Masters students Aom, Arthur, Karlie and Tiwi participated in the Melbourne Business Practicum in February 2017. They worked for two weeks on a project for Medley Hall, a residential college of the University of Melbourne. We asked them to document their time there.
Thanchanok (Aom) Choochart,Master of Management (Marketing)
There are two things that I wished to achieve while completing my Master of Management (Marketing) at Melbourne Business School. Firstly, I wanted to apply my knowledge from the classroom to the real working world. Secondly, I wanted to gain more professional skills and learn about Australian business culture. The Melbourne Business practicum was just what I needed!
My teammates and I were assigned Medley Hall as our host company. Our journey started in Induction Week, which aimed to prepare us for the Practicum experience with workshops on consulting skills and essential techniques for a professional business consultant. We also learnt about Australian business culture and market research. We then efficiently allocated tasks to each team member using the knowledge gained from the Belbin Team Role exercise during the team management workshop. As a first year international student with little work experience, these workshops were very helpful for me.
At the end of Induction Week, we presented our research proposal for our Medley Hall project. I was delighted with our team’s performance and hoped that our client would agree with our proposal. Our next step would be to start working in company at Medley Hall. Although many challenges awaited us, we were very excited to explore more and more on this journey!
The First Day In-Company
Zhiqiang (Arthur) Wang, Master of Management (Finance)
I walked nervously into the lobby on our first day in company at Medley Hall. I had been a student at a college before, so it felt very different to be viewing Medley Hall from a business and marketing perspective. Our supervisor welcomed us into her office, and then showed us to our work place which helped us to relax and focus on the task at hand. Our supervisor clearly explained what she expected from us and sent us previous strategic plans to kick-off our research.
We realised that this project should be self-driven, rather than scheduled by our client. There was no direct supervision or unsolicited feedback from our client, instead we made appointments to address unsolved questions or ambiguity. Our first day in company at Medley Hall effectively changed my way of thinking from that of an employee to that of a consultant who is truly responsible for the success of their project.
The Half Way Point
Yinghui (Karlie) Sun, Master of Management (Accounting & Finance)
Our research objective was very clear and our analyses of the business situation in Week One was strong. For the second week in company, we focused on gathering information through interviews to identify customer needs and generate recommendations based on our analysis
Most of us had never conducted interviews before so we brainstormed many potential questions and determined our interview objectives for both past and potential customers. After designing our questions, we discussed them with our supervisor who pointed out some weaknesses and suggested we think more deeply about the real objective of the interviews. We started again, discussed the goal of the interviews and finalised our questions by separating them into different target markets and objectives. This process was a really good learning experience for all of us.
After many brainstorms and fierce discussions throughout our two weeks in company at Medley Hall, we developed a tacit understanding between the four of us. As a result, we were able to work together efficiently and effectively as a team – and have some fun!
The Final Presentation
Pratiwi Woro (Tiwi) Riesandhini, Master of Management (Marketing)
It was with somewhat mixed feelings that we approached the final presentation. We were excited yet nervous, especially as we knew that the Principal of Medley Hall would be in the audience. I cannot lie, we all felt a little bit anxious, and worried whether our recommendations would be well received. However, our host made us feel very comfortable during our presentation by giving us positive comments that made us feel that all our efforts were appreciated and that our recommendations had met their expectations.
They did not take our hard work for granted and are planning to put some of our proposed improvements into action.
The Principal of Medley Hall said that they would consider our recommendations in their marketing plans. They did not take our hard work for granted and are planning to put some of our proposed improvements into action.
Over the last two weeks in the Melbourne Business practicum we have learnt how to work in a multicultural team with different backgrounds and perspectives. We learnt how to take into account differing opinions and perspectives, the practicalities of marketing management and research, and the constraints of working in a real business.
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