5 August 2011

Making a Difference

While it might sound slightly unusual, one of the key aims of the University of Sydney Business School is to ensure that not all graduates finish up with the desire to work for huge multinational corporations.

Granted, these can be extremely enjoyable and rewarding places in which to develop a career. However, we also want to strongly encourage our students to consider an active involvement in other fields, whether social entrepreneurship, the creative industries, micro-enterprise or corporate enterprise. Social entrepreneurship is a key focus of our Innovation and Enterprise Program. Our RARE (Remote and Rural Enterprise) program is a classic case in point. Launched in January this year, this initiative allows participating students from numerous faculties to broaden their experience by traveling to remote rural Australian communities and applying their expertise to various projects.

I’m happy to report that we’ve just had our first three students return from the initial RARE experience, with the participating representatives (one from architecture and two from business) involved in the development of an aquaponics venture, a cultural village and a housing project near Alice Springs. Far more than just a simple nine to five affair, the project maintains a strong emphasis on relationship-building and providing students with first-hand experience of the issues and challenges that face remote communities.

While we now have projects operating across Australia, including rural as well as Indigenous activity, we’re also looking to expand the number of projects and enterprises in which we’re involved. Just as importantly, we’re also looking for students who might want to participate in RARE experiences that are scheduled to take place in September and January. It’s something I would encourage all students to consider, as the benefits to all involved can be profound and even life-changing.

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