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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.

All LBS School’s Human Resources Degrees now AHRI accredited!

La Trobe Business School AHRI accreditation

Recently, La Trobe Business School received notification that the Master of Management Online (Human Resource Management), has officially been accredited from 2018 until 2020 by the Australian Human Resources Institute.

What does it mean to be a good HR manager?

According to AHRI, working in HR requires more than just good people skills. When evaluating a university’s course, AHRI’s National Accreditation Committee (NAC) focusses on seven key AHRI competencies for tertiary HR management courses. These are set out in their ‘HR Model of Excellence’. The competencies are based on current trends in the industry and university landscape and summarize the key aspects that drive a good HR manager. Being a good HR manager means having the following capabilities:

  1. Being business driven and having the ability to align people management with business objectives and the external environment,
  2. Setting the HR vision for the organisation and driving to success,
  3. Identifying and responding to stakeholder demands, as well as managing relationships,
  4. Building organisational capability through high performing people,
  5. Exercising influence and providing HR advice to achieve objectives,
  6. Applying expert HR knowledge to deliver value to the business,
  7. Facilitating change in response to internal and external operating environments.

AHRI accreditation is granted to eligible tertiary institutions by the organisation’s NAC, after an intensive reviewing process based on this HR Model of Excellence. Through these application procedures, the AHRI and the NAC strive to maintain a high standard for HR courses nationally and internationally.

La Trobe’s tourism studies garner international recognition

By Warwick Frost

La Trobe University has made the inaugural QS World University Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure Management this year, while a key faculty member recently received an international award for her tourism research.

For the first time, this year’s QS World University Rankings include Hospitality and Leisure Management as a category. From Victoria, Monash University (22) and La Trobe University (50) were included in the top 50. The other four Australian universities recognised were: Griffith University (9), The University of Queensland (12), University of South Australia (27) and Southern Cross University (38).

This comes as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of La Trobe University and the 21st birthday for our Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality. It is also significant that Tourism and Hospitality was the only area at La Trobe to be placed in the global top 50.

The rankings are based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. Sixteen of the top 50 institutions are located in Europe, 15 are from North America, 10 from Asia and six from Australia. The University of Nevada – Las Vegas came in at first place.

Many of the universities in the top 10 are specialist institutions, including Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (2) and Swiss Hotel Management School (8).

LBS Associate Professor Jennifer Laing awarded Emerging Scholar of Distinction for 2017

Associate Professor Jennifer Laing of the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at La Trobe University was recently awarded the Emerging Scholar of Distinction for 2017 by the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. She received the award at a conference in Guangzhou, China in May.

Laing says that most of her research has been conducted in Victoria. “My research on festivals and events has primarily examined their social benefits and meanings, such as their role in changing environmental behaviour,” she says. “I have also looked at practical problems such as governance issues affecting the viability of rural festivals, like succession planning and volunteer burnout.” Her  work has covered four main research areas: the social dimension of events, the role of tourism in rural and regional development, media and travel narratives, and health and wellness tourism.

The Academy (which is headquartered at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) was created to further scholarly research in tourism, and its Fellows are comprised of highly accomplished tourism researchers from around the world. Up to three scholars receive this award every two years and applicants must be within 10 years of having completed their PhD.

The award acknowledges Dr Laing’s contribution to tourism research and her substantial publication track record of innovative and ground-breaking research in top-tier journals and co-authorship of five research books. It is the first time a Victorian scholar has won this award.

LBS’s Angela McCabe’s research project features on Clarivate Analytics State of Innovation website!

LBS lecturer Dr Angela McCabe

Recently, La Trobe Business School Lecturer in Management, Dr Angela McCabe’s research project has been featured as a case study on the Clarivate Analytics (formally Thomson Reuters)– State of Innovation Website. The article also features Angela’s colleagues from University of Melbourne and INSEAD.

Clarivate Analytics is a leading provider of intellectual property and scientific information, decision support tools and services that drive Innovation for governments, academia, publishers, corporations and law firms as they discover, protect and commercialize new ideas and brands. The State of Innovation website highlights research projects featuring Clarivate data.

Dr Angela McCabe summarized her research project as follows:

Our research examines climate change research from the perspective of management studies, to clarify the communicative and evaluative dynamics by which research spreads and diffuses across disciplines. We seek to examine how the metrification of the sciences facilitates ‘evaluative tournaments’ that act as de facto ‘arbiters of truth’ in the realm of climate change. We examine how evaluative tournaments — represented by practices such as rankings, impact factors and citation scores — accord greater value to one understanding of climate change over another. In our analysis we are drawing on a custom dataset provided by Clarivate Analytics comprising over 3500 climate change articles published in Nature and Science from 1980 to today.

Access the full case study on the Clarivate Analytics website.

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).

The 5th CR3+ Conference on the theme of Making Corporate Responsibility Useful, cohosted by LBS, Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki Finland), Audencia Business School (Nantes, France) and ISAE/FGV (Curitiba, Brazil)

By Suzanne Young

Recently, Dr Suzanne Young and Dr Sajad Fayesi represented La Trobe Business School at the CR3+ Conference.

Within the overall conference theme of “Making Corporate Responsibility Useful”, a number of sub-themes where discussed including CSR and Global supply chains; CSR, human resource management and labour; Corporatization and CSR; Research and business education; ESG data; Social and human sustainability at work; and Sustainable development,

The CR3+ network has its roots in informal relationships in the early days of UN PRME, between three signatory business schools: Audencia (Nantes, France), ISAE/FGV (Curitiba, Brazil) and Hanken (Helsinki, Finland) –these are the “3” in CR3+. These three were soon joined by La Trobe Business School and at that stage we stopped counting our core partners – just adding the “+” for the infinite possibilities of future collaborations and partnerships. A simple equation with many possible solutions. That we are now in our 5th iteration of the conference is a strong testimony of the value of international collaboration especially in relation to the kind of challenges we are posed within the CR discourse and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dr Sajad Fayesi and Dr Suzanne Young both presented papers and chaired streams at the conference.  Their papers are listed below:

Fayesi, S,

Tensions in Procurement Sustainability: An Exploratory Study

Nagpal, S., Young, S., Marjoribanks, T. and Durden G.,

CSR and Social Risk: From Risk Minimization to Risk Sharing

Young, S., Markey, R., McIvor, J. and Wright, C. F.,

Labour, Climate Change adaptation and the Education Sector

Young, S., Marais, M. Marjoribanks, T., Durden, G. and Douyen, R.,

ESG Risk Reporting in Australia and France: An Institutional Analysis

A link to the 2017 Conference papers can be found here.

In addition Suzanne was a panelist on the all-conference UN PRME themed discussion which focused on the role of the PRME in transforming society, business and education and the role of the UN SDGs in each country and in the respective business schools.

Australia ranks 20th globally in meeting the SDGs. It has one of the highest carbon emissions per person, rates poorly on clean energy and climate change goals, environment goals, with high levels of solid waste and land clearing and loss of biodiversity. It also exhibits high rates of obesity. However it rates highly on lack of poverty, education and water quality, and equality.

Academic institutions can contribute much to the achievement of the SDGs, for example, through incorporating the SDGs into curriculum and focusing research efforts on SDG related challenges, raising awareness of the SDGs, and taking up the opportunities the framework offers for building collaborative projects with other sectors.

Today the CR3+ Network is working collaboratively on a project as one of the United Nations Champion Business Schools in the Principles of Responsible Business Education (PRME). The project entails conducting workshops in regional Australia on the Sustainable Development Goals with members from the PRME higher educational business schools, members of the UN Global Compact, businesses, NGOs and government to present and interact on the theme of the SDGs. The outcomes of the workshops will be improved dialogue and networks, and the initiating of joint projects on the SDGs. If you would like further information or to participate in these workshops please contact Dr Suzanne Young.

The 6th CR3+ Conference will be held in Nantes France at the Audencia Business School in 2018.

 

Online MBA is Australia’s best

La Trobe University’s online Master of Business Administration has been rated the best in Australia by the United Kingdom’s CEO Magazine.

La Trobe’s online MBA was ranked number nine in the world in the widely-respected magazine’s 2017 Global MBA Rankings.

“We are delighted to see La Trobe’s Online MBA program getting the recognition that it rightly deserves,” said Dr Andrew O’Loughlin, the MBA Director at La Trobe University. “The MBA team have worked extremely hard and it is testament to their commitment and hard work that such a new program has been recognised.”

CEO Magazine uses a ranking system entirely geared and weighted to fact-based criteria which, it says, ‘cuts through the noise and provides potential students with a performance benchmark’.

La Trobe’s online MBA can be completed within 12 months from anywhere in the world.

“Our subjects are carefully and specifically designed to facilitate online learning,” said Dr Susan Keller, the MBA Deputy Director at La Trobe. “We do recognise that online learning requires a different style of engagement.

“We have excellent facilitators with industry experience. Live interactive sessions each week add to the richness of the educational experience.”

The recognition for the online MBA from the magazine follows hot on the heels of it featuring in the QS World University Rankings for the first time.

Further to these rankings, La Trobe’s online MBA offers two additional educational experiences. “Our Capstone Boardroom Simulation provides an opportunity for students to illustrate learning in a ‘real-life’ boardroom situation. It is designed to challenge, stretch and validate the students’ learning experience,” said Dr Keller. “While our MBA Career Development Portfolio, facilitated by an industry career consultant, helps students develop and profile their career and leadership skills.”

Details of La Trobe’s top-ranked online MBA are available here.

Simmons journey takes him from UAE to Vicsport

Randall2.jpg

Simmons is loving his role as the Events and Administration coordinator at Vicsport.

After living in the United Arab Emirates for most of his childhood, La Trobe Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) graduate Randall Simmons took a chance and moved to Australia’s heartland of sport to pursue a career in the industry.

“I selected La Trobe because of the quality of its Sport Management course, and the opportunity to learn about sport management in the capital of sport was hard to pass up on.”

Gaining expertise with organisations such as Melbourne City Football Club, Carlton Football Club, the Victorian Olympic Council and the North Melbourne Football Club, Simmons made an immediate impact.

Simmons performed duties in a number of roles and across various departments including hospitality, delivering community programs and volunteer training.

“When I moved to Melbourne, I made a conscious decision to get as much sport experience as possible before I graduated.”

“By volunteering in these organisations I was able to gain the experience which most organisations in sport look for and this helped me land a full time role.”

“Sporting organisations look to employ people who have worked in the industry, volunteering is a big box to tick.”

20160603_CFC_LATROBE_UNI_03.jpg
Randall completed placement at the Carlton Football Club as part of the Sport Management practicum.

The skills Randall gained in these positions assisted him to secure employment as the Events and Administration coordinator at VicSport immediately after his degree.

The La Trobe graduate was among a wave of applicants for the position, including many from the same graduating cohort as his own.  Upon reflection, Randall says it was his volunteering, internships and tailored course work that set him apart from the rest.

“The Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) degree was designed to give us real world experience of what is happening in the industry.”

“From Sport Marketing to Sport Governance, I have been able to take certain aspects from all my subjects and apply it to my role and in my organisation.”

LTU Volunteer 2
Randall’s performed duties across a number of departments while volunteering at the Melbourne City Football Club.

By studying a Bachelor of Business (Sport Management), you could work with La Trobe’s network of sporting partners such as the Carlton Football Club, Melbourne Rebels and Melbourne City Football Club.

This post was originally published on the La Trobe University Intern Diaries Blog.

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