Why did you choose to study the Master of Management (Marketing) degree?
I was very interested in customer-centric learning, and studying marketing I believed would be a good window into gaining more knowledge about the field. However, when I started the degree, I realised that a lot of subjects offered were focused on the business end of things, and I was pleasantly surprised to have gotten a chance to study them.
How did the extracurricular activities at the university helped you reach where you are today?
I was actually a part of the MBSSA, during my time as a student, and that really helped me not only build my interpersonal skills, but also expand my network. I started as an Event Coordinator, and then went on to become an Event Manager. During my time, I got to organise a range of different events, both professional and social ones, and it really helped me better engage with the University and the student population, and also allowed me to learn new skills along the way.
What would you say was your key takeaway from the degree?
I would say that the practical approach of the subjects within the degree, is something that I appreciate the most. There was a chance for students to learn the real-world applications of what they are being taught in the class, and I feel that is really important in preparing you for the professional world. For example, I did the Business Practicum subject, where I got a chance to work with L’Oréal, and work alongside a group of diverse individuals, who I hadn’t even ever met before. In many ways, doing that subject, made me feel like I was an actual consultant for the company, and helped me gain some very valuable experience.
How has your experience been transitioning into professional life?
I was thankful, to already have a secured a job placement before finishing my degree, so the transition for me, was pretty seamless, and the learnings from the degree, also really helped me better adjust to the workspace.
What does your current role entail?
At the moment I work as a business specialist, focused on pricing. My job primarily consists of working around data and developing insights, that help both the business and the consumer. I am a really big believer in the power of data, I truly believe that finding facts based on data help you come up with more concrete insights. A part of my role is to also develop strategies, which can sometimes get a little challenging, because the energy market is so dynamic in Melbourne, but it is also equally rewarding.
What would you say were some challenges that you faced while starting your professional life?
One of the challenges definitely was realising that not everything always goes to plan and yields the exact same results that you desire. At the University, we are accustomed to working with a plethora of resources, and often along with a large team, that can help you perfect every last detail, but in the professional that’s often not the case. We have to make do with the resources we have at hand, and so sometimes you might have to start a project without achieving the desired level of perfection, and then improvise as you go. So finding that balance is really important, because time is of the essence in businesses.
How has working from home been like for you?
I don’t think there’s anything particularly negative that’s come out of it, in fact I think it actually has helped me increase my productivity. There are fewer opportunities to network and socialise with your colleagues, but with the advancement in technology, almost everything can be done from the comfort of your own home, so the traditional belief that being in the office is key to working, doesn’t hold true today. Working from home, has also given me the chance to focus on my lifestyle a lot more, I can now make time for exercising and do all the other things I want. So, overall it has been pretty ok.
What are some tips that you wish to give to current MBS students?
A couple of things that have helped me are; 1) to never stop learning: there are so many opportunities for you to learn things that can help you greatly in the future, and even tough you may not think that you always have the skills needed for some activity, jumping into it headfirst can allow you to learn. 2) The second is to get involved in as many student activities as you can: it is a great place to build your network and expand your professional circle. You never know where your peers might be in the next five years, they might just help you land your dream job!
All the best!
Master of Management (Marketing)
If you’d like to ask Cindy more about her experiences, connect with her on LinkedIn and mention you saw her Alumni of MBSSA interview.