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La Trobe Business School

Month: June 2017

La Trobe Business School Professor shares SeniorPreneur insights on Studio 10 National TV

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz

Recently, La Trobe Business School’s Professor of Entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, appeared on Channel 10’s morning show. He shared research outcomes from the recent nbn Silver Economy Report, where he collaborated on research and analysis on a national SeniorPreneur research project.

SeniorPreneurs emerge from retirement

The Silver Economy Report reveals that tech-savvy baby boomers are expected to contribute an additional $ 11.9billion to the Australian GDP in new ventures each year, Insights reveal that SeniorPreneurs are expected to start 14,000 new businesses each year; representing the fastest growing sector of entrepreneurship. 34% of all small businesses are lead by senior entrepreneurs. More than half (54%) of them claim they employ a predominantly online model in their businesses, with 61% of them preferring to upskill online. Be it motivation to create or supplement income (67%), pursue passion projects (58%) or keep mentally stimulated (55%), these tech-savvy boomers are undergoing a new renaissance.

The Silver Economy Report is available online, here.

The Studio 10 TV in-studio interview is available here (Professor Alex Maritz speaks at 1:48).

La Trobe Business School is at the cutting edge of innovation and technology when it comes to offering tech-savvy Entrepreneurship Education courses online. For more information, click here.

LBS alumni Kate Davenport at La Trobe University: “No working day is the same.”

LBS alumna Kate Davenport

La Trobe Business School alumni Kate Davenport recently started working as a Consultant in Leadership and Capability (Organisational Development) at La Trobe University’s Human Resources department in Bundoora.

After having graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor in Accounting for La Trobe Business School at La Trobe University’s Albury Wodonga campus, Kate went on to take part in La Trobe University’s Graduate Development Program. Through the program, graduates have the opportunity to work in three different departments of the university over twelve months, allowing them to develop a deep understanding of the operations of several teams and how these teams intersect working on different projects as well as developing transferable skills they can use throughout their careers.

Kate completed three rotations of four months, each time working in a different department of the university: one the marketing department, one in the College of Science, Health and Engineering, as well as one in the Tertiary Enabling Program, all based in Albury-Wodonga.

“Out of all rotations, I think I enjoyed the one in the Tertiary Enabling Program the most,” she says. “Through this program, I assisted students with their studies and the transition to University– either via email or face-to-face, assisted lecturers with their classes and provided input into the curriculum. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to watch the students grow and develop while participating in the program. I also learnt to communicate better, and understand the different kinds of communication that stakeholders require.”

Kate also mentions how she refined a lot of transferable skills throughout the graduation program: “During the program, I really developed a strong knowledge of the different areas and departments within the university. I also worked on a regional campus before coming to Bundoora. I believe that this was a big advantage, since it allows me to really bring a regional perspective to the table, and make sure the needs of staff in regional areas are taken into account. The program also gave me the opportunity to participate in development sessions and paired me with a mentor to further enable my professional development.”

Throughout her degree, Kate worked at an accounting firm at Albury-Wodonga, working in self-managed superannuation funds: “I really enjoyed the work, but it would sometimes start to feel monotonous,” she comments. “At La Trobe, I enjoy the variety of my current position. I work on a range of different projects and not a single day is the same, which is something I thoroughly enjoy.”

The perks of being a PhD student rep


By Anne Brouwer

Why would you become a student representative?

Let me rephrase that.Why would you want to read 30-page policies? Why would you want to spend hours in meetings? Why would you choose to put yourself out there and speak up to higher management? Why would you want to deal with other people’s problems? Why would you want to be the one to open up a can of worms?

You won’t believe this, but it’s actually quite fun!

Of course, there is the feeling of satisfaction for serving the greater good. I can’t deny that it feels awesome to help fellow graduate students when they have issues concerning their PhD journey.

There is the unique experience of learning how educational institutions operate, of realising how complex universities are and getting a sense of the politics behind it.

There are the networks you make, not only with fellow graduate students but getting to personally know the people in charge! You know, the ones that help run this joint, like the Dean, Associate Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors, School Graduate Coordinators and so on. They are the kind of people that might come in handy when you need an extension, reference or a job.

Talking about jobs, extracurricular activities definitely boost your resume. I have built up a wide array of examples for future job interviews that show leadership skills, project management, resolving conflict situations, organising events, time management, teamwork, etc. I hate to say it, but it’s important to show your future employer that you’re more than just a person who holds a doctorate. Let’s face it, our future prospects in academia don’t look all that great, especially not when all you have been doing is your PhD, just like all the others holding doctorates out there.

But, as I said earlier, it is also just really fun. Going to exclusive events, getting free food and drinks, making new friends among your fellow PhD students, learning that the students in the other College aren’t as scary after all, and just getting the opportunity to hang out with people you would otherwise never come across.

Another great thing about being a student rep is that it allows you to get away from your PhD research without feeling too guilty about it. I quickly realised that working full-time on my PhD research was not going to work for me. It is mentally draining, I have a short attention span, and I’m easily bored. These three years should not only be about working hard on my research, but also for some socialising, fun, and freebies as well!

And if you think “it doesn’t matter because nobody will listen to us”, you’ve got it all wrong. When I started out as a graduate student representative about a year ago, I quickly came to realise that La Trobe takes its graduate student reps seriously. When we raise issues, action is usually taken straight away and feedback that we give on candidature policies actually gets incorporated.

If you are like me and allergic to people who only complain and don’t do anything to make their problems go away, and if you read this blog thinking being a student rep could indeed be fun, then shoot me an email (a.brouwer@latrobe.edu.au) and let’s talk about how you can get involved!

Anne Brouwer is a PhD Candidate and a Research Scholar in the La Trobe Business School at La Trobe University. 

She has completed a Master of Science degree from both the Technical University Munich and University of Wageningen, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. Her research interests are in green marketing, greenwashing and sustainable consumption. 

She is the student representative for the ASSC College on the Board of Graduate Research and the student representative for the La Trobe Business School. 

Outside LTU activities she travels around the world (whenever her schedule allows it), volunteers as a marketer for a non-profit organisation, hikes around Victoria and cycles a lot. She tweets from @AnneRBrouwer.

This post was originally published on the RED Alert Research Blog.

London Bridge Will Never Fall Down

London at dusk


Paul Mather is Head of La Trobe Business School and Professor of Governance and Financial Accounting.

 Many Melbournians watched the events unfolding in London on Sunday morning (AEST) in horror.  As I am London born, and lived there for many years prior to moving to Australia, the familiarity of the scenes added to the horror and raw emotions I felt.  I walked many of the bridges in London as part of daily commutes, and the “bridge run” that often covered London Bridge, where you run up one bridge, along the embankment and return via another bridge, was a regular feature at one stage of my life. Exhilarating, but the river Thames at dawn is often exceedingly cold and I can still feel my skin tingle!

These events of Sunday morning made me reflect on a number of matters, including the relevance of what was unfolding to business more broadly and leadership in particular and I wanted to share some of these reflections.

First, the importance of leadership and resilience however stressful or overwhelming these situations may be.  In a famous TED talk, General Stanley McChrystal said “those who depend on us need their leaders on our feet”.  I would extend that and suggest that it is not just on their feet but standing tall.   Who will forget the leadership and sheer presence of the then Mayor of New York, Rudi Giuliani who inspired millions of people in the US and beyond in the aftermath of 9/11?

Second, that you should never waste a crisis! The British Prime Minister saying “enough is enough” in her initial public statement many hope signals her seeing an opportunity to use these horrific events to make necessary changes to the approach taken to counter extremism that may otherwise have been more challenging.

Third, notwithstanding the circumstances, there is always a need to remain true to your core values and those of your organisation. In the context of Britain at this time, it is not to be tempted by populism, and to remain mindful of the values that underpin British society, especially around civil liberties and the rule of law.

Fourth, the extended TV coverage showed us very clearly that being a leader is a lot more than having a title and that, when tested, many people show leadership and courage irrespective of their official position. The composure under immense pressure shown by first responders such as unarmed police officers, paramedics, and  numerous bystanders was a sight to behold and restored my faith in humanity. My personal stand out was the gentleman with a strong Cockney (East London) accent who described how he threw chairs and bottles at one of the terrorists to draw him away from someone under threat.  These selfless acts are a timely reminder that leadership comes in all shapes and sizes and is scattered right through all organisations and does not just reside in the C suite.

Finally, at a more operational level, whilst the British police and armed forces are often considered amongst the best in the world, one can only wonder at the amount of risk analysis and planning that underpinned the terrorist threat being eliminated within 8 minutes of the first call.  We face different risks with far less impact in everyday organisational life, but these actions are nevertheless a reminder to all of us about the importance of analysing and mitigating operating and financial risk.

Back to London. Londoners are resilient and you underestimate them at your peril. Of one thing I am certain. A great City and its people that withstood the plague, the blitz during World War 2, and more recently the IRA bombings, are not going to be cowed by a group of extremists. Contrary to the words in the famous nursery rhyme, London Bridge will never fall down.

In 1963, the US President John Kennedy visited West Berlin, a City surrounded by East Germany at the start of the Cold War and, in a speech designed to express solidarity with a beleaguered City, said “I take pride in the words ich bin ein Berliner”.  I am now a proud Melbournian but on Sunday I realized that London will always be my second home and I too take pride in the words-I am a Londoner.

 

Antony Jacobson, Professor of Practice -Entrepreneurship at La Trobe Business School, was a special guest lecturer at St Helena Secondary College, Eltham North

Professor Of Practice Antony Jacobson was invited to address Year 11 students on overcoming innovation challenges on 25 May 2017. This presentation was a follow on to students from St Helena Secondary College attending one of the three VCE Business Forums held by the LBS at La Trobe University in February this year.

In the lecture at St Helena Secondary College, Antony Jacobson explained that disruptive innovation doesn’t only satisfy existing consumer needs.  Rather, such innovation creates new boundaries, horizons, products and services that have not been thought of before. The innovator of today is a pioneer who takes our lives, imagination and our functionality to new and previously unimagined areas.

Professor of Practice Antony Jacobson sparked students’ enthusiasm by stating that, “in the coming years, the world will be focused and enthused by never before seen innovations and we will be reading about the schools and universities these innovative pioneers came from. Never underestimate your own ability, passion and intelligence as a potential disruptive entrepreneur and let’s in the coming years read about the world’s new innovators that have come from St Helena Secondary College and La Trobe University”

Professor of Practice Jacobson will be visiting numerous high schools through the remainder of 2017, addressing students about entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities, and making them aware of the exciting Entrepreneurship and Innovation courses and subject offerings available at La Trobe Business School.

LBS’s Dr Tarek Rana delivers interactive workshop to local businesses in Moreland City Council

Recently, La Trobe Business School’s Dr Tarek Rana delivered an interactive workshop to local businesses as part of an industry engagement initiative between Moreland City Council and La Trobe Business School.

The budgeting and cash flow workshop aimed to help local business owners and managers with:

  • Setting and managing financial budget
  • Improving cash flow and profits of their businesses
  • Identify key business and financial tools

Dr Tarek Rana’s workshop showed how a business can improve its financial outcomes by linking budget with the business strategies. The workshop was focused on refining the way owners manage budget and cash flow by identifying organisational objectives and developing short-term goals and long-term strategies. Dr Rana has discussed many steps a business owner or manager can do at minimal cost to improve, measure and assess performance, re-evaluate objectives, goals, strategies through budgeting and cash flow management.

These workshops are also an important way in which LBS is strengthening its relationships with local industry and the business community.

Dr Tarek Rana

Dr Tarek Rana is La Trobe Business School Academic Coordinator for Albury-Wodonga Campus and a Lecturer in Management Accounting with La Trobe Business School. Prior to becoming an academic, Tarek was a Principal and senior manager of professional accounting firms in Sydney and Canberra. He has considerable practice experience in the areas of business services, taxation, auditing, and financial planning as well as consulting services including performance measurement and risk management.

Tarek has strong links with professional accounting bodies both in Australia and overseas. He is La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga liaison for CA ANZ, CPA Australia, and CIMA UK. He has served as an executive committee member of the CIMA Australia ACT Branch (July 2013 – June 2016), and now serving as a council member of CPA Australia Albury-Wodonga Branch (February 2017 – Present) and a branch committee member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Albury-Wodonga Group (August 2016 – Present).

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