It is time for part two of my Kelley International Perspectives (KIPs) trip updates! In my first MBA program blog post about the trip, I covered New Zealand and this one will re-cap the Sydney leg of my journey.
Upon arriving in Sydney, I was able to meet a friend from college and her husband for dinner. She is living and working abroad and I really loved getting to catch up! This is the perfect example of your network popping up in unexpected places, and she even surprised me with a bag of goodies from Australia, including TimTams and Vegemite. If you haven't had Vegemite before, it is definitely an experience.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were spent primarily on company visits. There was a wide range of industries and functions covered including: Morning Star, Sydney Water, Austrade, Novartis, Kimberly Clark, Travelx, and Parliament, to name a few. We had the chance to speak with C-level executives in various roles and learn about Australia's role in a global economy. The biggest take-away I found was just how global of a perspective companies had, in addition to a clear understanding of their core competencies and limitations. Due to their location, size, and history, I found Australians to be well versed on business in the US, Europe, Asia and even looking to Africa, and it was a great change of pace from the very US-centric approach we hear while on company visits here or even the Chinese-focused conversations we had on KIPs China last year.
The end of the week was spent enjoying the greater Sydney area, including a trip to Hunter Valley for wine tasting, complete with a wild kangaroo siting, a day at Bondi Beach, a journey to the top of the Harbor Bridge in the rain and a final dinner as a group. I really enjoyed getting to know my classmates better, especially several first years I have not had class with before and spending time with my fabulous roommate and fellow admissions counselor, Miss Rana June.
If you have a chance while completing your two year MBA program to travel and learn about business abroad, I highly recommend it, as it will be both eye opening and valuable as you continue in your career, regardless of industry of interest.