Global Management Consulting: Michael Tirtana in San Francisco

Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) student Michael Tirtana travelled to San Francisco in the USA, on the Global Management Consulting Travel Grant. He worked at IBM Cloud Garage, in January 2018.

Why did you apply for the Global Management Consulting (GMC)?

I wanted to take a subject that allowed me to put into practice the theories I have learnt over the years; this is what GMC offered.

Having had no prior working experience, the opportunity to be a student consultant in IBM felt like the right step.

Looking back, I can honestly say that I have learnt a lot; more than I can possibly imagine.

Student team at the golden gate bridge (left to right): Angela, Kurumbaesun, Michael, Jiunn, Jeremy

What was it like to live and work in your destination city?

Working in San Francisco was great. The culture within IBM Cloud garage was nice and relaxed. The developers, architects and designers mixed with us students. Everyone there was willing to help us.

Work aside, food portions were just out of control! But perhaps gaining weight is just part of going to America.

What was the most unexpected experience?

The amount of work we had to do in 2 weeks was quite daunting at first, but the fact that we managed to pull it off was a surprise. Students may think of the GMC as more vacation with a little work. The truth is, it is quite the opposite; the GMC is mostly work, with a little vacation.

Describe your experience of the final presentation to the host company.

My team presented in front of key stakeholders which included the branch manager, the offering manager, the marketing manager and the founder of the Cloud Garage. This was intimidating but we were confident in our work and in each other. Our stakeholders were engaged throughout the presentation. They were interested in our recommendations to the point where they were discussing implementation during the presentation itself.

After the final presentation at IBM (left to right): Luis (contact in-company), A/Prof Vikram Bhakoo, Jiunn, Kurumbaesun, Angela, Sonia (Branch Manager overseeing presentations and tasks), Michael and Jeremy

What was good about the GMC?

At work, I will always be grateful to my team and the company mentor. Having a core group of people who are willing to work hard and put in the time to achieve something is priceless.

Outside work, the student cohort itself made this subject a great experience. We explored the city together and it created a real sense of camaraderie. Everyone got to know each other and we got along well.

What was your favourite part of this experience?

My favourite part of this experience would be both the work and sightseeing in San Francisco. Having a shared experience of going to a different country with new people helped us form friendships we may never have had otherwise.

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