Ashleigh Lee studied in the Bachelor of Commerce, before going on to a Master of International Business. Now, as she reaches the end of her post-graduate studies, she’s thinking about what comes next.
Ashleigh knew from the beginning that she wanted to undertake a masters degree, so when she finished her Bachelor of Commerce she went straight into the 1.5 year version of the Master of International Business.
“I’m really interested in working with international or supranational organisations, like the UN, or the EU. For me, international business was a way to pursue this, because it offered the opportunity to look at areas like social innovation and impact.
It also gave me the chance to learn the intricacies of business, while offering the flexibility to take some interdisciplinary electives, things like politics, trade, and environmental law.”
Throughout her studies, Ashleigh has balanced her academic life with extra-curriculars and work.
“I think particularly during my bachelor’s studies, I tried really hard to invest time in my extra-curricular activities. You’re part of this huge cohort, so it’s the perfect opportunity to make those connections, and kind of act as a sponge, soaking all of those experiences up. Now, I’m at the stage where I really want to focus on my professional development. I’ve been working at Xrosswork, an AI company that focuses on healthy workplaces, and facilitating remote work. It’s been a very special time to be working there, because they’re going through a lot of growth.”
Remote work and learning is something Ashleigh has become familiar with recently, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a student, she’s adapted to learning online. As the CFO of the MBS Students’ Association (MBSSA), she’s been part of the team that’s helped their program go virtual.
“I think the thing to remember, is that no-one was really prepared for this. I was lucky, in that remote learning wasn’t something that was completely foreign to me. I think an important part of the experience is communicating our expectations to our professors and each other. It’s a hard thing to do when we’re not all in the same room, but it’s also one of the most important things at a time like this,” she says. “At MBSSA, it’s definitely been a bit of trial and error for us as well. As CFO, a large part of that for me has been negotiations and discussions with our various partners, acknowledging that we might have received money for an event that can no longer take place, so figuring out what we can do in its stead, or how we might be able to tailor a new sponsorship package.”
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.
Now, as she reaches the end of her studies, Ashleigh has been reflecting on just what it means to be a student.
“I’ve always enjoyed the identity of being a student, of being able to position myself in a room as a learner and say ‘that’s what I’m here for’. I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with when they graduate, they don’t necessarily have the same supports they’re used to, and they stop thinking of themselves that way. I think even once I graduate, I want to maintain that learner mentality, for life. I think part of that is continually looking at where you are and reflecting on that. I know what I’m interested in now, and where I’d like to be in future, but I’m also aware there are other options out there. I’m interested in the technology sector, and sustainability as well, so it’s been good to work in my current role, learning more about that area.”