Master of Finance student Subhratosh Khan completed the Global Business Practicum in January 2018. He travelled to Hong Kong and worked on a project for ANZ. In July, he sought the opportunity to gain local work experience and undertook a second Business Practicum. His host company was the Commonwealth Bank, located in Sydney.
Nearly ten months into my Master of Finance program at Melbourne Business School, I was itching to get some industry experience under my belt, to test how well I could apply my knowledge and skillset to solve real business problems. I was thrilled to learn that I was going to be part of the 20-strong Global Business Practicum (GBP) team and travel to Hong Kong in January 2018. The chance to work on a student consulting project at ANZ Banking Group and explore a whole new city was exciting. I was raring to go with my teammates, drawing a parallel from the Apollo 13 mission motto, “failure is not an option.”
The GBP involved two intense weeks of researching, brainstorming, and teamwork to deliver my team’s project objectives and deliverables. Throughout our stay at ANZ, we had the opportunity to interact with senior members of the ANZ Global Risk Management team. They were receptive, supportive and provided us with mentoring when needed. However, it was not only work and understanding risk management practices that would keep us busy. We would step out of our hotel in the evenings and on weekends to get a full dose of Hong Kong’s culture, cuisine and geography. The whole experience was thoroughly enriching.
The success of the GBP left me wanting more. So, when the opportunity for a second Business Practicum in Sydney came up during the winter break in July, I didn’t let it slip by. This time I was part of a multi-disciplinary team working on a project at the Innovation Lab of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Our work-place had a talking robot named ‘Chip’ and was designed as if it was straight out of Silicon Valley. The whole environment got our creative juices flowing, and we worked hard to achieve our project deliverables before making our presentation to around 20 Commonwealth Bank executives. Our host seemed to enjoy the fresh perspective that we brought to the topic, and our presentation was followed by an extensive Q&A session.
Having had the GBP experience before the Sydney practicum, helped me contribute to my team’s collective success. Getting the project scope developed and finalised with the host within the first few days allowed us sufficient time to focus on research, allocate responsibilities among team members and structure our project presentation.
Both the Global and Sydney practicum subjects gave us valuable insights into the state of flux the world of banking and finance is currently going through. It moved us to develop forward-looking solutions and strategies. Banks and financial institutions are embracing new technologies to tackle information asymmetry, potentially revolutionising their risk and business models. With so much fintech being introduced, it will be difficult to predict the future state of the industry. The established linear career progressions that I once expected to lead me to my goals are changing.
My experiences in the subjects have helped me identify three things to give me the confidence to succeed in an uncertain future;
1. Be aware of the changing environment
2. Be ready to upskill in response to opportunities and challenges
3. Have a flexible mindset to adapt to new developments
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