Bianca Catibayan wanted a challenge. She came to Melbourne to hone her skills and pursue her passions for marketing and management.
Bianca completed her undergraduate studies in Manila, majoring in business management and behavioural science. While studying, she undertook a series of internships that built her professional acumen and helped her whittle down where her interests lay.
‘I’ve always had a passion for management, and understanding people, that’s why I chose those areas for my undergraduate. Those were skills I was able to develop through my internships with Coca-Cola and Shell Philippines as well. Then I went on to work in market research for Nielsen for two years, which gave me a strong foundation in how the market operates.’
When it came to taking her next step, Bianca decided she was ready to pursue some post-graduate study. She enrolled in the Master of Management (Marketing) at MBS.
‘I was looking to challenge myself, and trigger some more personal and professional growth. I decided a master’s program would be a great way to do that. I considered a few options, such as MBAs both internationally and in Australia, but ultimately there were a few factors that swayed me towards MBS. The city of Melbourne itself was a major selling point, because I wanted the multicultural, artistic, and cultural experience it offered. Another consideration was the reputation and ranking of the school itself, and the chance to specialise in Marketing, which is where I wanted to see my career go,’ says Bianca. ‘I think the curriculum is really important, as it’s really well backed up with those foundations in management and leadership; and strikes a nice balance between breadth and depth in the marketing specialisation. There were also specific classes that won me over, like advertising and digital marketing, all of which I’ve really enjoyed. I think my favourite so far has been our class on ‘Omnichannel Retail’, which is all about finding and targeting customers at the right place and the right time. You explore really unique topics, like Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, and look at the emerging challenges we’ll have to face in the future. It really all resonated with me as a market researcher and aspiring brand manager.’
In fact, Bianca has found her MBS experience a perfect complement to the time she spent in the workforce.
‘So much of what we do is case-study based, I feel like you can approach things fresh as a new student, or, if you have a bit of experience like me, you can draw on that. It’s a really enriching way to all collaborate. It sparks some fantastic discussions and gives you a chance to really engage with the content and evaluate the way things work in industry.’
Bianca has also been working closely with the MBS Students’ Association (MBSSA) as an Event Coordinator. It’s a community she’s found incredibly supportive throughout the challenges of the last year. She’s particularly excited to continue serving the MBSSA community as the newly selected Vice-President for second semester, 2021.
‘A big part of me coming here was to challenge myself and grow personally and professionally, but you can’t do that without support, and I feel like MBSSA has offered that. I’ve loved working as an Event Coordinator as well, because It’s allowed me to help build that community for the students who are here, and those who are still overseas. Recently I’ve been part of the team organising our Peer Mentoring program, which is all about old members connecting with new members and offering them some of that support and guidance. We also organised an event called Tech Talks, where we had a speaker take us through more of those emerging topics around things like Ai and Machine Learning, so another fantastic learning opportunity.’
The Master of Management (Marketing) provides foundation training in a variety of business and management disciplines, with specialist training in marketing. This course is about the means by which organisations attract and retain customers, including aspects of marketing, strategy, customer behaviour, branding, and international marketing.
For students who are commencing their students online or in person, Bianca has a little advice.
‘Just try your best to immerse yourself in the community and the culture of the university, whether that’s virtually or on campus. Connect with your peers, speak to people, and go to all the workshops and events you can. I think that’s where you really identify where you’re at personally and professionally, and where you find those opportunities that might help you in the future.’