Students and alumni come together for Global Discovery

One of the greatest gifts of experience is being able to guide others through their own journey of discovery. Monash University’s alumni community continues to be instrumental in providing enlightening lessons to current students.

In February, seven Monash students travelled to London for a once in a lifetime trip as part of the first United Kingdom Global Discovery Program. The students were given the opportunity to meet and learn from some of Monash’s most successful London based alumni in the fields of business, finance,  advertising,  and  the  arts.

Highlights included visiting international companies Mercer, Lloyds Bank, and record label Merlin, and being hosted by the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency the Hon. Alexander Downer at Australia House.

The program was made possible thanks to the contributions of the Monash Global Leaders’ Network UK. The group is led by alumna Siobhan Martin (BSc (Hons) 1989, PhD Sci 1998) along with Simon Bird (BCom 2001), Gina Leong (BEc (Hons) 1992), Christopher Murphy (LLM 1999, MIT 2004), Damien Staples  (BBusSys  2005)  and  Michael  Lee (BCom 1996).

Back in Melbourne and with a new semester underway, the students will start applying the lessons they learned to their own futures. Psychology student, Catherine Brown wrote about her experience.

Here I sit, back in a familiar Melbourne cafe, to gather my thoughts after what was an incredibly inspiring seven day journey. The theme of this program was discovery, and discover we did. We were exposed to an array of diverse experiences; from meeting the masterminds behind pioneering technology that has changed the way we communicate with each other and our environment, to influential change makers that built something from nothing; from innovative  startups  to globally spread businesses. Given the multiplicity of the experiences we had and the people we met, it is hard to summate just how much we learned. However, there were a few key insights that particularly resonated with me.

  1. Actively listen to and connect with others. There is much to learn from those around us through the sharing of stories, the asking of questions and the integration of knowledge. Be curious and engage in meaningful conversation; you never know who you will need and what opportunities    will    arise from a single conversation. It was evident that most of the global leaders we met stand as they do now because they saw the value in human connection.
  2. Fuel the fire. Engage in things that you are passionate about and continue to have conversations with people in far corners of the world. Appreciate the minutiae that make up daily life and make efforts to tackle the challenges faced globally.
  3. Some decisions in life will be hard. Each person we met was faced with inevitable challenges and hard decisions along the way. Listening to how these were handled was invaluable. There was a common response of drive and faith. While what was driving them may have been different, their    willingness    to put in whatever work it took to reach a solution was the same. A shared attitude that 'things will work out' was also evidently crucial to their dealings of hardship.
  4. Surround yourself with people that are uplifting and continue to inspire. The biggest take away of all, without a doubt, is the friendships forged with the six remarkable and talented individuals that I had the privilege of sharing this experience with. There was not a moment spent    in    which I wasn't learning from this diverse group of humans! Their passion for life was infectious. Each one of us brought different perspectives, aspirations and insights to the group – a testament to the fact that diversity is key to learning and facilitating self-growth.

While this trip has theoretically finished, the journey towards discovering the world around me continues. I can't wait to start to apply my new found knowledge to many different aspects of my life, to engage in conversations about solutions to global challenges and to take action. There is no time  like  the present and, in the words of Suki Sandhu, “if opportunity doesn't knock, build your own door”.