Many students will use the upcoming winter school holidays to kick back and relax. Others will fly to the US, work alongside the world’s biggest businesses and meet with top political leaders. Here’s how they’re doing it. As schools and universities look for new ways to better prepare the next generation of leaders, innovators and workers, one university is betting that students will learn best by doing.
The University of Sydney Business School has launched a new program to give undergraduate students real-world entrepreneurial skills in the US. The US Future of Business Study Tour was designed in collaboration with Sydney-based FD Global Connections, which helps Australian companies launch in the US, and aims to foster greater collaboration between businesses, education and government.
This first-of-its-kind program will take place over winter break. Working from New York University Stern School of Business in New York City as well as Georgetown University in Washington DC, participants will learn directly from business, startup and government leaders including Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. They’ll also participate in workshops, site visits, pitch nights and networking events including a Q&A session with Ambassador of Australia to the US Joe Hockey.
Organisers say the program is designed to generate greater collaboration between business, higher education and government. The recent, ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ report by PwC found that Australian businesses were suffering from a ‘collaboration deficit’. Only 7.7% of local businesses collaborated with international firms to innovate products and or processes. Worse, the report found that Australia ranked second to last among OECD countries in collaboration between businesses and higher education or government institutions on innovative projects.
Trena Blair, Founder and CEO of FD Global Connections says it’s time for Australia to start improving its marks.
“Innovation does not happen in isolation. We must foster stronger collaboration between Australia’s business and startup community and our universities and government organisations in order to prepare the next generation of top entrepreneurs for a global future and an increasingly competitive business environment.”
“Australia is already falling behind in collaboration which could see us slip further down the innovation ranks. This program presents an opportunity for young business students to gain valuable cross-cultural experience and to better understand global markets and cultures,” added Ms Blair.
More than a dozen students are expected to participate in the inaugural program. University leaders say the program will build students’ inventiveness, problem solving, resilience and cultural competency skills.
“The US Future of Business Study Tour will give students a valuable understanding of innovation and the US market and we’ve already seen a great response from the students who are eager to take part,” says Professor Rae Cooper, Associate Dean, Programs, The University of Sydney Business School.
“If Australian businesses collaborated to the level of the five best collaborating OECD nations, it would inject $23.5 billion to GDP over the next 10 years. This program is just one way that we can continue to strengthen the ties between business, higher education and government to the benefit of students and the Australian economy as a whole,” added Professor Cooper.
The program is only open to students from The University of Sydney Business School.
More details about the program are available at:http://sydney.edu.au/