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La Trobe Business School

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La Trobe is getting employability right

LBS researcher Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh examined the experience of graduates from China who returned to China to seek employment after completing tertiary education at La Trobe University. Her research found that students from China felt that having studied at La Trobe University made them more employable in China.

The first study

Jasvir conducted in-depth interviews with 19 Chinese alumni from La Trobe University who had returned to China to work. About 70 to 80% of Chinese international students studying in Australia return to their home country to seek employment opportunities (ICEF Monitor, 2016) and previous research has suggested that Chinese employers prefer local graduates. However, Jasvir’s study found that when it comes to having necessary work-ready skills such as leadership, communications and influencing skills, those who have spent some time studying in Australia have the upper hand.

Jasvir mentioned that the Chinese graduates she interviewed were “impressed with the level of investment Australian universities like La Trobe are making into developing international students’ employability skills through part-time work experiences at La Trobe or outside the campus, volunteering opportunities and internships.”

“Programs such as La Trobe’s Career Ready Advantage, designed with Australia’s leading employers to help develop more employable graduates, are clearly working”

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh

The interviewed graduates also said that having an overseas Masters’ degree was particularly beneficial when it came to getting jobs in China, and some had studied further to obtain chartered certification such as Chartered Professional Accounting.

The second study

Jasvir conducted a second study looking at the experience of international students studying in China, with a special focus on development of employability skills. Jasvir interviewed 30 international students, largely from Africa and Malaysia, who had studied at the highly-ranked Wuhan and Tsinghua universities in China. “While these two prestigious Chinese universities score high in terms of academic results, the students I interviewed recognised that content knowledge is not enough”, said Jasvir. Students were expected to find their own work placements and were given little support by the university support services. Thus, in contrast to Australian universities, the second study found that Chinese universities do not place much emphasis on developing employability skills of international students.

Producing employable graduates

Both of Jasvir’s studies have shown that Chinese universities need to increase their focus on helping domestic and international students develop the necessary skills required for entering the competitive and rapidly changing world of work. The good news is that La Trobe University is getting it right when it comes to producing employable graduates!

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh is an award-winning lecturer at the LBS’ Department of Management, Sport and Tourism. Jasvir has been researching on academic success, teaching and learning as well as employability issues relating to international students from Malaysia, Australia and China. Jasvir has received several top La Trobe University grants and has published in quality higher education journals as well as presented her work worldwide.

This blog was originally published by LTU News.

LBS Lecturer Jasvir receives the College Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award

Recently, Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh received the College Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award. In 2011, Jasvir received the prestigious Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship from the Australian government to pursue her PhD at LTU. Upon completing her PhD Jasvir was appointed as the Early Career Development Fellow at the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism (MST). Currently, Jasvir is a Lecturer in the MST Department. Business Newsroom sat down with Jasvir to ask her about the award and her teaching philosophy.

Jasvir receiving the College Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award

Congratulations with the Teaching Award! Could you tell us a bit more about it?

It is a competitive award as there are only five awards offered by the ASSC College under this category. I’m honoured to be one of the recipients. The award recognises my innovative and high-quality teaching in the Leadership: What Matters subject (MGT3LWM) offered to undergraduate students across the university. Besides a certificate, I received $5000 to be spent on further advancing my practice of teaching at La Trobe Business School.

When did you become a teacher at LBS?

I started my academic career as a tutor at LBS in March 2013 while doing my PhD at the Department of Management at LBS. Then upon my PhD completion in 2015, I was appointed as the Early Career Development Fellow in 2016.

My first subject was Leadership: What Matters (MGT3LWM). This subject is offered to undergraduate students, mainly third year student across the university. Since 2013, I have been teaching, co-ordinating and re-designing this subject at LBS. I also teach management and human resource management subjects such as International Management (MGT2IMG), Human Resource Management (MGT2HRM), International Human Resource Management (MGT3IHR), Working with Others (MGT1OBE).

What do you think the university and your students like about your teaching?

I love having fun when I am teaching and I guess students do too. Therefore, I am all for creating fun in the learning and teaching process. For example, as a dedicated and zealous educationist, I crafted innovative hands-on activities such as scenario-based role plays, personalised story telling sessions with examples, online and off-line leadership games, fun and reflective activities. These activities have been highly effective in engaging students to learn: “The innovation Jasvir takes, changes the teaching dynamic in each class to make it interesting, fun and very participative” (SFT, 2017).

These innovative hands-on activities have positive effects on students’ learning, engagement and satisfaction. Students support the benefits of these creative yet exhilarating teaching approaches. For instance, “Jasvir likes to play games. For example, she likes to give a pen to the students in the class and she puts the music on. Once the music stops, student who has the pen will have to answer the question. It’s a fun way of learning” (SOTL, 2017). This comment was extracted from a research interview I gave after I received a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Grant in 2016.

What is your “secret”?

One of my secrets is that I remember all of my students’ name in my workshops. I do receive many positive comments from students that they do appreciate a staff member remembering their names and they are not just a number. I strongly believe that teaching has to be personalised; that a teacher and students have that cordial, comfortable and safe relationship where both parties learn from one and another.

I am a firm believer that the teaching and learning process is an inclusive process. I was an international student myself in the US and in Australia. I understand how an international student feels when they are in a classroom. I do my best to create an inclusive environment in my workshops where I consciously go around the classroom and ask general and specific questions to international students as well as domestic students. I also put domestic and international students into groups together to discuss subject related matters. At times, I also hear domestic students making effort in asking international students about their culture and their country of origin. This gets me excited as I am trying my best in building an inclusive teaching and learning environment in my workshops at LBS.

 

If you like to read more about Jasvir’s approach to teaching: check out the amazing blog she wrote for the Global Citizens Project:

Being an inclusive academic in the classroom – a difficult or easy task?

 

LBS alumni receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award

Last week, three La Trobe Business School alumni were honoured with the Distinguished Alumni Award: leading economist, Bronwyn Curtis OBE; ASX 50 business leader, James Fazzino; and co-founder of Thankyou Group, Jarryd Burns.

La Trobe University has only awarded 82 of its 200,000 graduates with this prestigious award that celebrates significant accomplishments that La Trobe graduates have made in their personal and professional lives.

LBS’ 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

  • Bronwyn Curtis OBE graduated from La Trobe with a Bachelor of Economics. Bronwyn is a leading economist whose career spans both global financial markets and media. She has risen to the top of her field in one of the most competitive financial environments in the world, and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Business Economics in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Formerly the Head of Global Research at HSBC, Ms Curtis is now a Non-Executive Director at the UK’s Office of Budget Responsibility, and received an Honorary Doctorate from La Trobe University in 2017.
  • James Fazzino is a respected ASX 50 business leader with an enduring commitment to business sustainability and care for the community. He is the Chair of Manufacturing Australia, a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at La Trobe University, an Adjunct Professor to the La Trobe Business School, and a member of the University’s Make The Difference Campaign Cabinet. Before leading Australian company Incitec Pivot Ltd into the global market, James secured a Bachelor of Economics from La Trobe.
  • Jarryd Burns was awarded the Young Achiever Award. Jarryd is a recent graduate from LBS, having received his Bachelor of Business/Financial Management in 2010. Jarryd is the co-founder of the Thankyou Group, a social enterprise. In 2008, while still studying at La Trobe University, Jarryd along with friends Daniel Flynn and Justine Flynn launched Thankyou, an organisation that commits 100 per cent of the profit from their consumer products to help end global poverty. Their range includes water and personal care products that fund safe water and toilets and a baby range that funds safe births and healthcare. In ten years, they’ve given over $5.8 million to fund programs for people in need in 20 countries.
LBS congratulates Brownyn, James and Jarryd with their award!

 

Information in this blog was originally published by LTU News 

Teaching excellence recognised with LTSU Teaching Award

Eshan Arya has been awarded the LTSU Teaching Award 2018. Eshan came to Australia from India and started at La Trobe College  (previously La Trobe Melbourne). He continued studying at La Trobe University and completed a Bachelor in Economics and a Master in International Relations with Honours. He currently is close to completing his PhD at LTU. Business Newsroom sat down with Eshan to ask him about his LTU journey, his teaching career at LBS, and of course the LTSU Teaching Award.

 

Eshan receiving the LTSU Teaching Award 2018

 

Congratulations with the LTSU Teaching Award 2018! Can you tell us a little bit more about the award?

The LTSU (La Trobe University Student Union) Teaching Award aims to recognise an academic who has shown exceptional dedication to the student learning experience. Nominations are judged by a selection panel and then, if enough nominations are received, the top five nominees put to an online poll for students to vote. The nominee with the most votes is assessed as the winner.

What is it about your teaching that students love?

I think my students nominated me because I always strive to understand their perspective and do not generalise the overall student community. While I adhere to the rules and regulations, I truly try to understand what each individual is going through in their lives and why their actions are focussed in certain directions.

I am known as a tough marker and have never shown any favouritism and yet my students have been nominating me for three years in a row – this could be for a variety of reasons. I believe apart from innovative teaching, bringing in industry examples, simplifying concepts, getting perks to the classroom and having deep knowledge in the subject, there are other traits that students’ value more which I strive to develop in myself. These traits refer to maintaining a bias free environment in the classroom which is non-judgemental and respectful towards differing opinions. Maintaining a bully free classroom, encouraging students to embrace multiculturalism and to learn from diversity around them.

Apart from business studies and concepts I groom my students to think outside of the box, to respect diverse lifestyle choices of their peers and not to engage in any form of sexism or discriminatory ideas or behaviour. I also challenge my students to push their own boundaries rather than comparing them with their peers. I also go out of the way to answer their doubts and provide them a constructive feedback. I believe the key in my teaching is having a genuine respect for all individuals and their lives and not treating them as a commodity.

Tell us a bit about your longstanding LTU journey

I started my journey in Australia as a student with La Trobe College (LTC). I did a pathway diploma program as my previous degrees were in Physics/Science from India, and I was shifting to business studies. At LTC I met very skilled and student centric teachers. Their approachable nature, knowledge in the subject area along with an engaging teaching style not only harboured my keenness in business studies, but also laid the foundations of my own teaching style later.

Upon finishing the program, I completed my Bachelor in Economics and Master in International Relations with Honours at LTU.  As a student at LTU, I was particularly impressed with the teaching style of Dr. Jan Libich, Dr. David Walker, Dr. Daniel Bray, Dr. Rosemarie Edillon and Dr. Tim Thornton who showed exceptional innovative teaching styles that inspired me. I find the teaching style of my colleague Pablo Ahumada very inspirational too.

I started teaching economics in 2011/12. My lecturers remembered me as a star student: I was best in class, won three Dean’s commendation awards and three La Trobe Gold awards. This definitely worked in my favour when I was looking for teaching opportunities.

Dr. David Walker, Dr. Bret Slade and Dr. Rosemarie Edillon were my first employers. I’m very grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to teach. They believed in me, even though I had no prior teaching experience. I have taught various subjects: States Security & International Relations, Modern World Economy, Business in a Globalised World, Interpersonal skills & conflict management, Foundations of Management, Business Foundations, Big Ideas in Business and Organisational Change & Development. Currently I am teaching various bachelor and master subjects.

You have definitely built a great teaching portfolio at LBS. Besides your PhD and teaching, do you have time for other things?

Besides teaching at LTU, I teach Maths and English to High school students of refugee backgrounds for multiple city councils as a volunteer. I also teach Karate. As a 6th Dan Black Belt I teach Karate and Kickboxing to youth at risk under a special youth engagement program of my local city council.

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

 

Developing a Sustainability Disposition

In 2008, La Trobe Business School (LBS) was one of the first schools to become a Signatory to PRME. LBS has been actively engaged in both embedding responsible management within its school as well as contributing to the PRME network. LBS is starting their second term as a PRME Champion. Ten years on, LBS was selected to be a PRME Champion along with 38 other business schools from across the world who are taking transformative action on integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into three key areas: curriculum, research and partnerships.

In 2015, LBS put in place a second year subject focused on Sustainability which is mandatory for all students enrolled in any Business Degree at La Trobe University. Because of its focus on developing a sustainability disposition in students rather than just educating them about the issues, the course has been very well received by students and continues to be an exemplar of cross-disciplinary subject content within the School.  PRIMEtime interviewed Dr Swati Nagpal  about this innovative course.

Dr Swati Nagpal receiving the LBS Award in recognition of her continual support of the PRME initiative

 

What is La Trobe Business School’s approach to sustainability in the classroom?

LBS understands the obligation as an institution to advocate for responsible management education throughout the school; in its four departments and its research centres, and by advocating and supporting responsible management initiatives and operations across the university.

A patchwork of subjects addressing Sustainability Education in Business degree courses at La Trobe was replaced in 2015 by a core second year subject entitled ‘BUS2SUS – Sustainability’, for all students enrolled in any Business degree. More than 2,500 students are now enrolled in this compulsory subject every year.

The subject is based on a blended learning design that allows for greater scalability across the entire portfolio of majors within Business and across all our campuses in Australia and abroad. With sustainability as the lens or context for change, students are introduced to systems thinking, tools for solving wicked problems, and the role of advocacy in managing change for sustainability.

How have you approached the design and delivery of this core course?

The process of embedding sustainability thinking into the core business curriculum presented a number of challenges, including distinguishing sustainability from related streams of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and non-financial measurement and reporting. The curriculum design was ultimately guided by the need for a future set of skills, rather than by identifying disciplinary content that business graduates might require. These skills include critical thinking, creative problem solving, ethical awareness and teamwork. For example, by working in small groups in class, and engaging with ‘wicked’ global sustainability issues such as climate change, global poverty and renewable energy, students are required to apply a systems lens to examining the true nature of the issues and potential solutions.

There is also an emphasis on creating a ‘safe space’ in classes to tackle often controversial social and environmental issues such as indigenous disadvantage in Australia, the refugee crisis and the potential for a sugar tax. This has required class teachers to be briefed and trained in pedagogical techniques that require reflexive practice and approaches to manage conflict.

The course puts a focus on developing a sustainability disposition. Why do you think this is important?

Research on education for sustainability, student surveys and teaching feedback have taught us that developing graduate skills for sustainability is not enough to create the impetus required for students to be change agents for sustainability, there also needs to be an emphasis on creating a ‘mindset’ change. This is enabled in the subject through use of a range of pedagogical design elements to create a learning environment that seeks to bring about this change. For example, through the use of case studies, examples and problem-based scenarios that require students to reflect on their underlying values base and question the status quo in management thought. As such, this subject places a focus on both generic graduate skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, while also creating the disposition towards sustainability and ethical decision-making.

How are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embedded into this course?

Using the SDGs as a guide, students are introduced to the interplay between the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainability, and the implications for ethically complex decision-making. Ultimately, educating students new to the SDGs places us in a unique position as the entry point in their educational experience. We believe this is critical in developing their awareness of global issues and challenges so that they can enter the workplace fully equipped to advance and implement policies and practices that will contribute to sustainable business.

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

The question of whether business schools should approach embedding sustainability into core curriculum or as an elective has not been resolved to date. Our experience at LBS in taking the ‘core subject’ approach has been positive since we have the institutional support in terms of the University’s focus on sustainability and our historical emphasis and ethos of social justice. Therefore, gaining institutional support for furthering the sustainability agenda is key, along with the resources to make it happen.

The challenge in any modern business subject in sustainably is an emphasis on both the development of graduate skills and students’ disposition towards sustainability and ethical decision-making. This requires modern educators to span the boundary of the classroom and identify opportunities to engage with industry partners and other stakeholders to continuously produce innovative teaching materials and approaches that inspire and motivate students to pursue business ideas that align with the SDGs.

 

What other initiatives at your school you are particularly proud of in this area especially in relation to the SDGs.

In 2017, LBS embarked on a series of workshops that brought together delegates from business, local government, education, not for profit and community sectors to discuss what the SDGs mean for them, and create opportunities for collaboration among the sectors towards implementation of the goals.

This outreach project on the SDGs is an international effort by our CR3+ network which includes LBS and PRME Champions Audencia Nantes School of Management (Nantes, France), ISAE/FGV (Curitiba, Brazil) and Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki, Finland). All four business schools have committed to hosting similar workshops in their countries.

Two Australian workshops were held in Wollongong and Albury-Wodonga on 15/11/17 and 29/11/17 respectively. In addition to the original aims as set out in the project proposal, the choice to focus on regional areas was two-fold; firstly, to develop our regional campus’ capacity to build and sustain cross-sector engagement and partnerships on the theme of the SDGs, and secondly, to focus on areas where UN Global Compact Network Australia presence is limited.

This post is part of a special feature throughout the month of February focused on schools in Australia and New Zealand. This blog post was originally published on PRIMEtime. Read the original article.

 

LBS School Manager Donna Burnett receives 2017 Award for Excellence in School and Faculty Management!

By Donna Burnett

The ATEM Best Practice Awards for 2017 was held at the Arts Centre, with over 150 staff from Tertiary institutions throughout Aus and NZ.
Recognising professional management and administration in the Tertiary Education sector is fundamentally important not only to the staff recognised, but to the industry as a whole.

Whilst ATEM has worked extremely hard for 41 years to promote a culture where professional managers work to partner academics in the education enterprise, Universities in general still have a long way to go to achieve the same goal.

This award has sought to show that we are equal partners in the profession.

I have received an incredible amount of support from the Leadership team within the LBS and support from Managers within the College. This support has enabled me to grow and flourish in my role and has treated me as an equal partner in the operations of a large and multidisciplinary school.

Working together without hierarchical boundaries has enabled effective School Management, but has also broken down many barriers and allowed professional staff to have a voice in an Academic world.

 

A low ATAR doesn’t mean missing out on your dream course

If you’re reaching for the stars when it comes to finding your dream course, don’t let anything get in the way – not even an ATAR that’s lower than you’d hoped for. There are lots of options available to help get you into the course you want – you might just have to take a different road.

Each December, VCE students across the state wait anxiously to find out if all their hard work throughout high school has paid off. It doesn’t matter whether you log in online, get a text message or wait for snail mail, waiting for your ATAR results must rank as one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in a teen’s life.

And no wonder. Your ATAR is a culmination of incredibly hard work, determination and persistence. Some people are rewarded with a great result that propels them directly into their dream course at university. But for every person that gets into their desired course, there is another that has to step back, and reassess their planned career path.

Luke Scicluna works in the student recruitment team at La Trobe University, and while he recognises the benefits of getting a great ATAR score, he doesn’t see it as the be-all and end-all.

‘There’s a lot of pressure and expectation around the ATAR. I think there is merit to it when you’ve been at school for 13 years of your life, and you want to have a good send-off, but there are so many variables around ATAR. It’s totally understandable to not achieve the number you were expecting.’

While it can be incredibly deflating to miss out on the course you had set your hopes on, it’s important to have a plan B in place, well before you get your results.

What’s your plan B?

‘If you can’t get in the first instance there are other courses you can enrol in or subjects you can take which may lead you down the road toward your dream course,’ says Luke.

‘There are plenty of examples of students who might not have been able to enrol directly in the degree they were gunning for originally, but eventually find their way in.’

Changing preferences

After the VCE results and ATARs are released, you’ll have the opportunity to review your course preferences. Be sure to consider your folio presentations, feedback from interviews and any auditions, as well as your ATAR results when making changes.

You can change your preferences as many times as you like, up until the closing date. Find out all the important dates for 2017 and 2018 from the VTAC website.

What should you do if your ATAR is just a few points off your dream course? Luke suggests keeping the course as your number one preference. But if your ATAR is way off the mark, it’s time to shuffle those preferences and choose a different pathway course on your VTAC preference form instead.

It’s critical to do your research well before you submit your preferences. First of all, you need to make sure you meet all the prerequisites. Secondly, you need to check which course pathways offer the best chance to get you into the course you ultimately want.

If you need advice, talk to the experts. Luke refers to VTAC as the ‘source of truth’, and says it’s the place to get the most up-to-date information about all courses and requirements. If you need more, go to the university directly – La Trobe offers a range of different ways to connect and ask questions.

So don’t be shy. Make sure the next step is the right one for you and get an expert second opinion.

Pathway options

Pathways are like stepping-stones into your preferred course, and there’s lots of different options. The most common pathway is via a related course at your preferred university.

For example, if you missed out on a spot in physiotherapy, you can study a related course. If your marks are good – and there is a place available – you can apply to transfer across to physiotherapy in your second year of study. There are no guarantees, but these options mean the door isn’t completely closed if you don’t get in the first time.

Another popular pathway is to enrol at an alternative campus, then transfer. You’ll find that some of La Trobe’s regional campuses have equivalent courses with slightly lowered ATAR requirements.

That’s not a reflection of the quality of the course, explains Luke. ‘It just comes down to competitiveness and how many people want to get in.’ Transfers depend on your academic performance and places available in your desired course.

Even if you achieved an ATAR  that’s too low to enrol in an undergraduate degree, you have options. VET or TAFE pathways allow you to start your study in an officially recognised diploma, obtain the credit you need, and then transfer across to the course of your choice. TAFE and VET pathways also apply if you studied VCAL instead of VCE, or you don’t satisfy a prerequisite for a particular course.

‘If you achieve a good enough mark in that diploma, you may have credit officially recognised by the time you’re ready to study at La Trobe,’ explains Luke.

With so many pathway options, making your next move after receiving your ATAR can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to seek out as much advice as you can. While career teachers are a great resource within a school, Luke suggests future students should consider getting in touch with the university admissions team.

‘If you’re really interested in studying at La Trobe, organise a one-on-one consultation, because we have that up-to-date advice about which pathway would be best for the student.’

Book a one-on-one consultation to find out how you can get into your dream course.

This article was orginally published on NEST.

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.

How our MBA graduates are giving back

By Kelly Griffin

An MBA can advance your career, increase your earning potential and strengthen your network with fellow business leaders.

The professional advantages of pursuing an MBA are widely reported, but what’s less highlighted is the remarkable way our MBA graduates are using their acquired knowledge and networks to give back to their communities.

Here’s how three MBA graduates are giving back.

bernie-squire

Bernie Squire

Bus Manager Wodonga Chamber of Commerce, MBA Grad 2016, Board Member AW Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund

Why did you decide to study an MBA? 

I was made redundant from a senior management role in the finance industry and I was having difficulty finding another suitable role. After talking with a careers adviser I decided to do an MBA for a couple of reasons; to gain academic credibility and also a better chance of employment at the senior executive/director level. The La Trobe MBA really appealed to me because of the flexible delivery blend of ‘face to face’, ‘block intensive’, and ‘video conference’ unit delivery.

What was one of your greatest learnings or takeaways from your MBA? 

I really benefitted from the cohort network that you develop, including the in-class discussion and debate. I guess for me, however, the biggest takeaways were: a greater appreciation of diversity; the ability to research and reflect on critical issues; and, a heightened awareness of corporate responsibility and sustainability issues.

How did doing your MBA help you give back? 

As the manager of the local Chamber of Commerce, I’ve used my new sustainability knowledge to connect with organisations like ‘The Benefits Corporation’ and ‘Blabs Australia and New Zealand’.  We have run a number of Chamber events focussed around being a Conscious Business and increasing our local businesses awareness of their impact in a global economy.

Angela Kelly angela-kelly

Proposal Manager, Veolia Water. MBA Grad 2016

Why did you decide to study an MBA?

I’ve always really enjoyed learning and was looking for a way to expand my knowledge in a formal way. At the same time, I was looking to progress my career to a higher level.

While I felt that my engineering degree had given me a great technical base, I wanted to develop my business skills and improve my ability to work with others.

What was one of your greatest learnings or takeaways from your MBA?

My greatest learning of the MBA is the understanding that working with people who are different to me is not a problem but is actually a benefit.

Having a diverse team that is open to new ideas provides you with a competitive advantage in the market place. Part of this learning is that constructive conflict can actually be beneficial as it is a sign that people are engaged in their work and that they care about the outcomes.

How did doing your MBA help you give back?

The things I learned during the MBA provided me with the courage to provide support and guidance to less experienced colleagues to improve their outcomes. The MBA also raised my awareness of how important equality is for our community.  Women’s education is the best way to improve the lifestyles of communities and their future generations.

Knowing that in Australia the Indigenous community is the most disadvantaged, I used my MBA skills to organise a fundraiser to raise over $3,000 for Indigenous literacy.

Hodi Beauliv low resHodi Beauliv

Executive Management Business Development Sunraysia Community Health, MBA Grad 2015, on Board of Mallee Track Health and Community Services

Why did you decide to study an MBA?

It’d been over 15 years since I’d completed my first degree at La Trobe, so I knew I needed to do something to bring my skills up to date.

I spoke to a staff member at the La Trobe Bendigo Open Day about my passion for social justice and my management aspirations. She recommended La Trobe’s MBA given its focus on sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The ability to complete some semester long units by teleconference in Bendigo, but also the opportunity to meet face-to-face with people from all over the State when completing block units, really appealed to me.

How did doing your MBA help you give back?

After completing my MBA I was exhausted, but passionate to do something to give back to the community.

I am now an Executive Manager in a rural Community Health Service in Mildura. In this role I help drive change to develop services that meet the needs of our local community. I am able to raise new and innovative ideas of how this can be done, with a focus on sustainability of the service, not just short term outcomes, by bringing a corporate social responsibility management focus to my work.

On a personal level, I have also joined the Mallee Track Health & Community Services Board.  Mallee Track covers a large number of small rural communities. By participating on the Board I am able to contribute to the sustainability of the organisation, by ensuring appropriate governance practices are in place for the successful long-term operation of the Health Service.

La Trobe University’s founding Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Myers, once said: ‘The true measure of a university’s greatness is the total effect it has on human welfare and progress’.

We’re extremely proud that our MBA graduates have been able to succeed in their chosen profession while also using their acquired skills to help out others and strengthen their community.

Find out more about studying an MBA or book a one-to-one consultation to discuss your study options.

This article was originally published on The Knowledge Blog.

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