This article has been adapted from the Australian Geographic.
Australians can be an ingenious bunch. Here are some of the best inventions to have come out of the nation.
Read the original article here.
|Shane Dillon is the co-founder of the International Alumni Job Network, an employment group focused on career outcomes for international students who have graduated from Australian, Canadian, UK, New Zealand, European and US higher education institutes.|
I was recruiting and building a team in Vietnam and trying to find returning Vietnamese international student graduates to employ. I could not find them and after some research realized that returning international students from all over Asia do not have a resource that connects them with top employers or a community to join that will connect them with one another so they can build a strong professional network.
I then met some returnee alumni by chance and after speaking with them heard that they too saw this as a major problem they faced when returning home after completing their international education. The idea for the International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) was born.
I was working full time, raising two young children and completing my MBA and could not figure out how I could successfully launch this idea by myself and that is when I had some incredibly good luck. I was introduced to Kate Harden in December 2015 who was looking for a new job in Vietnam after working for an NGO for the last 4 years. Her background was in HR and after some initial meetings and a signed NDA we started working on the International Alumni Job Network together. She came on as the CEO and co-founder, we raised $125,000 USD from two angel investors in Q1, 2016 and we started the company together. Kate works full time on the business and takes a salary and I work part-time on the business without a salary. We currently have 5 full-time employees and an office set up in Hong Kong and Vietnam. We launched the ecosystem of online communities and social media pages on the 31st May 2016 and have so far had over 20,000+ alumni register (It’s FREE for alumni to Join) with our community and placed several hundred jobs. We currently have international alumni communities in 15 countries across Asia and grow between 500~1,500 new members a week.
Starting a business is lesson after lesson after lesson. We had great feedback from alumni, employers, universities and government groups from day one, however this did not equate into any business support. We joked that everyone told us they loved us but no one would ask us to dance.
A huge lesson we continue to learn is that people, businesses and stakeholder groups may praise you constantly however to engage with you and actually pay to use your services takes a lot longer. The expression “Cash flow is KING” is so true and Kate and I have struggled with trying to balance the rapid growth of our alumni communities and employer networks while maintaining the high standards of service we strive towards with limited cash flow.
Releasing regular media kits has also been very beneficial for us. Sending out regular updates on what we are doing to the press has had IAJN featured in Forbes Magazine, PIE News, Study International and in the local press in Vietnam and Malaysia so far.
I did not have a mentor however at the time I was completing an executive MBA at RMIT and found the professors and classmates were always willing to offer advice and thoughts on business ideas. A huge thanks to great professors like David Robinson, Christine Murphy, Mark Leenders, Anthos Yannakou and Darryl Coulthard who were all very generous with their time and knowledge with me.
It helped that a few weekends a semester I would be surrounded by a great group of business leaders and entrepreneurs who were studying the MBA with me. A huge thanks to the fellow executive MBA classmates who I studied with in 2015 and 2016.
1. Start – I have had so many people ask me what it takes to start a business (while working and studying) and I tell them you just need to start. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and you need to take that first step and just START. There is never a perfect time to do an MBA or start a business.
2. You need passion and pragmatism and in my case a co-founder. Do not be greedy, get a good team around you who are also passionate and pragmatic and then share the up side with them. You succeed together or fail together.
3. Look at problems to find the solution not just to point out the problem. The world is full of people who love to point out problems and offer no solution. Starting a business you will discover problems every day, every week, every month. You need to have a team with a solution orientated attitude and understand their is always a solution to every problem.
|Shane Dillon completed the RMIT Master of Business Administration (Executive), 2016. He is willing to answer your questions about starting a new business. Find him in the Members section.|
When we think about studying abroad, often we’re overwhelmed by the high price tag we assume comes with such opportunities. But did you know – some countries in the world offer a FREE education or very low fees, even for international students!
Here are some of our favorites, all with universities in the top 200 in the world:
Finland universities are fee-free so long as international students can cover their own living costs which makes it an attractive choice for studying abroad.
Universities in Germany are all free. The government funds the education of all its people and includes foreigners. Over 900 undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in English which means non-German speakers can apply!
Sweden is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and its tuition fees are low cost, but not entirely free. It has almost 1000 programs at 35 universities that are taught in English, which means so long as you can speak English, you can get a degree!
Norway does not charge tuition fees for international students, and it is known for having small classes, with easily approachable professors. English courses are offered at many universities, making it a popular choice for many foreign students.
In France most public universities charge only about $200 USD, but if your parents are unemployed, you can study for free.
So before you rule out an international education due to financial constraints, investigate further and be sure to research scholarship opportunities too – you’d be surprised what’s available!
Thanks to our friends at cashkows.com for the useful information and research fodder!
The first in IAJN’s ‘Story Teller’ series, Australian Scientist and education enthusiast, Emma-Jane Watson shares her story.
As children we easily absorb everything around us. As adults, it is a lot harder to learn because we form opinions and preferences and close ourselves up to information. This is why it is so important to never stop asking; why, where, how, when and what if?
|My name is Emma, and I am a scientist by day and criminologist by night. That may sound like a good character theme for a super hero but I am no super hero, I just love to learn. I never want to stop learning! There are so many wonderful things in our universe to learn about and as a scientist I know there are so many more to be discovered.|
I am continually learning new analytical methodologies, technologies and skills. This is an essential element for all staff at my research organisation so we remain current in a fast moving and highly competitive industry. This is what makes my job so interesting, the necessity for me to be learning all the time, pushing myself to become more knowledgeable and challenging myself to become an expert in new technologies and research areas.
As much as I love everything about my job I also enjoy studying things outside the realm of my professional career. This is why I study a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice through Griffith University, Australia.
I grew up in a small country town where I attended high school and learnt how to work hard on the farm. My country life taught me to how to pick grapes, cut apricots, fix cars, look after the chickens, cows and sheep and I even helped my father build a small aeroplane. As a child I always wanted to be a lawyer but as I neared the completion of high school I realised that I was more suited to a laboratory. I moved to Adelaide city where I received my Bachelor of Biotechnology with Honors from Flinders University. My Honors project investigated symbiotic bacteria in wheat plants and how we might stop disease and increase growth rate by inoculating the seeds with beneficial bacteria. This project was very successful and since then other students have gone on to develop the concept further. I left plants behind me and moved to humans. I now work in gastrointestinal health and study symbiotic gut bacteria and how they can prevent disease and improve total wellbeing.
|In 2013 I took a break and moved to Vietnam where I taught science to students of all ages. In Vietnam I learnt how to be a teacher, I learnt how to speak limited Vietnamese, I learnt how to ride a motor bike, and I learnt how I missed my family when I was so far away. So I moved back to Australia and continued my work in gastrointestinal health.|
While all of this was happening I started my Masters of Criminology and Criminal Justice and after several years of part time study I am now nearing its completion. Many people ask me what I intend to do with my Master’s degree. I cannot answer this yet as I am not really sure. But I do know that the study of my Master’s has given me many things aside from the theory and skills to work in the field of Criminology.
I will outline a few of these things briefly.
has allowed me to apply different skills to a different field of study, learn a whole range of interesting concepts and theories, as well as challenge and change some of my opinions and beliefs and I am now a different person.
I intend to study more.
It should be done because you love it and want to develop as a person. It is about the desire to obtain knowledge and you can get this knowledge from many different sources. It can be picking up a book about something you don’t understand, talking to people from different industries, cultures and countries, watching a documentary that discusses a topic from a different angle to your beliefs, and of course the internet is a fabulous thing.
it also teaches you to question the world and what you are told about it. Question why things are done and if they can be done better. Question why things happen and how we can prevent it. Even question why we can’t do something and determine how we can. This is how knowledge, technologies, societies and the human species as a whole moves forward. The world has so much information to offer and it is all out there for you to grab.
|So once you have finished that degree, masters, doctorate or landed that dream job, don’t stop learning. Your study has given you the tools to start your learning journey, otherwise known as life. So go out there, learn a new language, learn how to knit, learn how to cook, learn about an ancient race, learn how to fix a car. All of these things will gift you a wide range of knowledge, develop you as a person, make you more open to ideas and concepts, allow you to contribute in many different forums and help you leave your mark on the world. Go forth and learn.|
|EMMA-JANE WATSON has worked in the field of science for over 10 years for one of the world’s leading scientific organisations, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). Emma is not only passionate about self-driven learning but is an advocate for sharing knowledge, evident in her work as an educator and facilitator of work experience programs.|
So you’ve invested the big bucks, worked like crazy, studied to the point of dreaming about IELTS test questions and taken the plunge to study abroad.
Sure, it’s a great experience but challenging in more ways than you ever expected – new school, new friends, language differences, cultural confusion, studying and working consumes your life but at the end you walk away with the prize – an international qualification.
Unless you’re planning to be a career academic, the qualification is just another step on your journey towards the career of your dreams.
So what does it mean exactly? What does your qualification say to employers?
So it’s not just a piece of paper; it’s a symbol of all of your experiences along your international student journey. It’s not just grades and exam results; it’s real, character building, personality shaping stuff. And whilst your qualification might be the gateway to your next job, it’s the other non-tangible things that will prove why your employer values you most.
KATE HARDEN is the Co-Founder and CEO of International Alumni Job Network. With over 10 years experience in Human Resources in the for profit and non-profit sectors, Kate has achieved success through her contemporary style and business acumen across the Asia Pacific Region.