Welcome to this edition of the University of Sydney Business School Postgraduate e-Newsletter.
In this edition we celebrate the success of our Doing Business in Brazil International Business Project, which saw a select group of Master's student travel to Sao Paulo to develop insight into doing business in the largest country in South America, whose relevance to Australian business is growing significantly.
We also look at how one student's future career received a major boost when he took part in our Industry Placement Program, leading to an unexpected job offer from his host company and an exciting future career direction.
And we profile a Master of Commerce student from an engineering background, whose developing understanding of business concepts is helping him to make sound engineering decisions.
We also report on another successful Postgraduate Information Session, attended by more than 100 prospective students attracted by the Business School's reputation for educational and research ex-cellence, where leadership skills were identified as the key to business success.
Perhaps most importantly though, we highlight the importance of the Business School's strong links with leading business organisations, which underpin everything we do. None of the activities and achievements discussed here would be possible without these partnerships. I hope you enjoy reading about them, and I wish you all the best and look forward to welcoming you to the University of Sydney Business School in the near future.
Professor John Shields
Associate Dean (Postgraduate Coursework)
- The Ties That Bind
- Doing Business in Brazil
- Unexpected Rewards
- Leadership Skills Key to Business Success
- What matters to you?
- Student Profile - Master Of Commerce
- Student in the news
The Business School's strong relationships with leading business organisations have always been an integral part of who we are and what we do. It's these links that enable our students to work on genuine business projects, creating a win-win situation where you gain invaluable experience and workplace visibility, while the organisations reap the benefits of having some of their most challenging issues addressed by fresh and highly motivated young talent.
Among our high-profile partner organisations are the CSIRO, Deloitte, Lend Lease, Life Without Bar-riers, Nielsen, the NSW Department of Treasury, QBE, The Smith Family and Thomson Reuters.
In April we hosted a panel discussion where representatives of some of these organisations spoke of the challenges of doing business in uncertain times. Around 100 students and staff attended to hear how some of Australia's most astute corporate minds and their organisations manage risk and opportunity.
In an inspiring address, keynote speaker Gerhard Vorster, Chief of Strategy at Deloitte Australia, spoke of the importance of identifying strategies that allow uncertainty to be leveraged as opportunity. A subsequent panel discussion resulted in agreement that where risk and uncertainty exist, opportunity also exists for those prepared to look for it.
The panellists also offered advice on what employers are looking for. According to Business School Associate Dean (Postgraduate Coursework) Professor John Shields, who moderated the event, "Top of the list was a well-rounded set of attributes including leadership and critical thinking abilities, effective communication skills, and a strong sense of ethical and social responsibility."
It is these qualities that the Business School aims to instil in all its students, through a combination of academic grounding and industry exposure through our partner organisations.
Find out morehttp://sydney.edu.au/business/mmgt
A recent event reunited the Business School graduates and companies involved in the successful Doing Business in Brazil International Business Project.
Designed to foster an understanding of Brazil's business, cultural, economic, political and social frameworks, the project saw a select group of Master of Management and Master of Marketing students travel to Sao Paulo, where they worked on real-life business projects for five Australian companies from a variety of industries. They also explored the Brazilian market for further opportunities for Australian business, and attended academic seminars, company visits, social and cultural events and talks by guest speakers.
The largest country in South America, Brazil's relevance to Australian business is growing signifi-cantly, and a wide range of opportunities exist for further trade and investment activity. Group leader and academic adviser Professor Sid Gray said that barriers to such growth include a lack of mutual understanding of respective cultural and economic issues.
"It's these types of barriers that the Doing Business in Brazil project has helped to overcome," he said.
The project was successful in its aim of providing the next generation of business innovators with practical insight into the realities of doing business in the world's seventh largest economy.
It's not often you get an opportunity to kick-start your future career while still undertaking postgraduate study. But for Master of Commerce/Master of Logistics Management student Amit Majumder, that's exactly what happened.
He took part in the Business School's Industry Placement Program, which allows students to earn credit towards their degree by working part time (unpaid) for a leading firm while they study. During the placement, students work on actual business projects at the host company, gaining genuine experience of today's business world before they even graduate.
Host organisations to date have included the Commonwealth Bank, Computershare, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, the NSW Treasury and PwC. Placements may be Sydney-based, regional or interna-tional.
Amit undertook a nine-week placement at Computershare, which he describes as 'unique and invaluable'.
"It gave me perspective on how things work in a large organisation, and what it feels like to be part of one," he says.
While the placement is a stand-alone opportunity and does not necessarily lead to future employment, in Amit's case this was an unexpected bonus.
"As a result of my placement I've been offered a permanent position with the company. My future career direction is now assured, and I can't wait to complete my studies next year.
"The program is a fantastic opportunity and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone with the chance to experience it."
Among them were Elene, a former human resources worker in Spain; Henry, who runs a small business in Sydney; and Suchi, who last studied in New Delhi. These three people with very different backgrounds but common interests in postgraduate study at the University of Sydney Business School - because of its "outstanding reputation" - were representative of the wide diversity of attendees.
As well as insights offered by senior academic staff, attendees were given a glimpse into the world of high-level banking and finance through a conversation between Business School Dean Professor Geoffrey Garrett and Citi Australia CEO and Chief Country Officer Stephen Roberts.
Mr Roberts was working in New York in 2008, and spoke frankly of life at the epicentre of the global financial crisis. "Scary" was the word he used to describe the events that shook the banking and fi-nancial world four years ago and whose effects continue to be felt today.
Both he and Professor Garrett agreed that while technical skills are important to a career in banking and finance, an ability to lead is 'essential'. For this reason, Professor Garrett said, the task of the Business School is not only to provide students with technical ability but also to develop their leader-ship skills.
The Business School holds a Postgraduate Information Session before each semester.
More than 11,000 people around the world have participated in our What Matters campaign, which asks members of the public to vote for what matters to them in a bid to find out what is important to Australians. The University of Sydney's most prominent academics and alumni have shared what matters most to them.
Advancing Australia's relationships with China and US: Prof Geoffrey Garrett is exploring the world's most important bilateral relationship - between China and the US - and its effect on Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Learn more
Achieving real gender equality: As Julie McKay, EMBA Alumni, sees it her work is about making it possible for half the population to have access to the same opportunities as the other half. This will create greater economic security and leadership opportunities. Learn more
Reducing traffic congestion: Prof David Hensher is developing ideas to improve public transport and reduce traffic congestion on our roads. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, these changes will improve people's lifestyles and productivity. Learn more
Harry Xiao, Master of Commerce
Why did you decide to complete a Master's degree?
Having studied and worked in engineering, I realised engineering decisions are ultimately business decisions. In order to influence them, I needed a good grasp of business.
What made you choose a postgraduate degree from the University of Sydney?
The Business School is dynamic and flexible, and actively drives continuous improvement of its programs.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
The critical thinking subject - it gives you a much higher understanding of what's really going on when people talk about business.
Are there any particularly useful skills you've learnt while studying this course?
The strong technical understanding of business concepts across a variety of disciplines will help me to grasp higher-level concepts later in my career.
Do you have any advice for people who are working and considering postgraduate study?
Postgraduate study is not just a commitment - it's an opportunity to discuss ideas with peers and industry leaders, build relationships and network, both formally and informally. Study and grades are only a fraction of what a postgraduate degree offers.
Edward Fernon is the first University of Sydney Business School and Sydney University Fitness scholarship holder to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Currently enrolled in the Master of Commerce program, Edward is the highest ranked athlete from Oceania in the Modern Pen-tathlon. To keep up the level of physical fitness needed to master fencing, freestyle swimming, show-jumping, cross-country running and pistol shooting, Edward trains seven days a week.
The prestigious Prime Minister's Pacific-Australia Award has been presented to Master of Commerce student, Buriata Tofinga in recognition of her "excellent academic achievement, contribution to the community and highly promising leadership potential".
Valued at $25,000, the Pacific-Australia Award will provide Buriata with the opportunity to gain leadership skills while undertaking relevant work placement. Equipped with practical know-how and industry insight, the high achiever is hoping to incorporate her learned experiences and knowledge into innovative ways to meet the challenges of business development and support in her country, Kiribati, in the Pacific.