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La Trobe Business School

LBS PhD Candidate Roshan on the benefits of conducting a PhD Industry internship

LBS Newsroom sat down with Roshan Kumar, an LBS PhD candidate who just successfully completed a PhD Industry internship.

Why did you decide to do a PhD Industry Internship?

I want to pursue an industry role after the completion of my PhD and joined this PhD industry Internship to get relevant experience for future roles as a Data Scientist. I wanted to learn relevant concepts, techniques and work with real-world data and problems. Since then, I have been lucky to learn a lot about data analysis and programming techniques in my internship and current role.

What did you have to do to get a PhD Industry Internship?

The idea of a PhD Industry Internship was suggested by my PhD supervisors. I was straight-away interested, so I contacted the Graduate Research School (GRS). The GRS connected me with APR.Intern (Australian Postgraduate Research Intern, formally AMSIIntern).

I had a very nice meeting with the APR.Intern representative and they kindly listened to my experiences, and my expectations regarding the internship. They proposed an internship at Environmental Monitoring Solutions (EMS) and guided me through the application procedure. I made a formal application with my updated resume and they arranged an interview with the organisation.

Did you have to do an official job interview?

Yes. A job interview was scheduled with EMS. I was provided general information regarding the interview, like what to expect, how to dress, etc. Both APR.Intern and GRS helped me a lot in getting prepared. They were available to guide and help at every stage of my internship.

Eventually, I appeared for a half an hour interview, which went well and resulted in me being selected for the internship at Environmental Monitoring Solutions, located at Carrum Downs, Melbourne.

What kind of internship did you do?

The primary objective of my project was to develop algorithms for dynamic reconciliation of fuel in underground storage tanks. I was analysing high-resolution data, identifying the trends and patterns and designing business solutions while considering limitations of data and resources in the project. I managed to achieve all the objectives set for the project well within the allocated time. This resulted in the extension of my contract after which I was offered an employment contract with the organisation.

Congratulations! How did the internship enrich your PhD experience?

My research at LBS is mainly quantitative in nature. This internship provided me with a great opportunity to diversify my experiences with quantitative data-driven work. It has also added to my local industry experience which I hope will be beneficial to my future pursuits. It also provided me a chance to work as a part of a collaborative team and helped me improve my communication skills.

What is your next step going to be career-wise?

Once I finish my PhD, I would like to continue working as a Data Scientist. I intend to keep learning and working on projects involving big data and machine learning. I believe that my past internship and my current role is preparing me well for future challenges in my career.

 

Roshan is a part-time PhD candidate at the La Trobe Business School. His research focuses on knowledge networking in healthcare. Roshan has an undergraduate degree in Engineering, a Masters in Business and loves to create sustainable solutions for responsible businesses. He enjoys working on data science projects, specialising in big data, machine learning and predictive modelling techniques).

Interested in a PhD Industry internship?

A PhD Industry internship is facilitated through APR.Intern and are approximately 4-5 months duration. The internship is paid and focuses on a clearly defined research project within an industry organisation. The organisation can be private sector, government, or not-for-profit. More info about applying for the La Trobe Industry PhD can be found here.

LBS Innovation Series: Join experts in a discussion about the future of food production and agribusiness

How often do you get to hear from world leading robotics and autonomous systems, cereal biology, food quality and crop productivity, and nutrition, digestion and nutrient bioavailability experts talking about the implications of their research for the future of food production and agribusiness? Not very often is the short answer.

This is the opportunity being offered at the 2018 LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum at La Trobe University on the 15th and 16th of November.

Internationally recognised experts

There are presentations from Professor Peter Corke from Queensland University of Technology, Professor Harsharn Gill from RMIT University, and Professor Tony Bacic from La Trobe University, each internationally recognised experts in their field.

  • Professor Peter Corke is a distinguished professor of robotic vision at QUT, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision. His research is concerned with enabling robots to see, and the application of robots to mining, agriculture and environmental monitoring. Peter is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, a fellow of the IEEE, founding and associate editor of the Journal of Field Robotics, founding multi-media editor and editorial board member of the International Journal of Robotics Research, member of the editorial advisory board of the Springer Tracts on Advanced Robotics series.
  • Professor Harsharn Gill is Head of the Food Research & Innovation Centre at RMIT University. He has over 25 years experience in leading and managing food, nutrition and health R&D in private and public sectors. Prior to joining RMIT, he held senior R&D leadership roles in Australia and New Zealand, including Research Director at the Department of Primary Industries Victoria; Chair of Functional Foods & Human Health at Massey University, and Director of Milk & Health Research Centre at Fonterra, New Zealand.
  • Professor Tony Bacic is Director of the La Trobe Institute for Agriculture & Food (LIAF). He is an internationally recognized leader in plant biotechnology, with research focused on the structure, function and biosynthesis of plant cell walls and their biotechnological application as well as the application of functional genomics tools in biological systems. Prior to joining La Trobe (1996 to 2017) Tony was Personal Chair in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne and leader of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls team (2011-2017). His other leadership roles include Director Bio21 Molecular Sciences & Biotechnology Institute, Chair ARC Biological Sciences and Biotechnology & LIEF (infrastructure) Panels and Chair Biological Sciences and Biotechnology Panel of the ERA (Excellence in Research Australia).

Besides these three, the forum presents many industry heavyweights as well such as Allan McCallum, Chair of Cann Group, James Fazzino, former CEO Incitec Pivot, and Andrea Koch from Principle Agtech.

Agricultural technology and science revolution

The agriculture industry is on the edge of a technology and science revolution and each of these outstanding individuals will share their research and discuss its application as a driver for the changing dynamics of the global food production and agribusiness.

However, more than a range of presentations, the 2018 LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum promotes two-way knowledge transfer and dialogue, interactive panels, case studies, opportunities for networking, masterclasses, and direct access to cutting edge science and technology experts.

 

Why not be part of this rare opportunity? You can learn more about the Forum and register by following this link:

www.latrobe.edu.au/events/all/innovation-in-food-and-agribusiness

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

Dream it, Plan it, Pitch it! Competition

LBS hosted the Dream it, Plan it, Pitch It! Competition as part of La Trobe University’s Outreach Programme for secondary school students.

What is outreach?

The LTU outreach programmes offer learning opportunities to Middle Year and VCE-level students. Students partake in workshops, seminars or other activities organised by LTU. It aids students’ confidence and learning skills at the relevant secondary curriculum level in a tertiary environment.

What is Dream it, Plan it, Pitch It!

In short, VCE students dream up an idea, develop a business plan and pitch it at LBS during the Pitch It! Competition.

The idea students develop can be for a business, product, or service. Then, either individually or in teams, students outline, develop and complete a full business plan as part of the VCE curriculum. Complementing the year 11 VCE curriculum, LBS asks students to submit their completed business plans and pitch their ideas to groups of roving judges during a showcase event. The business plans submitted to LBS are assessed and used as a qualifying tool for the showcase event. On the day, students pitch their 5-minute presentation to groups of industry professionals and LBS staff who assess their pitch.

The event is supported by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), who generously donate $1000 for the first-place winner. Second place receives $500 donated by the La Trobe Business School. Besides the first and second prize, there were various other subcategories of awards, such as the marketing plan award, the best stand award, and the financial award.

Some of the Pitch It! Competition judges

2018 Pitch It! Competition

There were competitions in Albury-Wodonga and in Melbourne and more than 100 students from seven schools participated. The first and second prize winners:

  1. Spartans Taekwando took out the first place with their idea – teaching martial arts through respect, discipline & leadership.
  2. Beauty Truck won the second place with their on the go beauty parlour.

Congratulations to the winners!

Pitch It! Competition participants

 

LBS students analysing data for better health outcomes

It’s one success after another for our Department of Accounting and Data Analytics! Besides being ranked in the top 75 universities in the world with our Master of Business Analytics (2019 QS Masters Rankings),  data analytics students made a huge impact during the Bendigo Health Datathon.

Bendigo Health Datathon

The Bendigo Health Datathon was part of the Bendigo Invention & Innovation Festival and organised by Bendigo Health in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), La Trobe University, University of Wollongong, Be.Bendigo and Australian New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS).

Critical Care Recovery

The Datathon brought together teams of clinicians, statisticians, data scientists and administrators to understand and explore the use of secondary healthcare data for better health outcomes. The theme of the Datathon was Critical Care Recovery, with the aim of exploring the health and community outcomes for patients after their journey through the hospital setting.

The participants developed innovative solutions to real problems by applying data analytics and statistical techniques to never-before-combined disparate data sets. The data sets included were:

  • ANZICS Adult Patient Database (APD
  • Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED)
  • Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD)
  • Home and Community Care Program (HACC)
  • Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR)
  • Victorian Death Index (VDI)
  • Victorian Integrated Non-Admitted Health (VINAH)
  • Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Register (AROC)

LBS success

The students worked in different teams and produced some amazing insights. Besides the opportunity for our students to work alongside clinicians, doctors and health researchers, two of them took out the first and second prize at the Datathon. Congratulations to Mahesh Krishnan and Kriti Chhabra!

 

Find out more about our Master of Business Analytics

LBS Innovation Series – Is Australia prepared?

Professor of Practice in economics at LBS, Dr Mark Cloney, asks: what are the key drivers of innovation, disruption and opportunity in the global food production and agribusiness sectors? Any why have the Dutch got it so right?

Changing consumer demand, particularly in Asia, corporatisation of farming, automation on farms and in processing, agtech and advances in the Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation of supply chains, agricultural science advances, and the emergence of vertical farming are just some of the drivers changing the dynamics of the global food production and agribusiness[1].

The Netherlands

Are Australia’s food producers and agribusiness well-informed and placed to understand these challenges and to gain from the opportunities they offer? Countries like The Netherlands certainly are[2]. Despite its relative size, the Dutch are the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products at $158 billion, or three times Australia’s exports[3]. Together with the USA and Spain, The Netherlands is one of the world’s three leading producers of vegetables and fruit supplying a quarter of the vegetables that are exported from Europe. Why? The Dutch are forward-looking, highly innovative and collaborative and have achieved worldwide recognition for their research, infrastructure and innovation systems. For example, Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is the number 1 agricultural university in the world for the third year in a row according to The National Taiwan Ranking of over 300 universities; while, 5 of the top 26 global agri-food companies have R&D facilities in The Netherlands[4].

Australia

So where does Australia stand in comparison? Nationally, the food and agribusiness sector employed approximately 522,000 persons and there were approximately 178,500 businesses trading in the sector (as at June 2015). According to the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda[5], food production and agribusiness are areas of competitive strength for Australia. Australia’s food and agribusiness sector includes food-related agricultural production, food processing and the major inputs to these activities. This includes: food products, processing and beverage manufacturing as well as key inputs; and, agribusiness that relates directly to food production and their supply chains.

La Trobe’s AgriBio Centre

La Trobe University has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping Australia create a vibrant future for those involved in the production of food, fibre and agribusiness. La Trobe plays its role in building human capital and undertaking R&D and scientific research that supports the food and agribusiness innovation system. For example, La Trobe’s AgriBio Centre brings together world-class research in the largest agricultural R&D organisation in Victoria. La Trobe recently announced funding of $50 million for its new La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food focused on solutions for global food security.  La Trobe is also a founding member and financial contributor to Melbourne’s Northern Food Group a partnership with the Victorian government, 5 local governments, 4 tertiary institutes, Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Innovation Centre, and the Melbourne Market Authority among others.

LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum

So how can Australia’s food producers and agribusiness prepare themselves against ever increasing disruption, and better collaborate with world class researchers and scientists in this field? These are some of the questions being explored at the Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum organised by LBS in partnership with NORTHLink. The focus of the Forum is on hearing from industry speakers of successful innovation in the food production and agribusiness sector. It will present industry and government perspectives on how we can continue to improve innovation in this sector, particularly for SMEs and start-ups operating in a global context.

In particular, the Forum offers an opportunity to explore how we create the right collaborative partnerships and environment for food production and agribusiness to succeed globally in an era of increased disruption. Maybe we just need some Dutch courage!

 

References:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

Meet our new adjunct professor Stuart Kells

Prize winning author

Most people know Stuart is a successful author. He wrote the critically acclaimed biography of Kay Craddock, Rare, and Penguin and the Lane Brothers (Black Inc.), which won the Ashurst Australian Business Literature Prize. Stuart’s 2017 book The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders (Text) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s General History Prize and is being published around the world. He also recently wrote a book with Professor Ian Gow on the history of the ‘Big Four’ accounting and audit firms, published by La Trobe University Press. Stuart’s shorter writings have appeared in a wide range of journals, magazines and newspapers, including The Australian Accounting Review, Economic Record, The Guardian, The Paris Review, The Times of London, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

Research and industry career

Not everybody might know that before becoming a successful author, Stuart used to be a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Centre for Regulatory Studies at Monash University. He also had senior roles in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, PPB Advisory and KPMG. He has a PhD from Monash University (for which he received the Monash Law Dean’s Award) and a B.Comm and an M.Comm, both with first class honours, from the University of Melbourne.

Besides becoming LBS’ adjunct professor, Stuart is a member of the Abbotsford Convent Foundation Board and the Audit and Risk Committee of Banyule Council.

 

Business Newsroom asked Stuart what brings him to LBS:

“My research and my books have three things in common. First, they are factual but use techniques from literary fiction, such as storytelling, and experiments with language and structure. I also write across disciplines, such as economics, finance, history, bibliography and cultural studies. Second, they are about nostalgia – for lost or threatened values, professions, institutions and objects. And third, they are irreverent and intent on busting myths.

These emphases align well with the work and mission of the La Trobe Business School and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce. I’ve collaborated with a wide range of scholars and I’m eager to collaborate with the faculty and students of the School and the College.”

LBS welcomes Stuart on board!

Bringing together top researchers and leading financial industry practitioners

From the 24th until the 26th of September, the 8th Conference on Behavioural Finance and Capital Markets (BFCM) is taking place at LTU’s City Campus. The conference presents state-of-the-art research in the fields of Behavioural Finance, Experimental Finance & Capital Markets/Market Microstructure.

Its beginnings

The conference started in 2011 with the idea of merging together two fields in finance: capital markets and people’s behaviour. On the one hand, capital markets (or market microstructure) is all about how financial markets are functioning, how liquid, how risky as well as how fair and efficient these markets are. On the other hand, financial markets are driven by people’s emotions and behaviour. Behavioural biases are well documented in the literature. Even financially literate people are prompt to cognitive biases. In other words, investors, traders, bankers and lenders all show such biases while making investment decisions under risk. From the outset, the BFCM Conference bought together top academics such as: Pete Kyle, Avanidhar (Subra) Subrahmanyam, Richard Roll, Peter Bossaerts, Ron Masulis, Terrence Hendershott, Stephen Brown and Tarun Chordia (among others) with industry leaders to discuss relevant topics.

Its aim

The conference merges academic research with the applied work of the finance industry. The conference continuously looks to identify new emerging fields of research and supports better cooperation and collaboration among researchers and between academia and industry.

According to Founder of the BFCM Conference & LBS Professor Petko Kalev it comes down to this:

“The research we do should not only have academic value but also practical application that impacts the finance industry and hence our society. This conference makes that happen.”

BFCM Conference in the news

The conference topics are always relevant. This relevance is highlighted by an article that was published this week in the Australian Financial Review. Chanticleer Tony Boyd wrote an article titled “The highs and lows of retail investing” based on an academic paper that is being presented at the BFCM Conference next week.

The article starts with a story on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, buying a big stake in Apple in 2016, when the stock was 10 per cent above its 12-month low. Looking back, the timing was perfect. Apple is now trading about 5 per cent below its record high. The article then discusses the idea that institutional investors often profit at the expense of retail investors who sell at the wrong time. An idea supported by the yet to be released paper by Joshua Della Vedova, Andrew Grant and Joakim Westerholm from the University of Sydney. They found that retail investors often sell at the 52-week high because it is a domain for gains and provides an anchor for the highest past price.

Read the full article by Tony Boyd here.

 

Visit the BFCM Conference website for more information.

LBS Innovation Series: How do companies hold on to their ability to innovate?

This episode in the LBS Innovation Series shows Christine Axton, Director in Monitor Deloitte’s Strategy Practice. Her talk is about how companies hold on to their ability to innovate and how they achieve, and keep, an innovation premium in the market.

Innovator’s method

Christine presents a short overview of the business tool innovator’s method and illustrates its application in a case study. The innovator’s method is designed to help firms create and maintain an innovation premium, and more specifically to manage uncertainty in the innovation process. The approach seeks to manage uncertainty across the key end-to-end innovation process for start-ups i.e. insight; problem; solution; and, business model.

Testing uncertainty

Where innovator’s method differs from other tools such as lean start-up, design thinking, agile software, lean start-up and business canvas etc. is primarily regarding the steps of the innovation process they emphasise. The innovator’s method offers a set of tools and methods to consider and test uncertainty at each of the end-to-end innovation process steps. The power of this approach is to ensure start-ups don’t go to market wasting time and resources on things customers don’t want. Many start-ups make the mistake of leaping straight to solutions without first understanding the real problems and uncertainty associated with their product/service.

 

Watch Christine’s presentation below:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

LBS’ collaboration with the Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute

As part of the La Trobe University China Studies Research Centre program, Professor Alex Maritz from LBS recently visited Wuhan University’s Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute. The collaboration’s aim is to improve the volume and quality of joint research with China-based researchers, and help La Trobe staff better understand China through improved access to China-based scholarship.

Universities’ initiatives

After meeting with Professor Li Yanping, Director of the China Research Centre (CRC) and her staff, a heads of agreement was developed. This included the launch of the Journal of Industry University Collaboration (Emerald Publishing), research studies on Entrepreneurship ecosystems, and ongoing engagement and collaboration between LBS and the CRC.  Professor Yanping is the Editor-In-Chief of the journal, and Professor Maritz the inaugural Honorary Editor. The aim of the journal is to publish research for an international audience covering theory, empirical research and practice in the field of cooperation and innovation between industry and universities. The collaboration will also enhance research initiatives between the institutions, such as PhD student exchange, seminars and online initiatives.

The largest Industry-University-Research Centre

Similar to La Trobe University, Wuhan University is ranked in the Top 300 Universities according to ARWU, QS and THE. Wuhan University’s Research Center for China Industry-University-Research Institute is the largest and most prolific Industry-University-Research Centre in China, and Wuhan University is ranked in the top 8 Universities in the Republic of China (ROC), similar to the Australian Group of Eight (Go8).

 

LBS’ Professor of entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, and Professor Li Yanping, Director of CRC, celebrating the new collaboration and engagement initiatives between the two institutions.

LBS’ Peer Mentorship Network initiative

The La Trobe Business School Peer Mentorship Network (known as the ‘Cafe Club’), is an intellectual climate initiative funded by the Graduate Research School (GRS). The initiative was started by two PhD candidates – the newly graduated Dr Stephen Sim, and recently-confirmed Mrs Madeleine Kendrick. The idea behind the Peer Mentorship Network is to create a welcoming and supportive environment during the often-isolated experience of a research degree, aimed at Honours, Master’s, and PhD candidates in the La Trobe Business School.

During meetings, members share tea, coffee and snacks together while discussing whatever’s on their mind – like ‘How do I get that manuscript perfect for a journal?’ and ‘What do more experienced research candidates know about the library that I don’t?’

Why is it important?

Research shows that peer support and a peer network lead to better mental health and wellbeing among junior researchers. Establishing a community of practice, and a network of friendly faces to chat with on-campus, leads to higher rates of research completion. Also, long-term professional relationships are combined with improved academic performance and a higher overall candidate’s experience and satisfaction (e.g. Collings, Swanson & Watkins, 2014; Leidenfrost, Strassnig, Schutz, Carbon & Schabmann, 2014; Phillips, 2009).

A few months into their regular meetings, members of the Cafe Club have begun to generate a sense of camaraderie and increased collaboration with each other.

Peer writing

The Café Club is mainly about meeting like-minded people, talk about the research journey and connecting to more senior candidates. If you like to meet candidates from other schools or think that bi-monthly is not enough, then the GRS is also offering more productivity focused get-togethers. The GRS runs weekly ‘Shut up and Write’ sessions where researchers come together to write using the Pomodoro method of focused writing (25min) interleaved with short breaks. They also organise a weekly online ‘Shut up and Write’ session, every Monday afternoon on Twitter (@LTUresearchers #LTUsuaw)

When is the next meeting?

The next Cafe Club meeting takes place on Wednesday, September 12 at 3pm in the Martin Building 101

For information on how this initiative was started (so you can begin your own network in another department!), or to find out how to join, please contact Mrs Kendrick at 19460000@students.latrobe.edu.au.

– Madeleine

Madeleine is an inter-disciplinary scholar studying governance practices in public health organisations at LTU. In addition to her work combining psychology, public health and management, she engages in community development activities such as the La Trobe Cafe Club, mentoring doctors’ research skills in WA, and engaging in Science Communications on Twitter (@MIKendrick94).

 

References

  • Collings, Swanson & Watkins (2014). The impact of peer mentoring on levels of student wellbeing, integration and retention: a controlled comparative evaluation of residential students in UK higher education. Higher Education. 68(6), pp 927-942.
  • Leidenfrost, Strassnig, Schütz, Carbon, & Schabmann. (2014). The Impact of Peer Mentoring on Mentee Academic Performance: Is Any Mentoring Style Better than No Mentoring at All?. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 26(1), pp 102-111.
  • Phillips (2009). The Impact of Peer Mentoring in UK Higher Education. [THESIS]. Sup: Swanson, V. University of Stirling; Department of Psychology, School of Natural Sciences. Accessed from; https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/handle/1893/2290#.W1As8tIzbIU
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