A Strategic Choice

By Seth Robinson

Paolo Cabrini came to Melbourne seeking an experience that would take his career global. The Master of International Business was exactly what he was looking for.

Paolo Cabrini studied accounting during his undergraduate degree in Italy and was taking the first steps in his career when he decided to explore his options and pursue a degree that would give him some more strategic skills. A six-month trip to Melbourne to study English acquainted him with the city, and highlighted Melbourne Business School as an option.

Paolo Cabrini
Master of International Business alum, Paolo Cabrini.

‘I completed my English course, then travelled a bit, and decided I wanted to come back to Melbourne and enrol in the Master of International Business (MIB). The real appeal for me was the breadth of skills it offered across disciplines, as well as the courses that would help me grow that strategic mindset that I’d been after. The highlights for me were definitely the Global Business Practicum (GBP), which I did in Hong Kong, and Strategic Management. I also did a course called Consulting Fundamentals, which was perfect because it gave me an idea of the skills you need to excel in that industry, and a better understanding of just what the job was.’

Those insights were particularly valuable for Paolo, as he joined Deloitte (Italy) as a strategy and innovation consultant upon graduation. After spending time in that role, he’s returned to Australia to work with NAB Ventures, in a career that has already seen him take on a global focus.

‘At the time, returning to Italy was a practical choice. I wanted to join one of the Big Four firms, and the opportunity was available in Italy. I’ve always wanted to have a global career, so I’m open to the opportunities wherever they arise. At the outset it was Italy, but now I’ve returned to Australia. I’m in touch with people in the UK and Canada as well, so it’s hard to say what the future holds, and I like that sense of freedom and opportunity.’

Now that he’s back in Australia and working with NAB, Paolo has had to adjust to the challenges of COVID-19.

‘It’s been a roller coaster. I had to undergo 14 days quarantine on arrival in Australia, and then go through all of my onboarding online. I haven’t had the chance to meet any of my colleagues in person yet, rather, it’s been a lot of Zoom meetings. That said, while it’s been challenging, it’s been an extremely interesting experience. I think this technology and these new ways of working open up different paths for professionals. I don’t think anything will ever replace in-person human interaction, but there’s surely a new breadth of opportunities.’

The Master of International Business at Melbourne Business School equips students with the management skills they need to succeed in business around the world, with courses in corporate governance in a global context, strategic management, cross-cultural impacts and marketing in an international space.

Find out more about our suite of MBS programs

For students who are entering the workforce now and into the future, Paolo emphasises the importance of networking and connecting with other professionals in your industry.

‘I think when you enter the workforce you have a lot of dreams and ideas about how things are going to be, which might be a bit different to reality. Those dreams are really, really important, but I think there’s just as much value in reaching out to people who are in the industry you want to work in and learning from them. Connect with people on LinkedIn, go to networking events (many of which are online now), and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It’s those connections that will give you a picture of the industry and give you that deeper understanding. And generally, people are always very happy to have a chat and help.’