Bundy students praise chance to learn from key business leaders

Published:07 August 2018

TOP: CQUni School of Business and Law students and the trio of visiting speakers. From left, Matt Pozzebon, Erin Bargenquast, Failelei Fokilelei, Emily Smith, Rhys Scott, Michael Waters (Partner, MRH Lawyers), Janelle Gerry (Director Farm Fresh Fine Foods and Macadamias Australia), Martin Barrett (Managing Director, Auswide Bank), Caitlin Turnbull, Brooke Dunn, Shanaya Green, Lillian Mccracken and Ryan Paul. BELOW: Business leaders face up to their audience.

CQUniversity Bundaberg students have praised the chance to liaise directly with their region’s pre-eminent business leaders during a recent forum.

The Bundaberg Business Leaders Forum on Thursday 2 August featured presentations from Janelle Gerry, Director, Macadamias Australia & Farmfresh Fine Foods; Martin Barrett, Managing Director, Auswide Bank; and Michael Waters, Partner, MRH Lawyers.

Accounting and Business student Failelei Fokilelei said she was initially daunted about networking with the visiting business leaders but it was an essential opportunity,

“Networking events are something that is out of my comfort zone but as a business student it is one of the essential skills we need to perfect,” Ms Fokilelei says.

“Something that Martin Barrett emphasised during the event was the need to be prepared for a lot of rejections, but it doesn’t mean that we give up. Just pick yourself up and try again.”

Business/Accounting student Emily Smith says that hearing about the attributes that the current business leaders of Bundaberg were looking for in their organisations, “has allowed me to analyse my skills and hopefully develop them, in order to become a more valuable member of the business community in the future”.

And Business student Erin Bargenquast says the forum was an amazing experience.

“To network with Bundaberg’s business leaders and hear their thoughts, challenges and triumphs of operating successful businesses in the current market will assist with my future development,” Erin says.

CQUniversity Business & Law Lecturer Tim Whan says the featured business leaders use worldwide and globalised thinking to solve often intractable business problems in the region.

“Forum participants gained an understanding of what it is like to run an ASX-listed bank, to be the director of one of Australia’s premium product suppliers to the global food market, or to protect and grow the powerful reputation of a law firm that has been in business for over 100 years,” he says.

Mr Whan says the featured speakers and their organisations have collectively given over $60 000 in scholarship funding to Bundaberg students over the past three years.