15 June 2017

Student Feeds: the solution to every poor hungry student!

Are you the typical embodiment of a struggling uni student?
Are you constantly swamped with uni, work and a social life that you don’t have time to cook?
Did you just spend $20 on an UberEats meal?

If you answered yes, just know that you are not alone. And that I have the perfect solution for you!

Student Feeds is a start-up I have recently established where we provide $5 healthy meal preps to students specifically in self-catered accommodation. By producing in bulk and selling to consumers in bulk, we hope these meals can improve the affordability of student living. We are student-driven – organised by students for students. This means all our operations and future expansions will aim to involve students as the core of our business; whether this be in employing students, delivering to students’ doorsteps and establishing a personal relationship, or in generation of marketing and product development ideas. 

Having lived at a self-catered accommodation this year, the biggest struggle experienced by myself and many of my friends was cooking for ourselves. Cooking every day is time consuming and costly, which can distract us from our university responsibilities, resulting in unhealthy lifestyles. I’ve witnessed so many of my friends succumb to $20 UberEats and regret it afterwards. It also occurred to me that some of them did not have the skills to cook either, so I would often cook bulk meals once a week and give my leftover meals to my friends, who acted as though I was saving their lives.

Another motivation for creating Student Feeds was because I volunteered at Bellyful NZ last year. This organisation makes hundreds of meals a month and delivers them to recent mothers in need (e.g. with post-partum depression or babies in hospital). I loved taking part in bulk meal preparation with great volunteers for such a worthy cause and identified that in fact students may also be a cause in need of cheap, healthy meals.

I think a huge barrier many budding entrepreneurs face is taking the first step to create something new. Ironically, we’re too scared to fail and this self-doubt means so many ideas never come to fruition. This is me, but I forced myself to buy 100 meal prep containers off Ebay on a whim so I was obliged to use them. Student Feeds was created after pondering over the idea for a week, and it has only been getting better from there. 

Our first goal was simple: make $1 of profit in the first week. We managed to surpass this over 100 times over. Our sales have continued to double as more students have discovered our start-up, and due to pre-orders and brand exposure across self-cater accommodation, we sold out 46 meals in 2 hours. 

I will soon be needing to hire more students and expand our team. We would love to develop an app, get intellectual property protection, a physical premise, and to expand to more accommodation as well as across the campus. 

This is where we would LOVE your help! We are currently in the Top 3 to win $15,000 and mentoring in the Nescafe Headstart competition. Please help us improve student living by voting for our start-up here (voting closes June 26, 2017). If you would like to keep up to date on our progress, feel free to follow us on Instagram @studentfeeds.

By Cindy Burgess, Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Sydney Business School

8 June 2017

Balancing sports and study

The University of Sydney Business School has a long association with the Sydney University Football Club and supports elite athletes through scholarship programs. We recently spoke to Business School students and Sydney University Football Club rugby players, Jack Blair and Guy Porter, about their university experience as athletes.

Jack Blair
What do you love the most about being an athlete?

Jack: I love being in a team environment and the opportunity to push myself to be the best.

Guy: Particularly playing Rugby, being an athlete at University provides an incredible support network to structure my life around. There’s always that next goal to work towards, next week to focus on or the next training session to improve in. More than that, there’s the next chance to surround myself with people who are similarly ambitious and whose company I enjoy a great deal.

How do you balance the pressures of being an athlete with study and other aspects of your life?

Jack: I make sure to study when I can and when I need to, so that I can still attend all my sports commitments and perform in both. Trying to achieve at rugby and university can mean missing out on some fun but I have a good idea of when I can take time to enjoy myself.

Guy: Everyone has the challenge of balancing competing pressures in their lives. For an athlete, the reality of training and competition is just a different form of pressure. When your commitments to your sport are fixed, everything just has to fit in around that. There are times when that is extremely challenging, but you just make it work.

What is your proudest achievement overall so far?

Jack: Starting first grade debut in front of my family.

Guy: Since I have been at University I have been through my share of set backs from injury, so I suppose I am proud to have overcome four fairly major surgeries and now be back playing Rugby and enjoying my sport. Beyond that, I was lucky to have a taste of the NRC and test myself against some of the best in my sport. I’m proud to have been able to compete at that level.

What are your plans for after you graduate?

Jack: I want to be a professional rugby player, but until that happens I have applied for some graduate jobs in consulting and IT.

Guy: I have a couple of years left at Sydney University but I am committed to doing something with Rugby once I finish my degree. Whether that means playing overseas whilst completing some further study, or focusing on pursuing a professional opportunity in Rugby, I’m not quite sure yet.

How has support from the University of Sydney Business School been helping you achieve your career goals?

Jack: The Business School has been very accommodating to my sporting commitments, which has allowed me to continually achieve both on and off the field. In addition to this, they have helped ease the financial pressure of my degree which has reduced extraneous stress and allowed me to focus more on rugby and my studies.

Guy: The Business School has been very generous in providing the support I’ve needed to concurrently pursue my sporting and study ambitions. That has taken the form of financial support, flexibility in study requirements and the opportunity to meet professionals with a wealth of experience that has genuinely helped me in the direction I have taken with my study.

Have you taken up any other extra-curricular activities outside of sports that you would recommend?

Jack: Doing some acting/extras work has been a lot of fun and something very different from my usual activities.

What has been the highlight of your time at the University of Sydney Business School so far?

Jack: Learning practical skills and information that I can immediately apply to real world business decisions.

Guy: The highlight of my time at the Business School has probably been the chance to meet and cooperate with people, particularly in subjects that I have chosen because they are of particular interest to me and are contributing to my major.

What advice would you provide to other students looking to pursue a career in both sports and business?

Jack: Take every opportunity to get better and at the risk of sounding a little cheesy, believe that you can get better.

Guy: My advice for someone pursuing a career in both sports and business is that at some point you will be required to prioritise one over the other. The support networks provided by your club and the Business School are invaluable and by all means, make the most of the time you are able to manage both with maximum commitment. It is important during this time to be properly exposed to the reality of each but at some point one has to take precedence. What you think and how you value your sport or study might be different when you leave school from when you are called to make that decision but be prepared to commit wholeheartedly.

Guy Porter
Read more about sports and study at the University of Sydney Business School here.

5 June 2017

6 tips on how to kick start your career

It’s true what they say - time flies when you’re having fun. It may seem like yesterday when you first set foot on campus into the unknown world of University. Then all of a sudden you’re on the home stretch and you start to think – now what? Is this where my career begins?

During my time working with the Careers and Employability Office (CEO) team as a Career Leader within the University of Sydney’s Business School, the Careers and Student Experience Lounge has been where I’ve spent my time, reviewing student resumes and providing advice. It is where I have learnt a thing or two that are worth sharing! Here are my personal tips, as a Career Leader, that can help you kick start your career path before you graduate:

Join societies related to your discipline
The majority of majors offered within the Business School are associated with a society. The benefits? You can interact with students who have similar career goals and might even be enrolled in the same units of study. Sometimes, you can communicate directly with professionals working within the industry! If you’re lucky, the people you meet will remember you come graduate application time.

Think about whether you have a dream organisation
So many students can name their dream position but go blank when asked about the organisation that they want to work for. This can be important because cover letters will require you to think about why you have chosen to apply for a position at that particular organisation. Being aware of your own value system is one way to start thinking about this. Researching organisations is also important and is so easy with social media!

Practice makes perfect
The internet. As students, we cannot live without it. It is filled with blogs and forums that provide a heap of useful tips for interviews, assessment centres and so much more. The best students use this to practice. For example, drafting answers to sample behavioural interview questions found online. The CEO also offer a range of useful practice opportunities, including Mock Assessment Centres.

Build your online self
So many people know about professional social media, but few know how to use it effectively as a self-promotion tool.  Putting as much effort into your LinkedIn profile as you do your Instagram account is one way to promote your achievements without being limited to 1-2 pages. Added benefits? LinkedIn often advertises job vacancies that align with your experience.

Challenge the assumption that you’re not ready
A great number of students think that because they do not have their degree yet, they are not ready to work in their desired field. There are so many available part-time and casual positions that are aimed at students who are working towards a degree. Working in these roles from the early stages of your degree can provide you with the experience needed to emerge as a desirable candidate at graduation.

Take advantage of the Careers and Employability Office 
Once you graduate, you may not be able to walk straight out of a lecture and into a Careers Office bursting with resources and friendly faces. Take the edge off your final year by engaging early, learn about the programs offered and stay up to date with all of the events. Book in for a 1:1 careers session with a consultant or visit the Careers and Student Experience Lounge, open 12-3pm Monday to Friday.

About the blogger
I am currently a Career Leader for the CEO. This has been enjoyable so far because I feel important. As a student myself, I can give other students advice based on my own experiences at university and in the workplace. Also, I have been an undergraduate mentor twice. I loved using my experience, resources and contacts to help students find answers to their questions and enjoyed developing friendships with other mentors.

Dream Career?
Judge for the Fair Work Commission

Where do you want to be in ten years?
Employment lawyer

What CEO service do you recommend to Business School students? 
My personal favourite CEO service is their Blackboard and the associated resources. It is something that is so easy to access, whether you have a break between classes or are bored on the train. There’s so much there to help students transition from student to an employee which can be a difficult process without help and guidance.

By Stephanie Georges, current Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Law student at the University of Sydney Business School

31 May 2017

7 ways to get involved at Uni

How you can get involved at University and enhance your job prospects?

Semester 2 is approaching fast and you may be wondering how exactly can you get more involved in university. The opportunities offered here at the Business School are endless. If you are only coming to university for your classes, let me tell you, you are missing out on so much. But don’t fret, check out my top 7 ways you can get involved in all that University offers. Make the few (or many) years you spend here as much of a fulfilling learning experience as possible, which surprise, surprise comes from outside the classroom.

1. Career events and recruitment opportunities 
The Career and Employability Office (CEO) has many career skills workshops and events taking place across the semesters to help make you become career ready. The CEO’s EmployableYOU workshops and events for Business School students really does cover all aspects of career exploration and is most certainly worth exploring. Go ahead, have a look at the careers calendar and register for an upcoming workshop.

2. Mentoring 
The Business School offers a range of mentoring programs, which allows students to build connections with senior students as well as industry leaders. For penultimate and final students, the Lucy and Alumni Mentoring Programs are the ones for you. It’s a great way to make contacts and learn from prospective employers. For first-year students, being a mentor for the Peer Mentoring Program is a great way to help others who are eager to hear about and learn from your university experience. Let’s not forget, you were in their position not long ago, so you should know guidance in those first few weeks of the semester goes a long way. You never know, the peers you network with, may become future colleagues and even business leaders.

Also, some clubs and societies even run their own mentoring programs, like the Business Information Systems Association (BISA), Network of Women (NOW) and the Sydney Marketing Society (SMS), so keep an eye out for those too.

3. Clubs and societies 
The list of clubs and societies you can join up to is endless so you are bound to find one, or should I say many, that resonates with your interests. It is a great way to meet people and you will be able to access exclusive events featuring career networking, guest speakers, academic development activities, and the list goes on.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get the chance to sign up during O-Week. You can obtain membership by simply attending any social events held by a society throughout semester. What better way is there to catch up with old friends and make new ones?

4. Volunteer (you won’t regret it)
Volunteering is a great way to get some valuable experience and career skills, and anyone can do it. Not only will you develop your employability skills, but volunteering for a role you are passionate about is very rewarding. For those who are unsure of which volunteering roles to do, do some research and just give it a go. Any experience is better than no experience as it will help refine your personal and professional interests and goals.

For those who still undecided on whether volunteering is worth the time and effort, have a read of this. It tells you about all the great things that come from making the decision to volunteer.

5. Industry Placement Program (IPP) 
Are you thinking that your summer will be just be wasted by binging Netflix TV shows and wondering how you can spend your time more wisely? Then consider applying for IPP over the summer vacation period. What do you have to lose? Doing IPP without having to stress over assignments and exams sounds great, right?

Whether it be local or international, IPP is a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience in your chosen major. It is positively received by employers and graduate recruiters since it shows you are competent in working a professional workplace and have engaged in business acumen, critical thinking, teamwork and business communication.

For more information on important application dates, click here.

6. Exchange
Student exchange is great way to combine study and international travel whilst improving your interpersonal, communication and practical skills, and building your confidence and cross-cultural understanding. The Global Mobility Guide provides key information on overseas study.

If you’re unsure about committing to a semester long or year exchange, then the short term programs in the summer or winter break are right for you. With 270 programs available for University of Sydney students to study overseas, you are bound to find a destination that suits you. Have a search.

7. Case competitions 
Get a few of your mates together and sign up for a case competition. Case competitions involves brainstorming and pioneering ideas to address real business challenges, which you’ll pitch to a panel of judges. Not only do case competitions foster creativity, but it is an opportunity to engage in teamwork, gain real industry experience and apply the knowledge you have learnt from the classroom to an actual business problem. The benefits of case competitions are endless and you won’t know what you will get out of it until you get involved.

If this isn’t enough to convince you, read about the amazing experience Hillary gained from entering the EY Case Competition.

All the above mentioned activities will help build your hard and soft skills, providing you work relevant experiences to talk about in future interviews and assessment centres. Getting involved at university not only fills your resume with great extracurricular activities but it also broadens your mindset and your professional network.

About the blogger

What are your favourite CEO programs?
The First Year Careers Conference was really beneficial in making me realise that you can get on board career planning as soon as possible, even though it may be your first year at university. More importantly, it taught me how to formulate my goals and turn those goals into action, which can be hard since university is so different from high school.

The conference helped me learn about the opportunities offered by the Business School. Knowing about these opportunities early on in my degree pointed me in the right direction in terms of researching degree majors and career opportunities. The CEO is here to help you become employable-ready once you graduate. It reinforced the importance of getting involved in work experience and extracurricular opportunities to develop and strengthen my key employability skills. The conference made me realised that there are so many resources offered by the CEO, which should not be overlooked by students!

Those who utilise programs offered by the CEO show strong initiative to develop themselves personally and professionally. Being a Career Leader has also been and continues to be a very rewarding and stimulating role. This position has made me realise the importance of strong verbal communication, interpersonal and critical thinking skills. I have been able to help students with all sorts of career enquiries, which not only feels great but is a learning experience for myself too.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I haven't exactly decided what career pathway I wish to pursue but I know I want it to work in Marketing. However, the resources provided by the CEO is refining my strengths and passions, and bringing me closer to a career that’s for me.

What CEO service do you highly recommend students?
I highly recommend for students to go on Blackboard and check out the CEO eCommunity. Many students overlook the amount of valuable and relevant career resources on there. Set some time aside to look at job postings, information on different majors, interview and resumes tips, and plenty more. Don’t forget to also regularly check the announcements for cool career events taking place!

By Anna Wang, current Bachelor of Commerce student (majoring in Marketing and Economics) at the University of Sydney Business School

26 May 2017

HPAIR Changed My Life. Now Let It Change Yours.

Wanting to add an international experience to your degree but not sure if you have the time or money? International conferences can be a valuable addition to your resume with wide ranging benefits including access to world renowned speakers, thought-provoking presentations, global networking opportunities, and an amazing travel experience.

The first international conference I went to was the 2015 Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Asia Conference held in Manila. It was nothing short of life changing, and provided me with many valuable lessons, renewed ambitions and many great friends from around the world who I still keep in touch with today. Here are some of my top reasons for why you should consider attending conferences and the value they deliver:

I returned from HPAIR with a renewed sense of purpose in life. I was motivated to initiate my own projects, volunteer in my community and take a more active role in extra-curricular activities. I felt I learnt just as much from other delegates as I did from speakers. Being surrounded by such talented and ambitious individuals really motivates you to go out there and pursue your dreams. The value of being immersed in such an environment should not be understated.

Global Talent
During my time in Manila, I came face-to-face with political leaders, Fortune 500 Company CEOs, startup entrepreneurs and highly regarded academics. While USYD provides an enriching learning experience, being exposed to such diverse, international talent in one room was truly special and not something you often get to experience. 

Attendance to a HPAIR Conference is via competitive selection process. Every year, thousands of applications are received and each person is individually screened and interviewed. With so many intelligent and enthusiastic individuals in one room, you're bound to strike up a conversation with someone who has similar interests to you. When I introduced myself to people, I was blown away by the breadth of experiences of fellow delegates. "I've just come back from New York where I was interning at the UN"; "I'm working on a startup at the moment that connects students with their dream employers"; "I work in the Prime Minister's Office"; "I started a school in India that gives quality education to Mumbai's poorest children". These were common phrases I would hear when meeting new delegates. I came to question how I was even accepted to attend given my status of "student who works part-time in retail". But that's one of the great things about attending a HPAIR conference. Everyone is so diverse, comes from different backgrounds and has such interesting stories to tell. Only be immersing yourself in unfamiliar environments and connecting with people from different backgrounds, can you truly open your mind to new perspectives and appreciate new ways of thinking. HPAIR provided me with a fantastic opportunity to meet with some pretty amazing people - as well as ordinary students who were doing extraordinary things - who I otherwise would not have had the privilege to meet.

One of the highlights of any event - making friends from around the world who you will keep in touch with for years to come. It's crazy to think you can forge such deep connections with people after just five days. I see people in my classes every week for an entire semester and still not remember their names. Yet, someone I've known for less than a week is suddenly a close friend of mine. I can't quite explain why. But that's just what happens. 

One of the great things about HPAIR is the diversity of the conference program. With keynotes, panel discussions, impact challenge competition and diverse social events, you definitely don't get bored!

So why attend a conference? Quite simply, an opportunity. You don't know who you're going to meet. You might hear from a really inspiring speaker that motivates you to pursue different avenues in life. You could chat with another delegate who has interests similar to your own that you end up collaborating with and work on the next big thing together. 

I found my time at HPAIR to be a very valuable addition to the traditional coursework I am exposed to at USYD and it provided me with thought-provoking ideas, newfound inspiration, great friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

Mitchell Hunter is the Executive Director of the 2017 HPAIR Asia Conference, which will be held in Sydney from 17-21 August. Applications to attend are open until June 3. Find out more at www.hpair.org.

12 May 2017

How smooth is your drive?

If you're a driver, you know that you need to service your car regularly. Sometimes, you need to change the wheels, replace components, but you're basically swapping out the same thing for the same thing (even when they're still functioning well!). It feels like a waste but you still do it, because if you don't, sometime down the track you know your car will break down.

The same can be said for your career development. You might have already figured out what roles you want to work in after you graduate, and you may already have a neat list of professional and extracurricular activities lined up on your CV. Regardless, it is extremely important that you revisit and ensure your career development path is well maintained and still relevant. Otherwise, your car may break down somewhere down the line.

Three simple steps that you can go through periodically to service your car:
1. The Ideal Journey Forward
The destination is important, but what is perhaps even more important is to consider the journey you're taking to get there and making sure it is something you're happy with. Three questions to think about when considering your next step in your career journey:

  • What experiences do you want to gain?
  • How do you want to grow?
  • What do you want to contribute to?
2. Service Your Car
You need to assess where you are at now and what type of car you have (i.e. your academics, your professional experiences and leadership experiences), and ask yourself whether you are happy to take this car on your ideal journey forward. Which part of the car do you need to focus on servicing for you to be happy?

3. Choose Your Road
The landscape is constantly changing. Knowing the ideal journey you want to have and having a newly serviced car can help you choose the best path. Search for new opportunities that can bring you experiences and growth you want, as well as contributions you desire to make. Keep an open mind and you might find yourself in a better career path than you had previously imagined!

Come drop in to the Careers Lounge at the Basement of the Abercrombie Business School and we will help you with servicing your car and choosing the next road to take. We provide resume/CV checks, cover letter reviews and one-on-one career counselling. 

CEO programs I have participated in and why I loved being a part of it:
  • Mentoring: it is a great way to give back and contribute to nurturing the future of the Business School 
  • IPP: it is a great way to gain industry experience and find out what you love to do with the people you like doing it with.
  • Career Leaders: it is a fantastic place to help others with their journey of professional development and career progression. Gain some tips for yourself too, while you're at it!
Dream Career: multi-industry entrepreneur 

Where do you want to be in ten years? 
Travelling  the globe consulting for MNCs on cross-industry developments.

What CEO service do you highly recommend students to utilise:
Resume review and workshops & events. Having a focused environment to work on yourself in the Careers and Student Experience Lounge. 

By James Leung, current Bachelor of Commerce and Science student at the University of Sydney Business School

9 May 2017

Learning outside of the classroom

Recently a few of our students travelled to Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, as part of their Service Learning in Indigenous Community (SLIC) coursework. This new service learning program is one of several across New South Wales and the Northern Territory that seeks to provide innovative learning and teaching outside the classroom, whilst tackling real-world challenges faced in these rural communities.

Service Learning in Indigenous Community April 2017

Business students collaborated with other students from various faculties to help develop an implementation plan for a shared decisions and benefits model that will serve the region in the foreseeable future. Here is what they've got to say:

Tell us about your experience in Kakadu?

"Kakadu was amazing. We did more than I imagined I could do within my Commerce degree. Within an interdisciplinary team, we learnt about the culture, way of life and history of the Mirarr clan, often also working on our project as a collective bunch. Highlights at Kakadu for me were definitely the interactions we had with the community - whether that’d be playing ultimate frisbee or soccer with the kids and dancing along at their school dance or being taken on a tour by the traditional owners. There was no doubt about it. I fell in love with the community and didn’t want to leave by the end of it." - Lisa K

"For a while, I had always wanted to visit Kakadu National Park. When the opportunity came up, I knew I couldn't turn it down. And I'm glad I didn't. Being able to visit the region and also gain first-hand experience by visiting the local townships, getting to know the local Indigenous community and also learning about the history of their land was quite amazing. It was such an eye-opening experience which has certainly enriched my learning at the University." - Vince

"When we arrived at the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC), it was quite overwhelming and challenging at first as we were to plan the implementation of a shared decision making model that will benefit the Aboriginal communities as well as other key stakeholders. During the 8 days of the trip, we were given the opportunity to meet a couple who identify themselves as the Mirarr people - the Traditional Owners of the region. They spoke and enlightened us with their deep connection to their land and their way of life; through hunting, art and so much more. These were all such valuable experiences that cannot be described in words." - Lisa T

How did you find Service Learning compared to learning out of the traditional classroom?

"Service learning is different on a number of levels. It provided me with the opportunity to go out on Country and engage with traditional land owners on a one-on-one basis which was highly invaluable. The ability to go to Kakadu and apply theoretical knowledge learnt from class to help solve real-life issues pressing that region is an experience you don't get in a traditional unit of study. It’s the sort of experience that challenges you to think critically and work together to ensure that you’re not just meeting your own objectives but that you are able to deliver on the expectations of the community." - Vince

"Service Learning in Indigenous Community (SLIC) has allowed us to apply our knowledge learnt at university into a more practical sense. It really triggers your problem solving skills and challenges you as the project you're tackling will directly impact upon the Aboriginal community. Moreover, being able to experience and explore Kakadu was a great opportunity and the people we have met there were extremely down-to-earth." - Lisa T 

"For someone who loved excursions and history in high school, this unit combined just that with my business side of things. For one, normal classrooms, subject to online readings, lectures and tutorials, don’t allow first-hand interaction with communities and people. When ‘on-Country,’ we were able to go explore what Kakadu had to offer and its amazing past through the traditional owners of the land. Secondly, normal classroom units provide no opportunity for us to really apply what we know in the context of helping a whole community create a sustainable way of life. We were part of something greater than just marks." - Lisa K

Want to get involved?

You must have an elective Commerce unit available to apply for this program. Interested students who are enrolled in a Business School degree must check their eligibility before applying. Send an Expression of Interest to business.placements@sydney.edu.au including name, SID and degree enrolled in and include ‘SLIC’ in the email title. Learn more here.

Contributed by:
Vince Lam and Lisa Tu, current Bachelor of Commerce students and Lisa Kha, current Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) student at the University of Sydney Business School.