28 November 2012

Why The Chance To Make A Difference Is Anything But RARE

A landmark phase during my post-graduate program was the Business School’s Social Enterprise Unit which added an invaluable dimension to my international business degree.It all started in March this year when I decided to resign from my role as a PR consultant, commit to full-time study, and sign up for the type of hands-on experience that the unit’s RARE program is all about.

My first project was in Ceduna, where I worked with the local community to develop a business plan for a Youth Hub that aimed to help the town’s large proportion of disenfranchised youth by providing the support and counseling required to help them re-engage with community life. This was followed by an incredible two-week trip working in Broken Hill, where I was part of a 40-strong business and architecture student team charged with the task of planning businesses in a new precinct being considered in a dilapidated area of the town. Most recently, I travelled to Darwin to work with an established but financially struggling business that needed assistance with a major turn-around.

Each RARE project has not only given me the chance to exert a much-needed positive influence on remote communities, but has also provided an environment where I could put my theoretical learnings to use and test my abilities as a social enterprise advisor. With each project presenting such unique challenges and opportunities, I have learned about the importance of adapting my skills and knowledge to suit different circumstances.

As for the impact these experiences will have on my future direction, well, this is a really big thing for me. I was already at the stage of needing a career with a little bit more, and RARE has opened my eyes to the fact that there’s a lot of challenging, rewarding work out there that I could do and really enjoy. The RARE projects have been a pleasant reminder that I don’t have to be a slave to the traditional career path or mindset – the world is full of exciting opportunities just waiting for me to explore. If any potential employers out there have any ideas, check out my LinkedIn profile at here.

Author: Brittany RoperMaster of International Business, University of Sydney Business School.

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