University of Sydney Business School students profit from overseas business experience
Sandra Seno-Alday, an international business lecturer, is coordinating a program that gives students the opportunity to work overseas on a consulting project for an Australian company.
In most cases the project includes a two-week overseas visit, giving students an opportunity to network with industry experts and undertake on-the-ground research.
Students have just finished working with partners in Vietnam, including specialty coffee company Gloria Jean’s, following earlier projects in Brazil and India. The next planned visits are to Brazil and India in January 2014.
“This is a way to internationalize Australian higher education and help our students become world-ready,” said Dr Seno-Alday.
“They are given a real-life consulting project, usually with an Australian company that is looking to break into an overseas market or increase its business.
The consulting project is an intense 14-week course where the students do extensive research on their clients before going overseas.
She said the experience of working in another country would significantly enhance the students’ business capabilities and provide a foundation for future leadership roles.
“This is one of the ways in which we can support the Asian Century White Paper, by helping to develop a informed global workforce,” adding that the project gives them valuable experience of doing business in a different country, and an understanding of socio-cultural, economic and political differences.
One student who took part in a project in India said, “It is an experience I will take with me for the rest of my life and something I will definitely leverage in my future career.”
The program’s key partner is the Export Council of Australia, which supports the Australian export community in its internationalization efforts. Other collaborators include the Australian Trade Commission, the Australia India Business Council and the Australia Vietnam Business Council.
The international projects are currently offered under the Master of International Business (MIB) program, but students undertaking other degrees are invited to take part. Students work in small groups of three or four on the project, which comprises two units of study.
Construction for University of Sydney Business School has already begun as ground was officially broken on the Abercrombie Precinct Project on July 1, 2013, marking the official start of the construction phase of a $180-million, state-of-the-art facility for the University of Sydney Business School.