject matter can be applied to so many everyday scenarios (e.g. using game theory to determine whether to help an elderly lady cross the road).
Are there particularly useful skills you've learned while studying this program?
Working with people from different backgrounds and with various sets of knowledge has taught me interdisciplinary thinking, not only from a business perspective, but considering for example social and cultural aspects of looking at an issue or condition.
How valuable has it been mixing with people from different cultures and backgrounds?
This has undoubtedly been the most important aspect of the entire program - a great community developed across cultural boundaries and language differences. It is great to learn in an environment where differences are appreciated and even considered advantageous within a group.
How valuable have you found the corporate interaction throughout the program?
Despite ours being the first Master of Management (CEMS) cohort, we had the opportunity to network with professionals from Deloitte, Sydney Talent, Habitat for Humanity and the Sydney University Football Club. This allowed for feedback on personal aspirations as well as tips and hints from potential future employers and recent graduates. In a wavering economy, a foot in the door like this can prove invaluable.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
Eventually, I would like to bring my experience to development economics under the auspices of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, which promotes sustainable tourism in less developed countries. Such a position would allow me to combine my interests in management, languages, cultures, geography and politics.
- Find out more about Master of Management.
Even though Andrew Knevitt enjoyed a rewarding career managing a successful restaurant, he felt it was time to take his career in a new direction. Andrew began searching for ways to explore his interests in business and discovered the specialised area of business information systems, offered through the Master of Commerce at the University of Sydney.
Since beginning the course Andrew's study has led him to focus more closely on how technology has become a vital enabler to business. Specifically, his research on identity management in cloud computing has provided him with a unique insight into this developing field.
As well as excelling in his studies, Andrew has taken advantage of the many networking opportunities that the program has provided. By becoming the President of the Faculty's Business Information Systems Association (BISA), Andrew is engaging with other like-minded students in the industry he aspires to join.
Apart from juggling the demands of fatherhood with part-time study and full-time work, Andrew has found one of the most challenging aspects is gaining insight into a relatively new industry. But as Andrew explains it's all in the approach, "What I have found is that when an individual shows enthusiasm, lecturers go out of their way to help you succeed."
Andrew's journey to success has already received a significant boost through being awarded the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Scholarship. Through the scholarship Andrew has been given the opportunity to work as a business analyst at a leading international technology consulting firm, CSC. The opportunity to apply his study in a real world setting has provided him with an invaluable experience and will set him apart when re-entering the workforce. "When you're creatively working on the leading edge of business strategy, it's hard not to be excited," Andrew explains. "My postgraduate study has provided me with a platform to be inspired."
- Find out more information on the Master of Commerce and the wide range of opportunities available to postgraduate students at Sydney.
We were one of the first faculties in Australia to provide a dedicated careers unit for all students - our Careers and Employer Relations Office (CEO).
This is because we recognise the importance of offering our students an enhanced careers office in an increasingly competitive international market for university business schools. The CEO's primary purpose is to provide students with opportunities to develop their lifelong career management skills, so they are well-informed when making important decisions regarding their future career pathway.
Our students have access to faculty specific careers advice and resources, as well as a wide range of employer activities from the corporate and public sectors. These include employer visits, presentations and workshops on campus. Students also receive regular information about preparation for graduate recruitment, internships, paid and unpaid work experience, vacation work and mentoring. In addition, visiting lecturers and guest speakers from companies, including some of our recent graduates, regularly visit the campus to share their knowledge and advice.
- Find out more information on the services provided by the CEO.
An Interview with Yasmin Lovison
Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management (MIR&HR Mgt) 2007
My current role is…People and Culture Business Partner for Global Markets in Wholesale Banking at the National Australia Bank (NAB).
A brief summary of my job would be…I have responsibility for the delivery of the full suite of Human Resources (HR) services to the Global Markets business group. My role requires me to identify and diagnose business unit 'people' requirements and partner with the broader People and Culture team to implement initiatives that meet business objectives. I provide advice and coaching on tactical and operational people matters to leadership teams and managers relating to performance management, recruitment, employee relations and talent and succession management.
I have worked in my current role at the NAB for…two years and have been with the company for a total of four years.
My average working hours for the week are…between 50-60 hours approximately.
My typical working day…usually starts around 7.30am and fills up quickly with meetings and ends around 7.00pm. As I work for a global business, there are often early morning or late night conference calls to attend which can change this pattern.
The highlights of the job for me are…the occasional travel, the constructive and supportive culture, a varied and different working environment with each day being different and most importantly the fantastic colleagues that I work with.
The most challenging part of the job for me is…to make sure that I meet the tight timeframes of multiple competing priorities.
I first got into the field of HR when…I was accepted into the Mountbatten Internship Program in New York City which provided my initial exposure to HR. While in that program, I discovered that I really enjoyed the advisory aspect of HR which was to help the business solve their people issues and reach quality outcomes.
When I was studying my Masters degree at Sydney University…I applied for a role at the NAB and I am certain that it was my postgraduate degree that helped to secure the position.
The content of my Masters degree…has, without question, been extremely useful to me in the HR roles I have held. The degree has helped me to provide an academic context to the real issues experienced in the workplace. Importantly, studying the degree part time and juggling a full time job also taught me a lot about time management, resilience and prioritisation!
The project I am working at the moment is…to embed the new Enterprise Behaviours into the company's Performance Management Framework. This has coincided with our Mid Year Review process so about 80% of our working week is dedicated specifically to this project.
With this job there is a chance to maintain a 'work life' balance as…the intensity of the workload ebbs and flows. Some weeks and months are obviously better or worse than others but the focus is always consistently about delivering value to the business. There is also often time for a walk at lunchtime or a quick session at the gym!
Before I started this role I wish someone had told me…that it is harder than it looks!
My advice to someone thinking about a career in HR is…to be open to exploring opportunities that exist within the HR field as there are some extremely interesting specialities which could lead to a very exciting career.