Welcome to the final edition of the University of Sydney Business School Postgraduate e-Newsletter for 2011.
In this edition we invite you to join our Industry Placement Program, an invaluable opportunity to gain professional experience with a leading business firm while you study. I encourage you all to consider participating in this excellent program.
We also profile our Master of International Business, an essential program for any business practitioner wanting to successfully navigate today's globalised business environment.
We are excited to introduce a new scholarship program aimed at promoting academic excellence in our coursework master's programs, and we congratulate our first graduates of the Global Executive MBA.
I hope you enjoy this edition, and I wish you all the best over the summer break and I look forward to welcoming you to the University of Sydney Business School in the near future.
Professor John Shields
Associate Dean (Postgraduate)
- Course in Focus Master of International Business
- Student Profile: Kendrew Fung
- Upcoming event: Postgraduate Information Session
The Master of International Business equips students to implement effective and sustainable business growth on an international scale and within multicultural environments. We asked Professor of International Business Sid Gray what sets this program apart.
What do you think is the most important issue facing international business today?
There's a tremendous amount of change going on globally at the moment - socially, politically, economically, financially - and people doing business internationally need to be aware of these changes and forces at work so they can negotiate the risks and also take advantage of the opportunities that arise. Having said that, one thing that doesn't change so quickly is culture, and being able to navigate across cultures is also key to succeeding in doing business across borders.
What are the highlights of the Master of International Business program?
The program is uniquely designed to focus on the four essential areas of knowledge that every businessperson needs a sound understanding of when operating in international or multicultural contexts. These cover the global business environment, managing people globally and developing cultural intelligence, formulating global strategy, and managing global operations. Students also complete a genuine international business project, with the possibility of carrying this out overseas, which allows them to put all this knowledge into practice and gain feedback on their work.
What are the backgrounds of the people who teach on the program?
Our staff are very diverse culturally - we have teachers from the US, Europe, China, India and the Philippines as well as Australia. All our staff have also spent time working in different countries, so they bring a vast wealth of experience in international business, culture and perspectives. We also have guest speakers from industry and regularly host visiting professors from other countries.
How valuable is the Master of International Business in today's globalised business environment?
The speed and complexity of change in today's international business world requires effective strategic thinking skills, global business knowledge and cultural sensitivity for business to be navigated successfully, and that's exactly what this program provides.
What career opportunities are possible for Master of International Business graduates?
Our graduates are attractive to both foreign companies operating in Australia and elsewhere and Australian companies operating overseas. Previous graduates are now working for global management consulting firms, multinational financial institutions and agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as for local SMEs wanting to expand into global markets.
The Master of International Business incorporates a real-world consulting project for a multinational company. How does this component enhance the learning experience?
The project enables students to apply all they've learnt to a specific business project for a real-world multinational company, with the possibility also of carrying out the project overseas, such as in Brazil, China or India. They present their work to the company and get feedback from management, so there's pressure to produce something that's really going to be valuable. All in all it's a genuine hands-on learning experience that makes this program stand out.
News / Stories
This exciting new scholarship program offers fee waivers for up to ten incoming Masters students each semester and is intended to promote academic excellence in coursework Masters programs within the University of Sydney Business School. The scholarship is available each semester to students intending to commence their first semester of study within the Business School in an eligible single pre-experience Masters by coursework program involving 10 units or 12 units of study. The scholarship is open to students with a firm offer who are intending to study either full-time or part-time. Note that applications for each semester will be processed in two rounds, which means that students applying for the first round will be advised of the outcome well before the commencement of semester.
The scholarship is competitive, by application and awarded on merit to the most outstanding applicant assessed against the following selection criteria of academic achievement, motivation to excel in a Masters degree and in business practice. Intending applicants are required to submit an application addressing the above criteria, including certified details of prior academic results.
For further details please visit the Postgraduate Coursework Scholarships page.
Would you like to gain genuine professional experience with a leading business firm while you study?
The Industry Placement Program allows you to work part time with a leading firm for one semester while you study, gaining credit towards your degree as well as genuine experience and a realistic idea of where you see yourself working after graduation.
You'll work on real projects with real colleagues and clients, experience contemporary professional practice and learn from some of the best in the field. You'll also develop valuable contacts and start to establish your professional reputation.
Current partner firms include the Commonwealth Bank, Deloitte and Ernst & Young.
If you're looking to succeed in business, an industry placement is the best head start you can get.
Skills seminars are an important component of the Master of Management program, as students get to learn outside the classroom from industry leaders. The emphasis in skills seminars is on practical skills that can be translated into the global workplace.
One of the most popular skills seminars this year has been the half-day seminar on "Gender and Diversity in the Global Business Market." Master of Management Program Director Dr Nigel Finch said "Gender balance in business is a major issue globally. Companies are facing an intensity of focus from shareholders, Government and the media about the gender composition not only of their Board but also of senior management positions. Pressure to increase the number of women in business is growing.
"Forward thinking companies are embracing gender balance and creating a long-term sustainable point of difference. As the managers of tomorrow, our students need to start thinking about these challenges now," he said. The seminar, held on campus, offered a variety of exercises and challenges, including playing a version of the Diversity Challenge. The Diversity Challenge is used by organisations to evaluate equity issues, spark discussions and help embed inclusive workplace environments.
The seminar was led by Kate O'Reilly from Optimiss Consulting; Heather Price of Diversity Consulting; and Louise Johnston from ANZ Bank. Kate, a former Deloitte Director and member of the Deloitte Emerging Leaders Council, and Heather, CEO of Diversity Consulting were able to give the students the benefit of their extensive experience from working with Australia's top tier companies. Louise, Assistant Manager Healthcare and Community at ANZ Bank provided an insight into the practical implications of gender diversity at one of Australia's largest banks.
Learning from such experienced professionals was an experience appreciated by the students. CEMS student Stefan Endriss said "I found the seminar very interesting. It provided us with the opportunity to challenge some of our preconceived ideas. It also highlighted the financial benefits to companies that put good diversity policies into place." Interested in learning more about Skills Seminars and how your company can be involved?
Contact Management Education E email@example.com
The unit of study Australian Consulting Project gives Master of Marketing students an opportunity to use their learning gained across the many topics covered in the program. The project requires the application of analytical tools and project-management skills to a particular marketing issue within an Australian company chosen by the student.
This year, student projects ranged from addressing the implementation of a marketing strategy for a global electronics brand to increasing the number of sponsors of a not-for-profit legal service.
Jason Cohecha chose to conduct his project with an Australian study-abroad agent. The marketing issue he identified was the importance of word-of-mouth marketing to the business. His project objective was to measure customer willingness to generate word-of-mouth marketing for the company. He also aims to develop guidelines for integrating this measurement into the company's new customer relationship management system.
Students will work on their projects over the next couple of months, and will then deliver a written report, along with a presentation to their client organisation and to their supervisor. Students will be assessed on problem identification, analysis, creative and actionable solutions, client-management skills and persuasive presentation. The student supervisors are very much looking forward to attending the final presentations.
Bringing industry into the classroom is without doubt one of the most effective ways of ensuring relevance in any area of business study.
That's why an upcoming series of interactive panel discussions hosted by the Discipline of International Business promises to be a major highlight of the academic year. Designed to showcase the latest issues, trends and developments in business, the forums are intended to give students an opportunity to get acquainted with the practical day-to-day problems that currently challenge business while engaging with key industry leaders and representatives.
On of the event scheduled to examine the risk to business presented by social media, promises to be extremely insightful. Indeed, there can be no doubt that the Internet is impacting international business models in ways that were perhaps never properly anticipated. For an example of this we only have to look to recent events where social media tools like Twitter and Facebook have proven extremely effective for rallying people to protest against certain groups and organisations. The potential for extreme damage to brand credibility or corporate image resulting from a single Tweet posted by just one dissatisfied customer is certainly something that demands proactive risk management initiatives.
The panel members for this inaugural event will include Peter Fraser from SR7 - a consulting company that works at the frontier of social media risk analysis. He'll be joined by Nada Siratkov, General Manager of Marketing at Aon Australia. A leader in risk management and insurance in Australia, Aon found in their 2010/2011 Australasian Risk Management Benchmarking Survey that the top perceived risk to businesses as nominated by business leaders was in fact brand and image, partly due to exposure to social media risk.
After countless hours of hard work across five countries over the last 18 months, 14 senior executives have become the first graduates from the University of Sydney Business School's Global Executive MBA program.
A reinvention of the traditional MBA, the Business School's first Global Executive MBA was launched in 2010 to provide gifted executives with the leadership skills they need to scale the heights of success in business.
These first participants were hand-picked following a rigorous selection process and completed six modules in different locations around the globe. According to Associate Dean (Management Education), Richard Hall the group have emerged better leaders and more connected with fresh perspectives on how to make a real difference in business.
"We are exceptionally proud of this pioneering group. They have challenged themselves at every turn of this program and in many cases stepped way beyond their natural comfort zone. The personal growth of the individuals on the program that we have seen and the impact this has had on the companies they work for is really inspiring."
As part of the program the group was given the opportunity to explore new business opportunities in the Indian city of Bangalore, the concept of growth in Silicon Valley and renewal in France's tradition-bound wine industry. At each location they were tasked with co-ordinating a real-life local business project providing them with an opportunity to explore the theme of that module.
As well as the intensive overseas modules, the group also indicated one of the highlights of the program was the insights they gained into creativity in leadership by improvising jazz melodies at the Conservatorium and learning how to structure a logical argument from scholars in the Department of Philosophy.
Executive Director of UN Women Australia, Julie McKay who was recently named Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year for the ACT said the completion of the program was bittersweet.
"It is fantastic to have reached the end of the program and reflect on all that we have achieved individually and collectively."
"The highlight for me was working with my cohort and the academic staff across all of the different modules to challenge our leadership styles, our understanding of business and our belief in what is possible when you bring together a group of talented, dedicated people."
"It is sad to know that the exciting journey we all embarked on together has come to an end for now. However, the friendships and business connections we've made throughout this process are sure to carry on long into the future."
Applications for the 2012 Global Executive MBA program close on 30 November 2011.
Master of Commerce and Master of Logistics Management
Why did you decide to complete a Master's degree?
To enhance my career development opportunities, and to broaden my knowledge.
What made you choose a postgraduate degree from the University of Sydney?
The benefits and flexibility of combining master's degrees with a variety of different specialisations, as well as Sydney's internationally recognised standard and its great reputation from the perspective of employers.
What do you enjoy most about the program?
I love the exposure to a number of different units of study, and sharing my experiences with other postgraduate students from different backgrounds. The program also provides insight into the dynamic logistics industry through experienced professionals who share their valuable experience.
Are there any particularly useful skills that you've learnt while studying this program?
One of the best skills I've learnt is to work with different people under different circumstances. This is always challenging, as different groups generate specific group dynamics, so the teamwork and leadership skills I've developed have been invaluable. I've also rapidly developed my industrial knowledge and technical skills through the program's practical assignments.
Do you have any advice for students who are working and considering postgraduate study?
A long-term plan is essential, and studying at Sydney will support that plan. However, you also need to take every opportunity and work hard during the program to achieve your goals.
More than 150 prospective students, bearing some very thoughtful questions, joined us at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney on Thursday 13 October 2011, to discover more about the ways in which postgraduate study at the University of Sydney Business School can enhance professional career opportunities in business and management. If you missed out on this event, you can attend our next Postgraduate Information Session to be held on 1st February 2012. Please click here to register for the event.