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Aspiring Leaders Focus on Business

13 Jun 2012

A select group of outstanding business-minded students from across Sydney were invited to an exclusive Focus on Business seminar last week as part of the University of Sydney Business School Aspiring Business Leaders Program.

The students were afforded the opportunity to hear a mind-expanding address from a leading academic in the field of human resource management, Dr William Harvey, University of Sydney Business School discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, who introduced the students to the concept of the 'War for Talent'.

Dr Harvey's engaging and entertaining address asked the students to place themselves in the shoes of employers, and to consider the skills and knowledge that organisations value in the globally competitive business environment.

Dr Harvey highlighted the strategic importance of attracting, judging, retaining and developing talent to a company's competitiveness, and drew on examples from the media to delved into issues at the forefront of debate, including skill shortages, work-life balance, gender equity, human resource development, rewarding talent, Australia's ageing population and the myths surrounding talent.

Reflecting on his experiences in industry and as a researcher and educator, Dr Harvey concluded with practical advice for the Aspiring Leaders. He told them to find a trustworthy mentor, form a leadership development group, volunteer in a service organisation, look abroad for work experience and to ask more questions than they answer.

Dr Harvey stressed that the prospective students were both eager to learn and were driven and enthusiastic about commencing a career in business at the University of Sydney Business School.

"It is great to see high school students embracing the opportunity to explore the central themes in Human Resource management which are defining, and are defined by, Australia's current business environment. This kind of higher-level knowledge will undoubtedly provide the students with a competitive advantage over their peers as they approach their studies at the University of Sydney Business School," he said. "The informed questions and interesting debate raised by the future students showed that they were truly engaged with the issues and keen to question assumptions about the role of people within organisations and the global war for talent."

Associate Professor Philip Seltsikas, Associate Dean (Undergraduate) at the University of Sydney Business School, added "The Business School is dedicated to ensuring our students receive the best possible career opportunities. The Focus on Business event allowed the Aspiring Business Leaders to hear invaluable insights into the skills and knowledge most sought after in leading organisations while experiencing the interactive learning environment of a Business School lecture."