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La Trobe Business School

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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.

Highered helps LBS students, graduates and alumni get hired

La Trobe Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), a global accreditation network of 488 top business and management schools. The La Trobe MBA and the Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) are both accredited by EFMD through the prestigious EFMD Programme Accreditation System (EPAS).

Highered

The EFMD network has a Global Career Service called Highered, only offered to member schools,which provides a platform on which organisations can post employment, trainee and internship positions for students, graduates and alumni. Only those studying at or who have graduated from an EFMD member institution have access. All La Trobe students and graduates can now take advantage of the LBS school accreditation and join others within the EFMD network, linking with employment and internship organisations around the world.

Globally there are more than 50,000 students using Highered-EFMD Global Career Services, with approximately 1,500 new members joining each week. Just in the last three months, there have been more than 100,000 views of positions at over 100 companies.

How does it work?

Once an account is made, you can login to your personal homepage to find internship, trainee positions, and graduate positions that are relevant to you from companies around the world.

Online assessment

There is also the opportunity to complete a complimentary online assessment, focused on work-related behaviour, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and motivation. This is a useful tool as there is an increase in corporations using online assessment solutions in their hiring practices. The online assessment can help to prepare for interviews and thereby gain a competitive advantage in the recruitment process. The resulting report is for personal use and is not shared with or accessible by companies or La Trobe Business School. The tests are delivered by cut-e, the world leader in online assessment, and are only accessed via your personal account.

Join today to get Highered!

MBA becoming a pre-requisite for career advancement

La Trobe alumnus Marcus Guthrie completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in late 2015, studying night classes while working full-time. He’s now the CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital, where he oversees 130 staff, three theatres, 29 in-patients beds, a day procedure unit and an oncology unit. Guthrie shares his insights on why you need an MBA to progress your career, and the benefits of studying at a regional Victorian campus.

La Trobe alumnus Marcus Guthrie, CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital

From the hotel business to CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital

I’ve been in management roles since 2000, albeit in a different career, as a director in luxury hotels around the world. My career path was from the Whitsundays, through the Caribbean, to the Seychelles and in the Maldives. There I was tasked with converting two islands from three star to five star. We mobilised 750 multinational staff and the project was quite successful. Along the way I had a family developing, so we decided to come home to Mildura. Initially, I was appointed General Manager of the Mildura Golf Resort. Then, I was awarded a position as Business Manager at the Mildura Base Hospital. That progressed to Patient Services Manager, looking after four departments and around 100 staff. And then Medical Administration Manager, taking care of all the senior specialists in the hospital, as well as Ramsay Healthcare Specialist clinic. In late 2017, I became the CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital. As I was progressing in the healthcare industry, I realised I needed an MBA for three reasons. The first was the learning and growth opportunity; the second reason was that it’s really becoming a prerequisite to have an MBA on your file; and thirdly, largely, for career advancement. An MBA is fast becoming a prerequisite for career advancement.

Doing an MBA

Starting an MBA offers a fantastic learning and growth opportunity and a network of professional friendships. A lot of businesses require their middle to upper management cohort to have an MBA, for the value it brings to an organisation.

First, it cements the management fundamentals that you already know. What I found interesting was that management fundamentals haven’t really changed since the 1700 and 1800s, so it’s about learning to apply those theories to your everyday practice. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on those management fundamentals and prune them to suit the current business landscape. Second, there’s a large focus on sustainability and responsible, ethical leadership. I really enjoyed that aspect of the MBA – it ensured that I was on the right path within the work environment.

What I enjoyed the most was the networking. When I started my MBA there were 66 people in my cohort, many of whom I still keep in contact with – they’re from all different industries around Victoria and Australia. I learnt about their careers, about their professional challenges and professional opportunities, and the ideas they are trying to implement in their own careers. That was a really rich learning experience for me. Marcus was also drawn to the La Trobe MBA’s flexibility: “I could spend time with my family, handle my work commitments, but also have class time.”

La Trobe’s Mildura campus

La Trobe’s campus in Mildura was a significant factor for me starting my MBA, because I could complete the MBA from my home base. My job was really busy, but so was my personal life. We have three very young children, so I needed to support to my wife and children at home. At the time I spoke at length with the MBA Director and it was quite clear that the La Trobe MBA was a great opportunity for me. I could spend time with my family, handle my work commitments, but also have class time. There was great flexibility.

I was able to complete work, race home to see the family and then go to La Trobe to study one or two nights a week, from 6–9pm. I really enjoyed the night classes because they suited my lifestyle – they didn’t affect my work schedule. As well as that, there was the option of intensives from Fridays through to Mondays. You could pick various intensives on your calendar throughout the year and take off a significant amount of study time by doing that. And if I wanted to travel to Melbourne or the other regional campuses to complete my studies, I could.

Clear vision

My vision was to become CEO of this hospital one day. It still feels quite strange to have achieved my goal, although I’ve had a really clear vision for five or six years now. I remember saying to one of the Board members five years ago that, ‘Ultimately this is where I see myself and this is where I’d like to be’. It’s good to have a clear vision, but there’s a lot of hard work and also an element of luck involved – quite easily I could have gone in another direction. So that’s been a bizarre realisation, that I’ve actually got here – all the while knowing that the hard work has only just started.

There are many service moments in a patient’s journey that can have a positive effect on their overall care, says Mildura Health Private Hospital CEO Marcus Guthrie. You can draw a lot of parallels between hospitality and hospitals. Patient treatment should be viewed holistically, inclusive of all interactions a patient has throughout their journey of care. We look at a patient’s journey through a hospital as opportunities to care, and our interactions with family and friends of the patient are important contributions in the journey of care. It’s not just about treating the patient and the patient gets better, it’s also about the other contributions along the way: the quality of food and the friendliness of staff that deliver the food, the cleanliness of the hospital, or saying hello to a family member as you pass in the corridor. There are a significant amount of service moments in a patient’s journey that can have a positive effect on the overall care of the patient.

My vision for Mildura Private Hospital has always been to provide safe, quality healthcare. If the management team and I continue to have that goal, then I’m sure we’ll be very successful. The hospital’s a fantastic resource for Mildura. We service 70 per cent of Mildura Health Fund members and we also service a catchment area of Broken Hill, Renmark and Robinvale. It’s a really important hospital for the local community, especially because we’re co-located with the Mildura Base Hospital. There’s plans for expansion in the future, which will benefit the local community and members. Hopefully in the future, both hospitals can work together even further to improve service to the community.

Marcus Guthrie graduating from his MBA at La Trobe in 2015

 

I talk to people about La Trobe’s MBA all the time because I really believe in it. Don’t be worried about the workload. You should treat it similar to a sport, where you have to train two nights a week and then you generally have one day on the weekend that you’re committing to that sport. If you can commit that as the bare minimum, you should be able to navigate through an MBA quite easily.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

Top tips for women in leadership

Today is International Women’s Day and three La Trobe University’s experts were asked to give their own top tips for a career as a leader. Two of them are currently connected to the La Trobe Business School.

Hone your emotional intelligence

Professor Suzanne Young, Head of the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at the La Trobe Business School, gives these tips for women in business:

  • Continually work on improving your emotional intelligence. This is not a static characteristic, but can be learnt and improved upon.
  • Think strategically in terms of work priorities and activities you put your hand up for. Be proactive rather than reactive and move away from focusing on the details as you move up the career ladder.
  • Expand your circle of influence through external and internal networks.

Professor Suzanne Young advises women striving for leadership roles to hone their EI

Make complacency your enemy

Former CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), Dr Geraldine Kennett, applies her business and collaboration skills to manage La Trobe Business School’s MBA Program. Her tips for women in leadership are:

  • Play to your strengths – empower yourself by understanding your strengths and using them to overcome your weaknesses.
  • Engage others – seek advice from those senior to you, motivate your peers and coach your staff for success.
  • Make complacency your enemy – apply passion, performance and persistence instead.

Dr Geraldine Kennett encourages passion, performance and persistence

Develop your self-confidence

La Trobe’s Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of Academic Partnerships and co-author of Women and Money in Australia: Across the generations, Professor Amalia Di Iorio gives her own advice trifecta:

  • Believe in yourself and have confidencein your abilities.
  • Actively seek opportunities to continuously improve your skills, knowledge and visibility in the organisation.
  • Get to know your team and their capabilities, and provide team members with opportunities to maximise their potential.

Professor Amalia Di Iorio recommends confidence, self-belief and a team focus

 

Perhaps these points can be distilled into three:

  1. Know and trust in your knowledge and abilities.
  2. Look for opportunities to build your self-knowledge, skills and networks.
  3. Support and motivate your team to reach their potential.

As a woman in leadership, you don’t have to change the world single-handedly – but you can be part of the change. With passion, awareness and a drive to bring your team with you on the journey, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

Vietnam Hospitality tour: A student’s perspective

Study tour group

By Natalie Carri

Deaf Cafe “Reaching Out”

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Paul Strickland for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Vietnam study tour and campaigning for me to be one of the Recipients of the New Colombo Mobility grant. I would like to also acknowledge Monica Hodgkinson and the Equality and Diversity Centre for providing me with Celeste & Jasmine who were my interpreters for the entire duration of the tour and guided me throughout. I owe a deep sense of gratitude to Paul for campaigning for me to be fully supported by the qualified AUSLAN interpreters. I was fortunate to have shared this unforgettable experience with a great group of students. I am proud to have been the first deaf La Trobe Uni Student who went on this Study Tour and thank you for believing in me to help me achieve this once in a lifetime opportunity which truly was a morale booster for me.

I’ve always been challenged throughout my entire schooling life, but it’s always humbling to know that La Trobe University prides itself on supporting students with disabilities to help overcome the some of the barriers they are faced with. I have consistently been dedicated to bettering myself throughout my schooling and being a part of this experience has helped promote self growth and has pushed me both academically and socially.When I found out about the Vietnam study tour, I was interested from the very first moment as I knew it was going to be a valuable learning experience for me. I am immensely grateful that I was accompanied to Vietnam with such experienced staff members and if I wasn’t given this opportunity by the University, I don’t think I would’ve ever ventured to Vietnam on my own. This study tour gave me the opportunity to explore Vietnam and its beautiful surroundings with such a welcoming group of students with whom I have developed close friendships with. Sharing this experience helped connect us through those testing moments where we all felt home sick, frustrated with the humidity/heat or longing for a home cooked meal. This study tour offered the chance to be exposed to the hustle and bustle of city congestion, sample signature Vietnamese delicacies, enjoy popular street food, visit War battlefields that were used during the Vietnam War, participate in authentic cooking classes and participate in guided tours of historical temples and iconic landmarks throughout the beautiful towns of Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and UNESCO World Heritage Ha Long Bay. This was a valuable learning experience and by being immersed in the culture gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of Vietnam. Everywhere we visited we were always greeted with a warm, welcoming friendly smile from the locals and our three tour guides were always keen to share many informative stories with us.

Thanks to ‘Reaching out’, I got to meet some amazing deaf Vietnamese locals. This was by far one of the most rewarding encounters. I was fortunate enough to visit a Deaf Cafe known as the ‘Reaching Out Teahouse’ which is run & managed by hearing & speech impaired people. The Teahouse is also an art & craft shop which practises in accordance to The Fair Trade principles & helps support people with disabilities and integrate them into the community. Although I found this to be a wonderful cultural experience, it proved challenging not to be able to communicate because AUSLAN differs greatly to the Vietnamese sign language. However, with patience and perseverance, we were able to overcome this by communicating with each other through the use of gestures and mime. I was inspired by the set up and felt that we could learn from The Reaching Out Cafe, and apply some of its principles to the already existing Trade Block Cafe located in St Kilda, VCD (Victorian College for the Deaf) which is run by deaf VCAL students.

I have learnt a lot about myself from this trip as it has allowed me to open my mind and embrace opportunities that require me to take more risks. I have gained so much knowledge through this experience and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of not allowing my disability hinder such an opportunity. Having Celeste and Jasmine, the two amazing interpreters interpret for me during this trip, ensured that I didn’t miss out on any details or information and I was privileged to have been given this wonderful support and funding.

This study tour will stay with me for years to come and has opened doors to new possibilities by being immersed in a culture so diverse to mine. The two weeks that I spent on the study tour helped me acquire greater knowledge of Vietnam’s rich history and culture and I felt that my independence and confidence grew and strengthened during this trip. Receiving this has definitely motivated me and I look forward to giving back to the community beyond my studies. I would highly recommend this enriching experience to all students at the University and in particularly encourage deaf students to broaden their knowledge to embrace a new culture and diverse experiences if given the chance.

 

Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program – THS3ISP – Study Tour to Vietnam

Students from Hanu, Bundoora and Bendigo campuses

by Paul Strickland

The recipients of the New Colombo Mobility Grant meeting with General Manager of Vinh Hung Resorts, Mr Han. L-R: Paul Strickland, Scott Dickson, Taila Howden, Mr Han, Loren Mosetter, Simon Jacobs, Monica Hodgkinson, Sarah Cook

Paul Strickland and Monica Hodgkinson led a delegation of twenty-one tourism, hospitality and event management students and staff from Bundoora and Bendigo campuses to Vietnam for a two-week study tour in June/July 2017. This annual program included two Auslan translators to accompany Natalie Carrie, a profoundly deaf student that was a first for La Trobe. Support and funding was obtained from Vicdeaf, La Trobe University Equity and Diversity (thank you Sally Freeman) and La Trobe Business School. Additionally, five students were fully funded by New Colombo Mobility grants of $3000.00 each and $1500 for staff that aims to bridge the gap in trade between Australia and South-East Asia.

The objective of the study tour was to examine and observe the cultural, social and environment aspects as a tourist, the impacts of government policy and the legacy of war. Students were strongly encouraged to try all pre-ordered food, partake in cooking classes, meet high level management and fully immerse themselves in the culture. Vietnam has a very ‘dark’ history due to its strategic location between China and western societies therefore is an ideal case study for political, cultural and touristic examination.

The assessment tasks include a case study relating to war and ethics, a daily reflective journal, a formal report evaluating the differences between the hotel and restaurant standards of Australia and Vietnam and a group presentation based on photo journal on a given topic. The study tour includes all flights, accommodation, three meals daily, activities, entrance fees, bottled water, buses, guides, drivers, footmen, and tips for approximately $2800.00.

The study tour started in Melbourne and continued to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi. The tour visited Hanu (Hanoi University) and where we met with eleven local students studying at La Trobe University who live on campus. Conversations focused on the differences between Bundoora, Bendigo and Hanu campus life. We also had site visits at local resorts, restaurants and a private ceremony for the fallen Vietnamese and Australian soldiers on the original battlefield.

The evaluation forms are extremely positive and students have indicated a willingness to be ambassadors for La Trobe and their courses at Open Days, in classrooms and other promotional opportunities. Although it is a very full itinerary and extremely tiring towards the end, feedback included ‘it has helped me with my tourism and hospitality related studies’ and ‘so many great sites/places visited and amazing food in all restaurants’ and finally, ‘10/10’.

It was recently announced that this tourism and hospitality international study program has secured a further ten New Colombo Mobility grants of $3000.00 each and $3000.00 for teaching staff totally $33,000 to travel to Vietnam in 2018. We have added Van Lang University on the itinerary for a site tour and presentation in their department of tourism plus a NGO to see the impact of charity work. Having government funded support through student grants makes it possible for low-socio economic and high performing academic students have an opportunity to participate which we wholeheartedly welcome.

Innovate or Perish! Australia’s Innovation System

La Trobe University Professor of Practice in Economics, Dr Mark Cloney, questions popular reports that Australia performs badly in industry-university collaboration and innovation when compared to other OECD countries.

If Australia’s current innovation policy is based on questionable OECD data might the Australian Government run the risk of targeting scarce resources into the wrong areas as it prepares its strategic plan for Australian Innovation to 2030?

Concerns over the performance of Australia’s innovation system caused the Australian Government to undertake a Senate Inquiry (2014) and then flag innovation as a major policy focus when it announced its $1.1 billion National Science and Innovation Agenda (Commonwealth of Australia, 2015). A central element of that policy statement was to substantially increase university-industry collaboration on the basis that such alliances internationally have become a prominent feature of the knowledge-based economy, dealing with the speed of transformation and economic disruption.

Australia, like the rest of the global economy, is facing significant structural change in the coming decades which offers both challenges and opportunities. Some suggest 40 per cent of today’s jobs will no longer exist in 10 years and that changing technology (robotics and artificial intelligence etc.) and new business models will continue to disrupt ‘old’ business processes and structures. Others say that this same disruption will also create new growth markets.

So is Australia’s innovation glass half full or half empty?

One strategy in meeting challenges and opportunities is adopting continuous innovation and the uptake of innovative skills and technologies. Continual innovation results in new markets, mindsets, skills and organisational re-design which are critical drivers of productivity and growth.

According to Universities Australia (2017), universities are central to skilling and upskilling the next generation of Australian entrepreneurs and startups and thereby improving Australia’s innovation system and sustainable growth. Its research finds that more than four in five Australian startups founders are university graduates (Universities Australia, 2017, p.3) and that startups were the largest contributor to job creation in Australia in the last decade (Universities Australia, 2017 p.8).

As suggested, the health of Australia’s innovation system still remains subject to conjecture and contrasting opinions with, for example, Australia is sitting at the bottom of OECD (2015) rankings in terms of university-industry collaboration. Moreover, according to Global Innovation Index (2017), Australia slid further down the world rankings in terms of innovation inputs and outputs from 19 to 23 in the latest world rankings among 127 countries (Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO, 2017). However, is this really the case?

A report by IP Australia challenges the notion that Australia is at the bottom of the OECD university-industry collaboration index arguing that this finding is based on questionable data selection. For example, when you focus on patent applications filed by an Australian university with a collaborator (business partner) Australia moves to the middle of comparable international tables (IP Australia, 2017).

The city of Melbourne, home to nine universities, was recently named as the ‘most intelligent community’ in the world at the Intelligent Community Forum in New York in June 2017. Based on six intelligent community indicators the New York think tank pointed to Melbourne’s broadband speed, research institutions, new innovation precincts and its focus on sustainability as its major strengths.

The challenge seems to be that Australian universities specialise in innovative research to answer fundamental questions, while businesses have specialist skills in commercialising and implementing products, services and ideas. However, university research can be often disconnected from the innovative needs of business (e.g. startups and SMEs) and not-for-profits.

So is there a disconnect? If so, why the disconnect? Or, are we doing better than we think?

Our National Innovation Forum on September 28 and 29 in Melbourne features  Dr Benjamin Mitra-Kahn, Chief Economist at IP Australia, and Dr Charles Day, CEO of the Office of Innovation and Science Australia. They will explore the current health of Australia’s innovation system. The Forum also presents industry and academic perspectives on how we can continue to improve innovation through university-industry collaboration and engagement, particularly for startups and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the use of business accelerators and incubators.

No doubt the forum will shed some more light on whether Australia’s innovation glass is indeed half full or half empty, and where the Australian government may choose to target its resources to achieve its 2030 vision for Australian Innovation.

LBS Events Management Student completes placement at Disney: “I really felt that Disney helped me to grow my confidence and strengthen my communication skills.”

By Jessica Guirdanella

After graduating high school, I realised my love for helping people and making them smile. Volunteering was the way I found to incorporate this into my everyday life. I volunteer for multiple corporations, including several non-profit ones that have helped my gain experience within my field of study, Business Events Management/ Marketing (La Trobe University). Through this, I learnt I was a practical hands-on learner and could grow my skills when I was working in and outside my field assisting in new projects. I would always be open minded in trying new tasks.

Interning at Disney

In October of 2015, I applied for a Cultural Exchange Program sponsored by the Walt Disney Company. After an interview and a long wait, I received the wonderful news that I had been chosen to be a Cast Member at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Participating in the Internship meant that I would delay finishing my current university course by a year, although to work for Disney was always a dream.

On the program, I was given the role as a Life Guard at a Disney Resort. This meant that people’s safety was my responsibility every day. Professionally, I found myself in many interesting situations. However, this never stopped me to create Magic for all the guests. Making people smile is something I live by and at Disney I was able to go above and beyond in my role to create that happiness. Whether it was getting a child balloons for their birthday or for conquering the ‘scary’ slide, surprising families with the unexpected and having a positive conversation with someone was a great aspect of the work.

Being a Cast Member for one of the largest and most well-known companies worldwide taught me many things. I learnt the ins-and-outs of what it takes to run such a large company. I was surrounded by amazing fellow Cast Members, coordinators and a leadership team that was always assisting their cast members so they could excel in their role. I was extremely grateful when I learnt that I was getting trained in one of my dream roles: Resort Activities. This allowed me to put my skills in working with children to use. I would get to run activities and make sure all kids where smiling and happy!

Half way though my program it was announced that I was receiving a Quarterly award. This award is awarded to Cast Members who perform their role at exceptional standards. I really felt that Disney helped me to grow my confidence and strengthen my communication skills.

What I Learned

One of the things I’ve learnt in my time with the Disney Company is that you’ll always get the work you put in back in another rewarding way. The experience also taught me how important it is to make people smile. I made it my goal to go into work every day with a positive attitude, and got nothing but positive in return. Of course, there were situations where my day was turned upside down, but I always used these situations as something I could learn from.

While overseas, I was sent the news that I had been nominated for a Victorian Young Achievers Award within the leadership category. I was recognised for my work in the community. It was extremely special and has inspired me to continue doing what I’m doing.

If I could give anyone advice, I would tell them to follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you what path to take in life, create your own. If things get difficult, stay positive, find a solution and take it as a learning experience, help others and never forget to Smile.

If you’re considering volunteering, whether it’s to help you gain experience in your field of study or wanting to play a part in making a difference in your community, DO IT! Volunteering is a great way to network and get to know people who are like mined, where you’re assisting with an operation as well as building your own skills.

Gaining work experience is something we encourage our students to complete during their studies. We offer several possibilities for students to gain experience as part of their degree.

The Donald Whitehead Building has officially been opened!

Donald Whitehead building

Donald Whitehead building

On 30 August 2017, The Donald Whitehead Building was officially opened. As a part of the Melbourne Campus masterplan, the building has undergone a full refurbishment and now features brand-new cutting edge teaching and learning facilities.

The refurbishment aimed to create a lively connected space with upgraded staff accommodation, teaching, research and specialist lab spaces, including the Finance Trading Room, the LBS Data Analytics and Cognition Lab, the lab for the Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovation (RECCSI) and the LBS Judgement and Decision Making (JDM) Lab.

The refurbishments support the University’s Future Ready objectives to instil future-ready graduates with a responsible sense of leadership.

After a Welcome to Country by Dr Julie Andrews, the building was opened by the Head of La Trobe Business School, Professor Paul Mather, as well as La Trobe University’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Kerri-Lee Krause and the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Antony McGrew. Both stakeholders and staff members were able to tour the building and see the new facilities on the day.

Our industry connections make you career ready

What you do at university is important to us.

However, it’s what you do after university that interests us the most. We know that studying is a significant investment, so we’re committed to making sure you graduate ready for work.

With the employment landscape evolving constantly, the best way to make sure we’re teaching the right skills is to go straight to the source. That’s why we work closely with industry to find out what they want in graduates – both right now and in the future.

Developing the degrees industry needs

We’re constantly reinvigorating our courses to prepare you for roles in emerging fields of employment. We work directly with industry to identify skill gaps and develop degrees to address them.

For example, our industry partner Cisco has identified that there are currently a million cybersecurity jobs opening globally, with demand projected to rise in the coming years.

In response to this demand, we’ve developed our new suite of cybersecurity degrees with input from Cisco, Optus, Australia Post, Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Symantec, Atlassian and Cloudera.

Simone Bachmann, Head of Information, Security, Innovation and Culture and Australia Post, says, ‘we need people with problem solving skills, we need innovators, we need people with legal and regulatory skills, we need communicators and educators to help people understand the problem.’ These degrees address the growing need for cybersecurity professionals with interdisciplinary skills.

Our Master of Sport Analytics (developed with leading sports clubs and technology companies), Master of Business Analytics (with 20 per cent of the curriculum taught by industry experts) and Master of Data Science (addressing a data analytics skills shortage) are other examples of our industry relationships preparing students for the future of work.

Future-facing industry partnerships

We’ve established relationships with major organisations to make sure we stay at the forefront of industry developments.

Our partnership with Optus, which focuses on cybersecurity, will result in scholarships and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities for our students, as well as employment pathways for graduates.

We work closely with a number of sporting clubs, including Melbourne City Football Club, Carlton Football Club, AFL Player’s Association, Bendigo Spirit and IPL Kings XI Punjab to give our students access to work placements as well as research and internship opportunities.

We’re also the only university to offer an accredited art subject at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). As learning partner for the NGV’s summer exhibition, we’ve offered the subject Summer at the NGV for the past four years – in 2017, students were able to study the work of British icon David Hockney.

Preparing you for success with industry insights

Technology is advancing at an incredible rate, which means that many of today’s roles won’t even exist in the future.

It’s our job to prepare you for the roles of the future. We do this by helping you develop the flexibility and transferable skills you need to adapt to the changing market.

We’ve spoken to a number of employers, including PwC, Commonwealth Bank, Alfred Health, Thoughtworks, Pfizer, CSIRO, Melbourne Football Club, Telstra, Bureau of Meteorology, Deloitte, Certified Practicing Accountants and more to identify the core skills and attributes that employers value most highly.

We’ve used these insights to develop Career Ready, a program that supports you to build the attributes employers want. The program includes an app, a dedicated support team, an on-campus recruitment agency, and a range of activities you can participate in to build your skills.

First-hand industry experience

We’re also making sure our students come into contact with industry while they’re still studying.

With our Professors of Practice program, we’re championing a shift in how industry can contribute to education. Our Professors of Practice are industry professionals employed by the university to advise on curriculum, and, in some cases, teach.

Mark Morris, a Professor of Practice in the Department of Accounting, says, ‘I try to provide insights as to what they will find in the workplace wherever I can, because this is exactly the kind of knowledge that can give them an edge to stand out from the crowd.’

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities place students in organisations, giving them the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in a real industry environment. After graduation, many of our students are employed by their WIL employer.

This post was originally published on the NEST blog.

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