Interstate to international: how Andrew Gardener made it possible

By Tessa Shaw

Melbourne Business School alumnus, Andrew Gardener, works at the forefront of technology consulting for Accenture in London. He shares how his initial move from Perth led to a Master of International Business that gave him the global exposure that led to his dream job.

Master of International Business (MIB) graduate Andrew Gardner loves exploring and taking in new experiences – a lifestyle he has embraced from the moment he decided to embark on a Bachelor of Commerce, and later bolstered by his Master’s journey, allowing him to foster the experience necessary for the international career he now has.

Making the move

Seeing the potential that the University of Melbourne offered, and the opportunities that he might not otherwise have had if he had stayed on in Western Australia, Gardener made the interstate leap after a year of undergraduate studies in Perth. “Despite the beautiful sunshine, I found Perth restricted in its isolation and its dependence on resources,” he explained. “Although I enjoyed my studies and got very involved in university societies, deep down, I knew I needed more international exposure and foreign culture to pull me through.”

That first move has since seen him travel to countries such as Spain, Chile, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, through both his undergraduate and graduate degrees here.

gardener ski
Andrew Gardener (left), on the slopes with fellow BCom alumnus, Lachlan Brown (BCom, 2013)

Now a Technology Consulting Analyst for Accenture in London, he continues to see the world, travelling all over the UK and even to Switzerland for work. And when he’s not meeting clients, Gardener spends his free time hurtling down the ski slopes of the French Alps, discovering outer London, and even finding an alternative way of getting a taste of The Big Smoke. “I am a big fan of craft beer and burgers,” he laughed. “So, last year, with my Australian housemate, I ran an instagram burger ‘blog’, @meattheburgers, checking out the best 50 burgers in London. This proved an awesome way to traverse every corner of the city whilst discovering hidden gems all over the map!”

Sights set on an international career

So how did this ambition for a career at an international level begin? After completing a semester on exchange in Spain at the University of Granada in the beautiful Arabic-influenced city, and later, undertaking the undergraduate subject, Global Management Consulting (GMC) in Santiago, Chile, Gardener developed a taste for international business and a strong desire enter the consulting industry. Understanding the benefits that an exchange program and the GMC had brought to his undergraduate studies, Gardener knew he needed to further his learning, and wanted an equally fulfilling experience at a graduate level.

Realising that Melbourne Business School (MBS) would provide him with a well-rounded, world-class program that delivered real-world applications both in the classroom and out, the MIB became a natural choice. “MBS offers their students an unparalleled platform to explore the world and study in destinations they always dreamed of attending at some point in their lives,” he said. “I knew that I’d be a fool not to seize this opportunity again in my Master’s degree.”

I would honestly say that half the value of this degree is the sheer amount of coaching and support you receive that builds your confidence going forth into the big (and sometimes scary!) job application world. Andrew Gardener

While completing the MIB, Andrew once again participated in an overseas consulting subject, the Global Business Practicum (read about our students’ recent experiences in Hong Kong). This time, he was part of a four-student team of in-company consultants for a large property development company in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “Although the work was tough, particularly so, given a resistant Chinese family-run business culture, it was incredibly rewarding,” said Gardener of the experience. “I relished the challenge and the lessons I learnt in Asian business, not to mention the opportunity to experience the beautiful country of Malaysia in the midst of Ramadan!”

Opening doors with MBS

Gardener also made it a goal to get into another semester of exchange in one of the world’s financial hubs. His hard work paid off when he was offered a place at Queen Mary University of London, in the UK. This global opportunity offered by MBS ultimately opened the doors to the international career in business that Gardener so aspired to achieve.

Looking back on this semester in London, Gardener said, “I had an even more international class than back in Parkville, and made friends from almost every country in Europe! The opportunity to be on the ground here allowed me to experience first-hand the nature of living here and examine the job environment.

“I viewed my time in Queen Mary’s as an extension of the career development I had at MBS. I made the most of it by attending numerous career fairs and exhibitions, and in the end, it was one particular Accenture recruitment event that triggered me to apply for the graduate role I would ultimately fill!”

Andrew Gardener
Andrew Gardener, Master of International Business graduate (2015),
in London

Living his dream

Gardener is confident that studying at MBS has forged the global pathway that he sought and is now living. For the past year, he has been consulting in the area of Robotic Process Automation – an area of automation, he feels, has taken the global financial services sector by storm. “My work involves running workshops with process owners, during which I build a solution design tailored for the client’s functional and business requirements,” said Gardener, stressing, “It should be noted that I’m no coder! The ‘techy’ work is done by my developer.”

He is excited about the prospects of his role in the world’s largest technology consultancy, and the exposure he has to the science behind Artificial Intelligence, and the emergence of more cognitive technologies that are driven by machine learning and other intelligent capabilities. “The rise of Robo-advisors and virtual assistants represents just the start of this,” Gardener enthused. “I find it fascinating seeing how the world’s leading companies are so eager to leverage them and unleash the benefits they offer across their businesses.”

My career has been indebted to my experiences at Melbourne Business School.Andrew Gardener