16 January 2018

Allan's Take on the Singapore Immersion Program

The opportunity to participate in the Singapore Immersion Program; under the guidance of our unit coordinator, Dr Jeaney Yip, has extended beyond merely a cultural learning experience. Whilst the obvious takeaways from this experience were those related to my increased understanding of the Singaporean context and culture, I was surprised by the extent to which my softer skills were developed; particularly those of communication, learning, and intercultural competence. As a Business student in an increasingly globalised environment, this program will have a profound effect on my ways of thinking.

My immersive experience began from the moment I arrived in Singapore. What struck me most, aside from the heat and humidity, was the systematic layout of the environment; particularly the placement of trees and plants, as well as the prevalence of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats – a stark contrast to Australia. Immediately, I realised that, contrary to the sensationalisation of the prevalence of globalisation that I had been taught in classrooms, Singapore and Australia were still completely different countries, despite both being developed nations.

Fig 1. Systematic placement of trees
Fig 2. HDB flats (Tanjong Pagar)

The next formal encounter with Singapore’s cultural context was the ‘About Mr Lee’ tour, which focused on who Mr Lee (the first Prime Minister of Singapore) was as a person. This experience was particularly insightful for my way of ‘learning’ about significant historical figures. Whilst in the pre-departure classes, it was easy to think of Mr Lee as simply another leader in history, being able to personally witness the ‘fruits’ of his visionary ideals for Singapore – exhibited across the physical environment; from the greenery to the carefully planned neighbourhoods, has changed my perceptions of individuals within the context of societies. What I learnt was that the context of Singapore was inextricably tied to this one man’s vision of how Singapore should be – “a garden city…productive…taking the best ideas from different countries” as mentioned by our tour guide Iris (December 4, 2017).

Following this was the ‘Made in Singapore’ tour, which focused on the economic development of Singapore, and how it deals with its limited resource. This largely helped to deepen my understanding of the economic context of Singapore, with one of the most interesting insights being that despite Singapore’s relatively small size and population, the country takes a strong and proactive approach to economic development – with economic planning largely having a long-term focus. This was contrary to my previous perceptions of Singapore, where despite already knowing that Singapore was a strong commercial and business hub, I was taken aback by the innovative means by which this small country dealt with its economic limitations; notably the use of land reclamation (Urban Redevelopment Authority), and urban farming techniques (Edible Farms). This experience has helped me understand the importance of economic development in the Singaporean context, and this was a theme that recurred throughout the rest of the program.

Fig 3. Layout of Singapore's island (Urban Redevelopment Authority)
Fig 4. Urban farming - in-door plantation shelves (Edible Farms)

As a part of the immersion program, the cultural and language classes I attended enriched my understanding of Singapore as an ‘ethnic mosaic’. Prior to this program, I often perceived ‘multiculturalism’ as merely a ‘badge’, at least within the Australian context – one that the country flaunts, but does not practice substantially enough. Contrastingly, ‘multiculturalism’ in Singapore is a ‘practice’ and a way of life with Abdullah describing it as a form of ‘social control’ to direct people towards cultural tolerance and harmony. This enhanced my understanding of the Singaporean cultural and political context by highlighting not only the extent of ‘multiculturalism’ within Singapore, but also the large extent to which the government controls social behaviour to minimise issues related to ‘race’ – and this was seen directly from my visit to the HDB office where I saw how the allocation of HDB flat residences were determined by ethnic quotas.

Fig 5. Screen showing HDB flat availabilities based on ethnic quotas (HDB office)

To facilitate my understanding of ‘start-up culture’ within Singapore, I attended a presentation by ‘Onepip’ (a remittance start-up). Most relevant to my cultural immersion experience was the focus on issues the business faced in its initial stages. Notably, before Onepip could conduct its business in Singapore, it was required to hold a licence that demonstrated it had at least one year of operational experience. This allowed me to re-evaluate my perceptions of Singapore’s political context, from that of being a relatively laissez-faire economy, to one that is actually stringently regulated; and thus, demonstrated the strength and influence of Singaporean government.

My knowledge of ageing within the Singaporean context was both complemented and enriched by my visit to the Ministry of Health (MOH) where I learnt about the various initiatives the Singaporean government was implementing to support an ageing population. Of particular interest was the emphasis on ‘workplace longevity’, which I had previously perceived as merely an ideal, and not an option most of the elderly would follow. However, this was immediately subverted when I witnessed the number of elderly people working in menial labour tasks; particularly in cleaning food court areas, and as cashiers for food vendors. Thus, this solidified my understanding of how Singapore’s perceptions of ageing have changed from that of an ‘ageing tsunami’ to ‘opportunities’ – with the elderly still being encouraged to contribute to the economy. 

Fig 6. Elderly woman working at a market stall (China Town wet markets)

Overall, this immersion program has exposed me to a new form of ‘learning’ – one that is not achievable within the classroom or an industry placement. Being able to immerse myself within the Singaporean culture has deepened and refined my perceptions of Singapore as a context, and I would encourage all future Business School students to consider applying for a New Colombo Plan Program in order to experience a truly unique and immersive learning opportunity.

Allan Yip 
Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies)

12 January 2018

Foresighted father; a cornerstone of modern Singapore

To reflect on the experiences that the New Colombo Plan Singapore Immersion Program 2017 coordinated by Dr Jeaney Yip, has offered, a striking quote sits at the forefront of my mind. As Marcus Garvey stated, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” (Afrobella, 2009), of which I have witnessed history and culture to be preserved and deeply entrenched in modern Singapore’s people, policies and place.

Prior to arriving in country, my preconceptions of Singapore were superficial. Singapore is a young country, and so I had not anticipated the cultural diversity and rich history that has moulded society today. Upon arrival, my first observation was the greenery, and soon after it was brought to my attention that the tropical gardens and urban landscaping that we see today is a product of Lee Kwan Yew’s foresighted policy implementation.

Lee Kwan Yew may have envisioned Singapore as a garden city (The Straits Times, 1967), however, today Singapore stands to be a city built within a garden. This is illustrated by figure 1., a photograph of the strategically placed greenery in Singapore’s urban neighbourhoods. The plants and green landscaping serves as both an aesthetic element to Singapore’s landscape as well as a mechanism to reduce the temperature and humidity of the local climate.

Mr Lee was a pragmatic leader, one that was instrumental in ensuring
infrastructure, technology, land and public transport were efficiently allocated to support Singapore’s rapid urbanisation (Kwek & Hung, 2017), and establish a nation that is self-sufficient, and a trade partner that is globally competitive and influential in ASEAN initiatives. This made me reflect on the significant influence that political leaders and their ambitions can have on a country, and the vital role that politicians have in shaping the future of a nation for the better.

Political leaders such as Lee Kwan Yew demonstrated integrity, accountability and charisma to inspire the young, mature and old citizens of Singapore, and continues to do so today as is observed in the tone of our tour guide. Perhaps the most significant influence that Mr Lee has had on the young people of Singapore is in the educational legacy that he leaves behind (Milne & Mauzy, 1990).

The policies that Mr Lee laid down promotes racial harmony and cultural diversity as a central part of the school curriculum, requiring students to learn both English and their mother tongue. Whilst learning Malay at the National University of Singapore (NUS), a quote by one of the lecturers continues to resonate with me until today, it is that cultural tolerance is not the same as cultural harmony, and whilst at the surface I had initially thought otherwise, I soon came to realise how different the two were. As reported by Dialectic Singapore 2016, 43% of Singaporean’s state that they are racially tolerant, whereas 57% indicated that Singaporean’s have achieved racial harmony. Cultural tolerance refers to bearing a different culture without understanding, whereas, cultural harmony refers to accepting and understanding individuals from different cultural backgrounds (Dialectic Singapore, 2016). To me, cultural harmony forms a stronger community, which sets an example for both the children and elderly of Singapore. I mention elderly in this context, as they may have been raised in an age where cultural diversity was not celebrated and racial harmony was unheard of. From this experience I have learnt first-hand the power of uniting people from different cultures and demographics to inspire change, and foster a vibrant city that drives global economic development.

Furthermore, through the series of cultural lectures at NUS I have observed a clear disparity between the way Singaporean’s and Australian’s refer to “race”. In Australia, “race” is not commonly used due to the associated negative connotations, and instead is replaced by “cultural background”. Whereas in Singapore “race” is commonly referenced and promoted by the Singaporean government to preserve the historical cultural roots of Singaporean families today. Singapore adopts the cultural mosaic framework, which refers to the recognition and celebration of different cultures as individual aspects of Singapore’s overall identity (Giam, 2009). Upon reflection, I have noticed that the cultural mosaic framework exists not only as a racial label on citizen identification cards, but also permeates into the observed urban infrastructure. Figure 2. Illustrates the pastel colour schemes favoured by the Peranakan’s. The Peranakan’s seamlessly fused Malay and Chinese cultural practices with aspects of European living, and is demonstrated in the exterior of their homes. The decorated columns and shuttered windows reflect British influences, whereas the accents of calligraphy and foo dogs were inspired by Chinese culture.

However, it was interesting to note that by recognising the many races and ethnicities in Singapore, it became apparent that individuals from similar cultural backgrounds congregated, to the extent that social segregation becomes apparent. 

Overall, the NCP program has been an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience. As a business student my key take away from this experience has been to think fast and flexibly, whilst respecting local cultures. As globalisation continues to expand with improving information and communications technology, this program has both inspired and motivated me to learn and respect the cultural ways of the world to better understand Australia’s trading partners.

Jenny Liu 
Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science student

Reference list
Afrobella. (2009). Remembering old Marcus Garvey. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from http://www.afrobella.com/2009/08/17/remembering-old-marcus-garvey/
Dialectic Singapore. (2016). Has Singapore achieved racial tolerance or harmony. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from http://www.dialectic.sg/discuss/has-singapore-achieved-racial-tolerance-or-harmony
Giam, G. (2009). Singapore: multiculturalism or the melting pot?. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from http://geraldgiam.sg/2009/07/singapore-multiculturalism-or-melting-pot/
Kwek, D., & Hung, D. (2017). Making a common future: Lee Kuan Yew’s values for the 21st century. Lee Kuan Yew’s Educational Legacy, 1, 141-159.
Milne, R., & Mauzy, D. (1990). The legacy of Lee Kuan Yew. Westview Pr.
S’pore to become beautiful, clean city within three years. (1967, May 12). The Straits Times, p. 4. 

7 December 2017

Getting Job Smart

Three students have been awarded 12 week summer internships through the Business School’s Job Smart program. 

Job Smart is a free extracurricular program available for postgraduate Business School students, designed to assist participants in developing work-relevant skills during their studies. Completing one phase per semester, students build up a portfolio of work-relevant experiences by engaging in networking activities and attending professional coaching sessions.

We caught up with two of the recipients, Marilyn Yang and Xu Li, to find out more about their Job Smart experience, and what they are looking forward to when they start their internship with the accounting department at Hilton Hotels.

How did you first hear about the program and why did you decide to participate?
Xu: I remember seeing Job Smart for the first time after receiving the Semester 2 Orientation email from the Business School. After arriving in Sydney we got a brief introduction session about the Job Smart program during Orientation week.

I saw the program as a good opportunity for me to develop employability skills that are not necessarily focused on in my course, but are crucial for every graduate to find a job.

What has been the most valuable part of the Job Smart program?
Marilyn: The most valuable part of Job Smart program is the well-designed activities, prizes and the genuine purpose of helping students. I’ve had the opportunity to undertake some volunteer work, Global Scope Project and now an internship.

The soft skills I have developed, such as time management, communication and teamwork skills, mean a lot to me. I have found a sense of fulfillment as I’ve made improvements and achievements throughout the program, which is a great encouragement for me.

What do you hope to gain from the internship you were awarded?
Marilyn: I hope I can accumulate practical experience and keep pace with the new trend in the accounting world. Developing employability, perceiving Australian workplace culture and building up confidence are also important to me.

Xu: I hope to gain related working experience, develop my interpersonal and other soft skills, and know Australian organisation culture.

How do you think this experience will enhance your future career?
Xu: The internship experiences along with other skills I have developed will equip me with more potential in my future career.

Marilyn: To me, this is the starting point of my accounting career. No matter what kind of job I end up in, this experience will help me identify which accounting field I want to explore further and the soft skills trained in the internship will apply to my future life.

5 December 2017

7 Must Read Business Books of 2017

Do you need a little light reading over the summer? We’ve got you covered with a curated list of the top business books to read, with a little help from the likes of Business Insider’s recommended, McKinsey’s finalists and the Financial Times’ Best books of 2017: Business. There’s a little bit of everything here to peak your curiosity – big data and AI, Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market, and one of the greatest scams to hit Wall Street since the GFC. 

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone 

By Brain Merchant 
Merchant delves into the history of the device that has transformed the way people interact with technology and each other. It examines the cultural impact of the iPhone and the developments and breakthroughs in the manufacturing process.

"'The One Device' is a road map for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything," the Financial Times says.

The Captain Class: The Hidden Force that Creates the World’s Greatest Teams 

By Sam Walker 
Deputy editor for enterprise at WSJ and former sports columnist, Walker developed a process to determine the 16 greatest professional sports dynasties from around the world from the last century. An in-depth analysis of each influential captain was conducted to identify the commonalities – to identify what it takes to be an elite leader in any field.

"This wonderfully written and wildly entertaining study of the most winning sports teams in history has more to say about leadership, engagement, and the chemistry that sparks and sustains extraordinary achievement than a decade's worth of leadership books," says Strategy + Business reviewer Sally Helgesen.

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future 

By Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson 
The authors from MIT's Sloan School of Management explain how businesses can best use artificial intelligence and crowd wisdom and how leaders should manage amid these massive technological changes.

"Beneath all the concrete problems it raises, an intriguing question lies at the heart of the book: Given the rise of algorithmic decision making, the ability to outsource tasks to the crowd, and such technologies as blockchain, will the corporation as we know it become obsolete?" writes Strategy + Business reviewer James Surowiecki.

The Spider Network 

By David Enrich 
Here’s the inside scoop into the Libor scandal, the deliberate manipulation of the key banking interest rates, and its spectacular demise.

"'The Spider Network' is the almost-unbelievable and darkly entertaining inside account of the Libor scandal – one of history's biggest, farthest-reaching scams to hit Wall Street since the global financial crisis, written by the only journalist with access to Tom Hayes before he was imprisoned for 14 years," the Financial Times says of its top pick.

Everybody Lies 

By Seth Stephens-Davidowitz 
Harvard-trained economist and former Google data scientist, Stephens-Davidowitz explores the myriad uses of big data and the Internet, and how the very definition of ‘data’ is constantly expanding. Sometimes the new data will deeply disturb you.

"Freakonomics on steroids – this book shows how big data can give us surprising new answers to important and interesting questions. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz brings data analysis alive in a crisp, witty manner, providing a terrific introduction to how big data is shaping social science." writes Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics at Stanford University.

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change 

By Ellen Pao 
This is Pao’s story of suing Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for discrimination and a culture of bias. Despite losing the suit, the litigation brought attention to the overwhelmingly white, male culture of Silicon Valley.

"Ellen K. Pao's Reset is a rallying cry – the story of a whistleblower who aims to empower everyone struggling to be heard, in Silicon Valley and beyond," the Financial Times says of its selection.

The Great Leveler 

By Walter Scheidel
Stanford historian, Schediel attempts to trace the history of income inequality throughout the entirety of man’s existence. He argues that the only effective means of closing vast income gaps has been through violent movements.

"Mr. Scheidel's depressing view is bound to upset [those] who quite naturally might prefer to live in a world in which events might move political and social systems to figure out a more equitable way to distribute the fruits of growth without the plague, the guillotine or state collapse."--Eduardo Porter, New York Times

Written by Cindy Ngo.
Current Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Sydney Business School.

20 November 2017

My Master of Professional Accounting experience

Name: Siyi Lu (Christina)
Degree and Major: Master of Professional Accounting (MPA)

Why you choose master of professional accounting?
This is my last semester. Studying master of professional accounting is one of the best decisions I’ve made. It has changed my life and my thinking. Interestingly, studying MPA was not in my plans before I came to Australia. I did not perform well in my fundamental accounting unit in my undergraduate, and this held me back from choosing to study accounting. But luckily, a few days before the course application deadline, a friend I met in Sydney told me ‘You can do it.' After my friend’s encouraging words, I changed to MPA. Thinking back, I knew I wanted to challenge myself and I knew I couldn’t let my past experiences stop me from pursuing this new and exciting opportunity.

In my first semester, I worked very hard - I completed the self-study questions, attended the workshops, PASS sessions and consultation. I recommend you attend consultations, the lecturers and tutors were very helpful and took the effort to explain the problems until I fully understood. The more consultations I went to, the more interesting I found learning the content. I am thankful to my lecturers and tutors who fueled my interest in learning the MPA units. I also helped my peers to answer accounting questions which boosted my confidence and gave me the motivation to study harder.

What do you learn in this journey?
Critical thinking skills. Before beginning this degree, I tended to follow other people’s opinion instead of voicing my own. I remember my lecturer telling me ‘You have to have your own opinion.’ Most of my essay assignments required critical thinking to evaluate the impact of different accounting policies. Although it was challenging it was interesting because I had to think critically whether the accounting treatment represented a true and fair view in the financials. Now, when I read a news-piece, I naturally start to analyze the content and ask myself ‘what is my opinion?’

What campus life and study advice do you give master of professional accounting students?
1. Don’t forget to give back to the community and use the university resources

Helping others makes me happy. I love volunteering. I joined the university’s V-team and helped out with USU’s amazing programs which developed my leadership, teamwork and communication skills. The Lucy Mentoring, Business Alumni Mentoring and Industry Placement Program, open to postgraduate students, would aid your professional development. I recommend your regularly check CEO’s announcement and Student News to avoid missing any important events. The MPA is only 2 years so it’s important you make good use of the university’s resources.

2. Attend networking events to build your professional profile.

Learning in the classroom is not enough. What is important is knowing how to apply what you’ve learnt in the classroom in a workplace setting. I attended many professional networking events such as EY Future Female Leader Breakfast, International Women’s Day Breakfast, ‘Be...an Auditor’ workshop presented by KPMG. By talking to professionals in the accounting industry it gave me a better understanding and insight into what I wanted my accounting career pathway to look like.

3. Make a to-do list.

A daily to-do list helped me to manage my workload when I had multiple assignments due within a week. It also ensured I had time to continue to participate in extra-curricular activities may it be volunteering or attending professional networking events.

4. Plan your final exam revision early.

I begin my final exam 2 weeks to 3 weeks prior to stuvac. By reviewing content I’ve learnt earlier in the semester meant I still get enough sleep and maintain a healthy lifestyle when exams come around. I recommend you attend consultation prior to stuvac so you have sufficient time to ask your lecturers and tutors any questions you have.

5. Participate in class discussion actively.

To be an active learner is very rewarding. I love participating in the class discussions. Why? Discussing questions with lecturers, tutors, and peers is an opportunity to practice my English and build on my critical thinking and communication skills. I find the more I participate in class discussions, the better I understand the content and so the better I perform in that unit.

Lucy Mentoring Program experience

Name: Siyi Lu (Christina)
Degree: Master of Professional Accounting (MPA)
Placement: HLB Mann Judd

Why did you choose the Lucy mentoring program?

Before I came to Australia, I did research about opportunities on the Business School’s website and found the Lucy Mentoring Program! I told myself “I must join this program”. As an international student, without permanent residency (PR), I realised it could be an obstacle to securing an internship. The Lucy Program not only provided a professional networking opportunity but work-based experience in Australia.

What sort of work-based experience did you undertake during the program?

My work-based experience was fantastic. I worked in HLB Mann Judd, an accounting firm in Sydney. I gained work experience in Tax, Audit and Corporate Advisory. I am grateful I had this opportunity as having just completed my Taxation and Auditing units, I was then able to apply this knowledge and gain industry experience.

I worked with the Corporate Advisory team, where I helped them interpret Chinese financial statement and related documents. I realised as an international student, that being bilingual adds value to the firm. I also helped with research and analysis on merger and acquisition, an area I hadn’t thought about previously.

In the audit team, I helped to conduct audit planning using auditing software. Also, I had a chance to visit clients and undertake substantive testing. I applied what I learnt from the auditor training session with my accounting knowledge to generate the annual report.

In the tax team, I helped with researching the employee share scheme and presented my findings to my tax partner. I also attended an individual tax return training session.

On top of the work, the firm had many interesting activities happening. I attended the audit pre-busy party, netball competition, and morning tea session. It was a great opportunity to immerse myself in the Australian work environment.

What challenges did you face in the program?
The challenge was that I wanted to undertake greater responsibilities and tasks but at this point in time I lacked the experience and skills to do so. From this program, I decided the next step of my career development would be to gain the Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification. In the first few days of the work-based experience I asked myself “how do I grow and develop my work relationships and adjust my work ethics to fit with the firm’s culture?” I decided that if I continued to be friendly, be eager and willing to help, listen to instructions carefully and ask questions, that I would be fine.

What did you learn from the Lucy mentoring program?
I am so grateful that Mariana is my mentor. Mariana is a great leader and is always very energetic. She took me to the NSW Tax Institution and shared her experience when she chaired the board meeting. Mariana has worked in HLB for 17 years and has volunteered in the tax institution for nearly 10 years. What inspired me is not just her ability to contribute to her firm but her willingness to give back to the community. Mariana taught me to never stop learning and how important this is in career development. Mariana inspires me to continue to learn and grow my knowledge.

I was lucky to join mysoundingboard, a program of HLB, which empowers business women. I followed these business women in LinkedIn, and came across a post about a woman who works in trademarking and was helping an African refugee to launch her startup - one of the members of mysoundingboard replied to her post “If you need any help, just tell us”. To see people use their expertise to help those in need, instantly gave me a smile.

This is my last semester, I am curious to see what my career will look like. I need to get my CA and want to learn more from this qualification. I know I’ll face obstacles but that’s okay because it’s all a part of the learning process. What is more important is that I have a positive mindset and find ways to overcome failures. Before this opportunity comes, I must prepare well. I hope in the future that I am able to use my experiences to mentor and empower women to pursue their career goals.

What advice do you give students who want to apply for Lucy mentoring program?
1. Take note of the application deadline and mark it in your calendar.

2. Do an action plan. I checked the Lucy Program a semester before applications opened and formed a set of action points. For the program I needed a credit average or above, demonstrate leadership potential and effective communication skills. So, I attended on-campus volunteer activities and took on leadership roles voluntarily in group assignments and events.

3. Help others in the work-based activities. By helping others, I gained support from my colleague. I had a chance to have a meal with the audit manager who has worked as an auditor for 10 years. It was great to talk to professionals because it gave me direction of what my next step is and how to best present myself in a professional setting.

13 November 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 running to win Best Student Startup in the Startcon Australasian Startup Awards. Please help us improve student living by voting for us here (voting closes November 17, 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