The Balancing Act

By Seth Robinson

This year, Master of International Business student Jeremy Doupe was awarded the Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship. It’s an award that acknowledges leadership in both the classroom and the broader community. For Jeremy, it offers the chance to extend his learning, beyond the walls of the classroom and into the wider world.

Speaking with Jeremy, one of the first impressions is that he’s a man who’s not particularly used to talking about himself and his achievements. He’s open and willing to share, but there’s a subtle reluctance. “I don’t particularly like it,” he says. “When I do something it’s about the impact, not the story that comes from it.” But the story is there nevertheless, Jeremy’s list of achievements is impressive. It’s a resume that reflects a balanced approached to learning and community engagement, which made him the perfect applicant for the Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship.

Jeremy finished his undergraduate studies in the Bachelor of Commerce in mid-2018. In the following six months, he took some time off to travel, before returning to Melbourne Business School in the first semester of 2019 for his studies in the Master of International Business.

Jeremy Doupe
Jeremy Doupe.

“I was initially drawn to the prospect of the dual-degree program, where you spend one-year studying in Melbourne, then spend one year overseas. In terms of the study itself, I love the fact that I get to meet and engage with people from a variety of international backgrounds.”

For Jeremy, the Scholarship opens doors to a variety of study options, both here and overseas, which allow him to experience the full spectrum of education, including his pursuit of level 1 of the CFA, and community commitments with Lifesaving Victoria.

“I’d like to spend some time working overseas. I’d really like to apply for a United Nations (UN) internship next year, and the scholarship will go a long way in supporting that goal. Currently, I’m involved with Life Saving Victoria’s Building Leaders Scholarship, a professional development leadership program. The program culminates with the scholars travelling to Sri Lanka to assist the country in reducing its drowning toll through developing the rescue and water safety skills of the Sri Lankan navy, police, and military. The scholarship makes it possible to pursue opportunities like these.”

Following graduation, Jeremy is interested in pursuing a role in business strategy or management consulting, where he can hone his business acumen and build on his existing skillset, before focusing his energies towards NGO’s.

“During my undergraduate studies, I spent some time with Vatsalya Org., an Indian NGO. Their model of community development was rather incredible. The organisation has established an orphanage for 30 or 40 children, along with a school for roughly 120 children from surrounding villages. The children are fed from vegetables and dairy produced on site and the campus has been fitted with solar panels providing access to consistent electricity. It means the children’s village doesn’t rely on the central grid, which isn’t very reliable in that part of India. Vatsalya has also built a female empowerment centre, which, by empowering the local women, directly reduces the number of children needing extra care in the area. Seeing this organisation and the way it works really inspired something in me, a desire to implement similar community development projects in the future, maybe in the next five-ten years.”

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.

Find out more now.

For Jeremy, it’s all about challenging himself and finding ways he can rise to the occasion and learn, but that learning comes best with reflection.

“I took some time to reflect, and think about where I wanted to be in one year, five years, and ten years. I’ve put a lot of thought into what it means to be ‘happy’ and realised that I need to find a positive balance in my life, to figure out and then prioritise what’s important. If I’m honest, balance isn’t something I’m very good at finding. I’ve always been more a big picture person, and this has led me to miss the little, important things.  For me, I view balance as the first step towards peace, clarity, contentment, and purpose. I guess it’s my priority at the moment. Finding a balance, slowing down to smell the roses, and becoming better at keeping sight of what’s important.”