The Global Business Practicum with Bart Pappalardo

Bart is in his third semester of the Master of Management (Marketing). Last November, he travelled to the UK to complete the Global Business Practicum. Along with three other students, Bart was assigned to the independently owned, Marketing and Brand agency, Cherry London

The Global Business Practicum program was a great success and a fantastic learning experience. The experience of being an international consultant from start to finish has been personally and professionally enriching. Since day one, I was extremely motivated and in my element working overseas, as I have worked in Italy, France and in Australia. I always wanted to work in London, so to do so on my first trip to the UK was a dream come true.

I was excited when I entered the Cherry London office on the first day. The company had a stimulating environment; a marketing agency with creative minds. We were introduced to the company staff as external consultants from the University of Melbourne.

-Bart Pappalardo

Our first day comprised of a briefing session with the Chief Strategy Officer and the senior staff. We were given a briefing about our project along with the company’s background. The aim of this session was to discuss how our team would meet project objectives and deliver results. This was my first lesson as a consultant; having a good understanding of the project brief is key in any consulting project.

Cherry London believed in the power of collaboration and their mantra was ‘Together We Are Extraordinary’. Our project related to these values, and demonstrating that brands are more effective in generating better outcomes through collaboration. Coincidentally, my team demonstrated this mantra too. We were culturally diverse, from Australia, China, Colombia, and Italy. Each team member had different academic and professional backgrounds. Whenever a challenge arose, we tackled it with constructive discussions and creatively thinking outside of the box.

"The Global Business Practicum provides the opportunity to challenge yourself, and grow personally and professionally"

-My team at the Cherry London office:(left to right) Nicola Rossdale, Mengxuan Wang, Bart Pappalardo and Diana Benavides Barrera

I was extremely motivated during the project. The skills I gained in class were being applied to a real-life business. Also, knowing that Cherry London was going to take our findings seriously kept the team focused. We learned to communicate effectively, which is essential in the business world.

The final day in-company was extremely rewarding. My team presented our findings to the senior managers of Cherry London. The presentation was unlike any classroom presentation. The Chief Strategy Officer was on a conference call, we were interrupted with questions and requests for further details. I enjoyed this style of presentation which felt more like a 40-minute open discussion. My team attempted to be creative in capturing our audience. Eventually, I felt positive about the work we had done as our client seemed delighted.

The Global Business Practicum provides the opportunity to challenge yourself, and grow personally and professionally. The experience exposed me to both my strengths and weaknesses. Following this, I will continue to develop my communication, leadership and teamwork skills. I believe these are the skills every manager should master. I feel reassured and more equipped for my career in marketing.