Melbourne Business Practicum: Chandra Muliawan

Chandra Muliawan completed the Melbourne Business Practicum in July 2018 at the Bank of Melbourne. An Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education Scholarship recipient, Chandra is now completing his final semester of study in the Master of Management (Finance).

Following the completion of my exams, I undertook the Melbourne Business Practicum (MBP) intensively over the winter break. Having to work closely with an unfamiliar team to solve a real project at the Bank of Melbourne was a big deal. Although I always give my best, I found it difficult to juggle getting the most from my team, whilst fulfilling our clients expectations in a short time-frame. The MBP was outside my comfort zone as our project included a various mix of disciplines and less finance, which I consider my forte.

The moment before my team’s final presentation (left to right): Soyol, Christine (Bank of Melbourne’s Executive Manager), Chandra, Ling, and Andrew (academic supervisor).

The first week in-company was tough. My team’s disagreements outweighed our agreements, so we had to revisit our project plan several times. At the end of the first week, we still hadn’t chosen a framework. We decided to take a break over the weekend and to completely disengage from the project.

This helped us rest and reset. In the second week, we hit the ground running and didn’t stop. We were productive and were able to generate ideas, formulate solutions and form an excellent presentation for our clients. We gave our presentation to a group of 20 people, many whom had more experience and knowledge than us.

The Chief Executive was there too! For the next 40 minutes, we tried to stay calm, think on our feet, speak clearly and intelligently communicate our findings. I’m thankful that none of the audience left during the session and we got asked lots of questions. This showed our audience’s enthusiasm about our work and we couldn’t be more proud!

I owe my thanks to the hard work of my team, to Christine and her team at the Bank of Melbourne, as well as our academic supervisor. Although the first week was tough and the second was spent madly putting together our report, I learnt a lot about managing people, ideas and time. I also managed my personal feelings and output toward the project.

Gaining these skills will be useful in any future situation, regardless of whether I end up working in consulting or at a bank. The business practicum was a challenging and tiring subject. Students may feel pushed; but with the right attitude, any discomforts are minor compared to the skills that can be gained.

Chandra’s tips on communication skills needed in a Business Practicum:

● Write professional e-mails appropriate to your audience.

● Clearly express ideas.

● Learn how to have a disagreement and politely intervene in discussion.

Please note that from 2019, the Melbourne Business Practicum will be known as Business Practicum.

Are you a Melbourne Business School student wanting to do the next Business Practicum?

Find key dates, information sessions and funding available here.