Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Economics) student Maliha Chowdhury travelled to Bangkok in Thailand, on the Global Management Consulting Travel Grant. She worked at the advisory firm Grant Thornton, in January 2018.
Why did you apply for the GMC?
The Global Management Consulting seemed both challenging and fun. I thought it would be great for my personal and professional development.
What was it like to live and work in your destination city?
Bangkok is a stunning place. Not many people speak English in Thailand, and the Thai culture is completely different to Western culture; these were the challenges for me.
The food in Bangkok was delicious; street food was cheap and restaurants were reasonable. Some restaurants offered so many options that I found it difficult to choose a meal.
Our hotel was nice and had a fantastic breakfast buffet. It was close to a metro station which made the daily commute easy. Metered taxis were reasonable too, but some drivers refused to use a meter and we had to negotiate a fare.
What was the most unexpected experience?
The focus of our brief was different to what I had in mind. We were given a lot of freedom when it came to the scope of the project. I expected the company to give us strict guidelines, but this wasn’t the case.
Describe your experience of the final presentation to the host company.
My team were efficient with time so we had an entire working day and weekend to rehearse for our final presentation. Nevertheless, I still had nervous jitters beforehand. Thankfully, it turned out well. The CEO and the chairman were impressed. They provided my team with positive feedback on our slides and said our presentation was both well-structured and clear.
Who were the people who had a significant impact on you during this subject, and how?
There were many people in Grant Thornton that I met, who inspired me. I met an economic analyst who is reputed to be one of the best at her job in Asia. She was incredibly knowledgeable and had an impressive memory; she could recite trends in different industries, when they occurred and reasons for these.
What was the best thing about this experience?
The best thing about the GMC was getting to know the people and working alongside them.
Also, following my team’s presentation, I realised the value of my skills. I feel excited about using them in the real world.
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