Diversity of Understanding and Experience - Helping Young Professionals Take Control of their Futures

21 August 2017

Silva Wei and Stephen Zuluaga

Silva and Stephen reminisce fondly on their time at Monash. Even though they studied different degrees, it was the entrepreneurial and strategic focus of their courses that resonated for both of them. “Monash gave me a new perspective - the approach to learning was  very different to what I had experienced in China and it really sparked my entrepreneurial nature” Silva shares. Stephen still remembers his marketing tutor David Fouvy , “he inspired me to always try to think strategically in business. Looking back, he had such as significant impact on me and the professional pathway I took”.

Relocating from China to study his Masters degree, Silva (Master of Business Systems 2008) initially pursued a career in business analysis. After a number of years working for a major technology distributor and a logistics and transportation company, Silva made the leap into the education sector his teaching a range of IT and project management to help others achieve their goals.

After completing a business degree, Stephen (Bachelor of Business (Marketing) 2009) established himself as a business consultant and systems engineer developing a specialisation in the education industry. With over a decade of experiences as subject matter expert there was no better time for him to pursue his passion for assisting the next generation of professionals.

It wasn’t until after they both graduated that they met through Monash Toastmasters. Both joined to strengthen their communication skills - “don’t ever let anyone tell you the learning stops after you leave university” they quip. Both appreciated that whilst they were now Alumni rather than students, they were still able to participate in a Monash offering.

With career and family life taking hold, they went their separate ways, only to be reunited in 2015 as they both pursued their passion for teaching. Whilst what students were being taught was giving them a good start, too often they were hearing the uncertainty around what was next. Silva advises that “students didn’t seem to have a clear pathway once they finished their course. They didn’t seem to know where to start”. Both Silva and Stephen wanted to assist. Stephen shares that “we both realised how much we enjoyed helping people with their professional growth. So we decided to combine our efforts, and from this clear purpose Peer Camp was established”.

Peer Camp was established to assist young professionals in improving their confidence and strengthening their employability to enable them to succeed in their desired profession. Whether it be coaching services or supporting internship programs, both Silva and Stephen are assisting students and graduates make a successful start to their careers. What’s next for Silva and Stephen? “We’re about to launch a communication skills and leadership program. We’re excited to be able to add to our suite of offerings to help students truly embrace their potential”. Silva and Stephen came together, taking advantage of their diversity of culture, skills and experience. It is this diversity of understanding and experience that is helping young professionals take control of their futures.