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CEO encourages students to dream big

28 May 2013

CPA Australia's Chief Executive Officer Alex Malley has urged students to "stick their neck out" and chase their dreams without fearing failure.

During an interactive presentation and networking session at the University of Sydney Business School, Mr Malley also highlighted the importance of mentors in achieving success and encouraged students to actively seek them out.

Talking to the packed lecture theatre, Mr Malley went on to advise students to complement their education with insight from the lives of leaders. 

"Mentors don't come in a box with a ribbon on it," he said. "Make the effort to find a mentor in your field. Getting a good bit of advice early on in your career makes a big difference."

As the CEO of CPA Australia, one of the world's largest accounting bodies, Alex Malley represents more than 144,000 members from finance, accounting and business industries in 127 countries.

He was recently one of only two Australians included in The Accountant magazine's list of the 50 most influential accounting professionals in the world.

The presentation by Mr Malley is part of his mentorship program called The Naked CEO, which offers students the opportunity to experience boardroom situations in successful companies across Australia, providing a first-hand look at business in action.

The presentation at the Business School was organised by the Financial Management Association of Australia (FMAA), a student body that promotes career awareness and facilitates involvement in business-related activities.

Mr Malley has taught accounting at various universities over his 18-year career as an academic and said he is passionate about helping students understand their careers and teaching them that the "courage to fail" is integral to success. He asked students about their dreams and said that to achieve success, they must be prepared to take risks and, on occasion, fail.

"Mistakes are your friends, not your enemies," concluded Mr Malley. "Be confident that each time you make a mistake, you learn from it. Anyone can manage success - it is how you manage tough times that counts."

For more information about The Naked CEO program, visit The Naked CEO website.