For many international students, study is what provides them with the drive and structure they need to succeed overseas. It offers them a framework, and a sense of community on arrival. For globetrotting Master of Management (Marketing) alumna Cindy Cupri, study was what called her to Melbourne, but she made the city home long before she even began her studies.
“I’m from a small city in Peru, called Arequipa. It’s a lovely city, the second most important in Peru, surrounded by volcanoes. It’s called ‘the White City’, because people used to build all the houses with white, volcanic stone.”
Cindy completed her Bachelor’s degree, in business administration, at home in Arequipa. Along the way, she took some time off, seeking work experience and travel opportunities. For a year she lived and worked in the United States and Canada, before returning to Peru to finish her studies.
“Going overseas was a great experience, because it opened my eyes and broadened my horizons. When I went back to Peru and finished my degree, I knew that I wanted to do my master’s. I started doing my research, and found the University of Melbourne – one of the best universities in the world – in one of the most livable cities. I decided I’d go to Melbourne and see what it had to offer.”
Cindy touched down in Australia, and decided she needed some more work experience before beginning her post-graduate studies. For three years, she worked in retail management and visual merchandising, a vocation that inspired her to narrow her business focus, and specialise in marketing through the Master of Management program.
“My undergrad was a more generalist degree. I studied everything: marketing, logistics, accounting, finance, etc. but I decided that I wanted to do my master’s in something more specialised. I was managing people at the time, so I pursued the Master of Management, and marketing, because I was interested in the analytics behind customer decisions.”
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.
The Master of Management (Marketing) gave Cindy the chance to learn about the theoretical side of marketing, and put her skills into practice, through programs such as the Business Practicum, which she completed at L’Oréal.
“The Business Practicum was a great experience, because it allowed me to connect with other students, and complete an intense project in quite a short period of time. It also allowed me to start networking, and building some connections and relationships, which have carried over now that I’ve finished my studies.”
It’s been four months now since Cindy graduated. She’s transitioned into full-time work with BP, and is enjoying the change of pace while she thinks about what comes next.
“I’m working in the oil and energy industry now, so it’s very different to any of my other experience. I’ve always considered myself a learner, I like taking on challenges and seeing what can come of it. I think at this point in my career, this is especially important, taking on these challenges and trying different industries so I can develop an understanding of where I want to specialise later on,” she says. “Working for a multinational corporation also means that opportunities might arise to work overseas. At the moment, I’m really happy staying in Australia, and getting more experience. The quality of life here is terrific, as is the work culture – but I’m a dreamer, I don’t close myself off to new opportunities.”