Monash University Discovery Tour Wins Engagement Australia Award

A Monash University program that connects students with leading New York City-based alumni during an international study tour has won an Engagement Australia award.

The Monash Global Discovery Program study tour received an Engagement Australia 2020 Excellence Award in the category of excellence in alumni engagement, announced during an online ceremony on Tuesday evening.

Monash was one of eight universities honoured in the awards out of 124 entries from 35 universities across Australia and New Zealand.

More than 60 Monash students have participated in the Global Discovery Program - funded by philanthropy from New York-based Monash alumni - since it began in 2015.

The program involves an annual nine-day study tour for 10 students, who travel to New York City for an intensive schedule of learning, networking and industry experience with Monash alumni from leading businesses and institutions.

More than 600 students apply for the study tour each year, submitting a 30-second video addressing the year’s program theme, which relates to social, environmental and sustainability challenges. The Global Leaders’ Network Advisory Committee (GLNAC), comprising US-based Monash alumni, then assesses each applicant and selects the successful scholars.

The 2019 program, on which the award was based, focused on inclusion, with the cohort comprising students from six different nationalities, including several from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

One student has since returned to New York to undertake an internship with social media company WeAre8. Other study tour participants have secured employment at Revlon and the United Nations.

Damien Farrell, Monash University Vice-President (Advancement) of External Relations, Development and Alumni (ERDA), said the program had been an enormous success, building lifelong career opportunities and business networks for Monash scholars.

“The study tour is a transformational and immersive internship experience that helps groom our future global leaders. It has been incredible watching the career trajectory of the students who have participated in this program.” Mr Farrell said.

“Our program scholars gain invaluable access to business and community leaders from the New York-based Monash alumni community, as well as real-world experience at institutions such as Facebook, Revlon, Standard & Poor’s, the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations.

“We are delighted the Global Discovery Program has been honoured with an Engagement Australia award, and will continue to invest in strengthening connections between our students and alumni.”

The 2020 program was delivered as a virtual tour due to COVID-19.