Are you ready to unlock your career skills?

By Tessa Shaw

Students from Undergraduate to Masters participated in a customised 'TRAPT Escape Room' as part of the year's first Personal Effectiveness Program workshops - a series designed to maximise soft skills and enhance employability.

Completing your degree is just one step towards your career goals. To help bridge that gap, Business and Economics students are provided with a wide range of extracurricular support programs specially designed to develop their skills in preparation for entry into the workforce.

During Make the Most of Melbourne orientation week, new students from the Bachelor of Commerce and Melbourne Business School's Masters programs were introduced to the Personal Effectiveness Program (now Skills Workshops). Clare Harper (Manager, Student Employability and Enrichment) explains that the program has been implemented with students' future employability in mind.

"We introduced the Personal Effectiveness Program to give our students the opportunity to develop key soft skills that we know employers are looking for," she said.

"By participating in the extra-curricular PEP workshops,our students can complement their academic learning and enhance their employability by improving essential skills such as teamwork, critical thinking and networking."

Over the year, students can enrol in PEP programs on topics ranging from presentation skills and networking, to conflict management. This year, the Employability and Enrichment team have taken it a step further by collaborating with BCom alumna, Gabrielle Lim, co-founder of TRAPT Bar & Escape Room, to further enforce the team-building skills presented to the students at the Critical Thinking and Analysis workshop. Gabrielle's team designed a customised TRAPT experience in faculty venues, allowing students to immediately apply their learnings in a fun and immersive experience, while getting to know some of the key student spaces located within our buildings.

One of the teams who successfully completed the TRAPT challenge: Front Row (L-R) Li Da Zhu (Master of Finance), Ryan Hito (Master of Management), Nicola Rossdale (Master of Management (Marketing)); Standing (L-R): Izhan Hadi bin Harlizan (Bachelor of Commerce), Larissa Hilgert (Master of International Business), Ashray Krishnaraja (Master of Management (Marketing)), Ashlee Kaye (Master of Management (Human Resources))


Students were split into small groups of 6-8 and had 45 minutes to move through The Spot and the FBE Building, to return a lost bag to a fellow student. To do this, each team had to unravel clues at each 'station' in order to find out where they had to be next. Each station contained a combination of riddles and puzzles - correct answers would provide the codes required to unlock treasure boxes containing the hints to locate the next station in order to successfully complete the task and track down the student who had lost their bag.

The most successful teams displayed flexible approaches and embraced teamwork, acknowledging that different strengths and skills were required to come together in this critical analysis activity. The aim of the task was to highlight that in the real world, it is often a combination of an aptitude for thinking outside the box and the ability to work closely with others with skills you may not possess, that proves to be the key to success.

Master of International Business student, Larissa Hilgert from Germany thoroughly enjoyed the experience. "The theoretical input of the workshop was fantastic, but I particularly enjoyed the workshop because it allowed me to meet students from other programs I otherwise wouldn't have been able to meet - for example, I have already made new friends from the Master of Management (Marketing) and we teamed up for the TRAPT challenge afterwards," she said.

Ryan Hito, a Master of Management student from Indonesia, echoed her thoughts, saying, "It was challenging, but fun. It was great being in a group, to be able to see how different people think when approaching problems, and it actually enriches the experience of problem-solving. The activity showed me the importance of team work - that I could learn new ways to think from others."

I highly encourage all students to get involved. The PEP is a fun way to learn how to best prepare for your career, and a great opportunity to meet new peers from your cohort. Clare Harper, Manager, Student Employability and Enrichment

For upcoming sessions, visit the PEP webpage. Registrations are essential.

To stay informed on other student employability and enrichment activities, check your student newsletter, delivered at 12pm every Monday on teaching weeks.