Elise decided to study business in Australia at Griffith University, before travelling around Asia. This is her story.
Elise Giles is from Queensland and she decided to study business in Australia, at Griffith University. She was awarded a Business Achievement Medal for being the graduate with the highest overall achievement. Following her studies, she travelled to Asia and now works as a Capability Development Manager for AsiaLink Business in Melbourne. I asked her about her time at university.
Why did you study business in Australia?
“Growing up in rural Queensland, I saw the fundamental role that small businesses play in the local economy and I aspired to do just that – create my own business. I knew I needed to undertake tertiary education to provide me with the appropriate skills and experiences. So I started looking for a program that would help me develop a unique and competitive skill set.
“I was attracted to Griffith University because it offers a wide range of business specialisations that were of great interest to me. The Griffith Honours College was also of interest to me. It’s a program designed to help high achieving students that display leadership reach their full potential. Ultimately, I chose the program because I knew it would help me achieve my goals.
“As a whole, I felt my program at Griffith was actually more practical than I expected, but I learned more effectively because of this. From work-integrated learning to community engagement and real-life examples presented by leading academics, I could genuinely translate these learnings into the real world. It has prepared me for my engagement in government, and the private sector.”
Creating a professional network
“At Griffith, I was able to develop strong relationships with academics as I had a real interest in their research interests. I am still in contact with the professors, and they continue to provide guidance to me in a professional setting. In particular, I have stayed connected to Associate Professor Peter Woods, Director (International) of the Griffith Business School. Peter delivered a course called “The Social context of Asian Business” in my first year, and coincidentally I undertook the elective course.
“To this day I still remember the stories Peter told of how to engage with Indonesia – Australia’s closest neighbour. He expressed the importance and value of South Korea’s chaebol in their economy. I found the cultural complexities intriguing, and I wanted to learn more about the Asia region. I had never stepped foot out of Australia however, this course really planted the seed for me to begin this engagement. Peter’s teaching really helped to pivot my career – from a purely domestic focus to a global one. He taught me how to capitalise on the opportunities Asia presents.