The importance of social awareness in the global economy

By Grace Chen

From Asia to Africa, throughout her degree, this well-traveled Master of International Business student has embraced the opportunities in studying the global economy both inside and outside the classroom.

Master of International Business student Megan Reinwald has embraced the opportunities offered throughout her course. Graduating at the end of this year, we invited her to reflect about the journeys and lessons she has learnt throughout her degree – especially when studying internationally and working alongside students from all over the world on projects to create positive social change.

Why did you choose to study the Master of International Business at the Melbourne Business School?

Where other postgraduate degrees are quite focused, I was attracted to the broad variety of topics studied within the Master of International Business, including the perfect opportunity for me to gain an understanding of how to make effective business decisions in the global market.

I believe in 2017, all business is international business, and students will need strong foundations in strategic thinking if they wish to have an impactful career. Megan Reinwald

What has been the most valuable lesson you have gained from studying at Melbourne Business School (MBS)?

Studying at MBS, I have gained first-hand experience in cross-cultural communication. I have worked alongside students from Iceland, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia and Eritrea among other countries, and made many lifelong friends along the way. Most of my subjects have required me to reflect critically on my own frameworks for understanding the world and in doing so, I think I have learned a great many lessons about negotiating business deals with people across the geographic divide.

Reinwald in central Dusseldorf, Germany in 2015

During your degree, did you participate in any academic enrichment activities and how has this impacted your studies and future career plans?

I organised two Study Abroad programs as part of my degree. In July 2016, I took a London School of Economics course at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, called “Business Model Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid”. Then in January 2017, I undertook the ACICIS “Business Professional Practicum” which involved two weeks of intense Indonesian study followed by a four-week placement at the Indonesia Stock Exchange in Jakarta.

I think they will prove to be enormously beneficial experiences as South Africa and Indonesia have close ties with Australia and both will develop into significant economic powers in the coming decades. We live in an increasingly globalised world and need to be as prepared as possible!

Congratulations! You were recently awarded the “Deputy Dean’s Award for Community Service”, could you reflect on why you were selected?

I am passionate about corporate social responsibility. I know a lot of people are sceptical about this concept but I genuinely believe businesses can play an enormous role in community development.

I was given the Deputy Dean's Award because of my work volunteering in Melbourne's western suburbs with newly-arrived families from the Horn of Africa. I have partnered with many big organisations such as Arup, the Western Bulldogs, Minter Ellison and ABC Kids to deliver initiatives that contribute to an inclusive Australian society. This has helped families and especially their children to transition into life in Australia.

Reinwald being interviewed by Abu Dhabi TV at the Qasr al-Hosn festival, February 2015

Lastly, you are also the recipient of the Westpac Future Leader’s Scholarship, how has this affected your student degree?

The Westpac scholarship has provided me with a network of very diverse, highly motivated Australian students to connect with, and who all want to bring about positive social change in Australia. We range from first-year undergraduate students through to high-profile PhD candidates, and cover fields as varied as spinal cord regeneration and apple cider agriculture.  There is always much to discuss and indeed some interesting collaborations have emerged too!

Reinwald camel racing at dawn in Bahla, Sultanate of Oman

Lastly, what are your plans after graduation?

In terms of the future, I would like to play a role in scaling-up our two-way trade with developing countries. South Sudan, for example, has been called the world's "cradle of coffee" as many varieties grow wild across the country, some of which are not found anywhere else. Coffee was in fact the first non-oil export from South Sudan to Europe and it represents so much potential for peace, particularly as the coffee industry is booming in industrialised countries. Nespresso has played a key role thus far in providing support, technical assistance and training, getting local farmers off the ground after years of displacement. I'm hoping we'll have South Sudanese origin beans available in Melbourne soon!

Want to learn more?
Find out more about MBS Enrichment Programs here.
We host a number of information session in Australia and around the world!
Register today.