By Dr Thommy Arena, current student of the University of Sydney Business School MBA program
It’s always easier to join the dots when you reflect back on a journey. Our PwC Case for Change experience was a gradually unfolding success, sustained by our team’s collaborative spirit and our shared commitment to prepare a valuable set of solutions to future-proof Tranby Aboriginal College.
Key learnings from our MBA program, and particularly the rigorous group-work, were pivotal in the formation of our team and our belief that we could achieve this task. Good leadership is about clearly identifying our own strengths and unique currencies. Great leadership is the awareness of our own gaps; then it becomes the mutual identification of colleagues who can add their complementary expertise to maximise effectiveness. My team mates Willis Gray, Jessica Hughes, Christopher Murphy and I were already endowed with the knowledge that our diversity of expertise was a valuable asset to apply to our common charitable interest in the welfare of Tranby.
Meeting the dedicated staff and students of Tranby unfolded into an invaluable exchange. With our preliminary report in-hand, their executive team warmly welcomed us as highly regarded confederates. Their students generously shared the cultural distinctiveness of their personal stories which helped uncover the millimetre differences that result in successful graduates. We gradually learnt that Tranby’s greatest assets were their outstanding students and their preservation of indigenous traditions.
Here I’d like to acknowledge and thank our staff and classmates for their support and peer-feedback as we prepared for the final presentation. On the night, we compared notes with other highly impressive teams but remained quietly confident. By this time, our personal areas of expertise were matured, our content had been rigorously distilled and we were set to deliver a four-person presentation with seamless transition. Our aim was to produce the most valuable set of mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive recommendations.
In their feedback, the judges acknowledged each team’s vigorous commitment to meet the specific expectations set by PwC while also presenting professional solutions to the Tranby Executive. In the final analysis, we delivered a robust roadmap to promote student success stories, form strategic partnerships and achieve financial stability. When stacked-up together, the resulting compilation of diverse strengths enabled our team to reach the fruit on the highest branches.
I’m extremely proud to have been part of such a diverse foursome that were successful at harmoniously maximising our combined effectiveness to help others to succeed. When you join the dots of our achievement in this prestigious consulting competition, you will see the underlying principles of our MBA, which have equipped us with the skills to administer our learning into practice.