Meet the students who want to create a national MBA student network
When Emma Young attended an international student event in Hong Kong, she realised that something was missing from her experience of studying an MBA in Australia.
Students in Europe and Asia were hosting large interschool events that brought people from all over the region together and helped them form a much wider network.
So, together with Soumya Ranjan, Nathan Spence and Peter Pelikhov, Emma did something about it – by launching MBAus.
Now in its second year, MBAus is the first conference that brings together MBA students and graduates from business schools all over Australia.
Schools taking part in this year's event include AGSM, Melbourne Business School, Monash, RMIT, the University of Queensland,University of Adelaide, James Cook University and the Queensland University of Technology.
The conference is designed to help students to build a broad interschool network, as well as promote the value that an MBA can offer businesses, says Nathan Spence, MBAus co-founder and senior associate at Partners in Performance.
"In the first year, we spent weeks reaching out to sponsors, program coordinators and student ambassadors from different schools. We needed them on board and spreading the word to help get people interested in an event they had never heard of," he says.
As a non-profit, volunteer organisation that relies on students, alumni and sponsorship, getting commitment from high-profile names was a bigger hurdle than the team had anticipated.
"It was hard getting organisations to take a chance on us, especially in the first year. But we managed to meet our targets and win support from a wide variety of firms. It was a huge effort considering our busy study and work schedules.
"We're lucky to have such a dedicated team from Melbourne Business School and University of Queensland who found the time to help make MBAus great."
Speakers at this year's event include senior executives from Microsoft, Seek and Australian Unity, as well as the CEOs of Ericsson and World Vision. The theme of the conference is "Shaping the future of business" and will include sessions on blockchain technology, new work practices, mindfulness, diversity and start-ups.
"MBAus is young community, but its benefits are long-term. Our goal is to share MBAus between schools. University of Queensland will host it next year and another school after that – which will help more people get more out of it," says Nathan.
"One of the best things you learn in an MBA is that your network is important to your career. We strongly believe by building this national MBA community, we're creating more opportunities for people than they would get from their own school's network."
What: MBAus Conference
When: Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 September 2018
Where: Melbourne Business School, 200 Leicester Street, Carlton, VIC 3053
Tickets: Book via the MBAus website