Master of Management (HR) alumna Temidayo Adebiyi came to Australia in search of something different; new environments; new cultures; and new experiences. Her studies at the University of Melbourne led to her work with the Red Cross as part of the Business Practicum, and a career based on something she’s truly passionate about: people.
Looking at Temidayo’s LinkedIn page, there are three Master’s degrees listed. When I question her on this, she laughs.
“Originally, I’m a born and bred Nigerian, but I moved to the UK to pursue my undergraduate studies at the University of Glasgow, then moved to Edinburgh. Pertaining to the prior Master’s degree, the way they structure things there is a little different. In Scotland, when you undertake a bachelor’s degree, if you’re put into an honours program you get to graduate with what’s called a ‘Master of Art’, which is essentially still a bachelor’s degree. Not that I’m complaining, it looks great on your resume, but it meant I still had the option of some postgraduate study.”
When it came to the next stage of her studies, one of her key criteria was difference. Temidayo wanted a chance to experience a “different culture, different type of environment, different land”. Once she settled on Australia, the University of Melbourne was her first choice. It gave her the chance to drill down on her generalist experience, focusing on Human Resources.
“I think it was the soft aspect of HR that drew me to it. I’m a factual person, I like the numbers, but HR is about tying the human element – the people – to the numbers, business development, and progression. It’s about understanding that people are your most important resource, and how organisations can structure themselves in a manner in which talent actually wants to work for them and stay committed to them, and of course that’s always beneficial for business,” she says. “There are a lot of branches you can go down. I’m particularly interested in the strategic functions of HR, organisational development and consulting, and potentially working in the ‘Third Sector’, with not-for-profits or NGOs.”
The Master of Management (Human Resources) provides specialist training in human resource management, while also covering a broad spectrum of management activities, including people management, motivating and rewarding employees, dealing with stakeholders, data analysis and HR policy development.
As part of her studies, Temidayo enrolled in the Business Practicum, a course that saw her work with the Red Cross. Temidayo’s team volunteered online, working remotely under staff from the Vanuatu Red Cross Society (VRCS). Their goal was to “review the current fundraising and income-generating business activities of VRCS, map out potential avenues for fundraising, and develop a basic business plan”.
“Working with the Red Cross was fantastic, it’s in the Third Sector – which I’m passionate about – and they’re impacting communities all over the world. It was a project that really ticked all of the boxes for me. It was all about remote work and trying to connect people from all over the world to work on community projects in remote areas. Through the experience you gain access to a fantastic talent pool you wouldn’t have otherwise. The work we were doing was based in Vanuatu, despite the fact we were here in Melbourne, so we were learning about a different community and culture, having this dynamic experience while physically being somewhere else.”
According to Renie Anderson, from the VRCS, the work Temidayo and her team did is having a solid, real-world impact.
“The team did very well in the face of a number of challenges in collecting information. The business development and fundraising report will be utilised as the basis of an upcoming fundraising strategy development meeting to discuss how we can make VRCS more financially sustainable in the future. It has provided a discussion point and some ideas to the team on the potential for fundraising.”