Interview with an international business student


Columbian student, Laura Tello is completing a master of international business at Griffith University in Australia.

Why I chose to study the Master of International Business

I heard about the Master of International Business programme from my university in Colombia, the Universidad Sergio Arboleda. I had been studying a Bachelor of Finance and Foreign Trade, as I really like finance and economics, but then I visited our international relations office and discovered that we had an alliance with Griffith University. This agreement between our universities offers students like myself credit for our prior studies towards completion of a bachelor's and a 1 year master's degree studied at Griffith in Australia. 

I was also attracted by the opportunity to study in an English speaking country so that I could become proficient in a second language. So, I started the paperwork and it was really very quick and I found the admissions staff very helpful and they provided a lot of good information to help along the way. 

What I like most about Australia

Mostly, I like being independent and responsible for myself. I enjoy the student life here and the opportunity to work part-time to save money for travel during the vacations. I did a lot of research on where to go and what to see so that I would not feel lost when I arrived.  

I have found the people over here are very helpful and are open to meeting and learning from other cultures. And barbequing is really popular and I really like having barbeques. They are such a great way to catch up with friends.

I like getting involved with clubs and activities on campus, which is the best way to meet other students from different countries and areas of study here at Griffith. 

It has been interesting for me to learn about the local indigenous culture and the many different locations and climates that Australia has to offer. So far I have visited Sydney, Barrier Reef, Stradbroke Island, Tasmania and will soon visit Melbourne.

What are the best features about the International Business programme?

The best things about my program were courses like Human Resources, Cross-Cultural Management, International Marketing and International Negotiation. The networking opportunities have been very valuable, especially how we learn form one another when doing group work in classes. We have a very international and multicultural classroom as well as campus life.

I like the way the program is structured as the content is very current and you realise that you are doing something useful. We even had the opportunity to create and pitch new projects for companies such as Siemens in their work place. 

One of my favourite courses was an elective course we did on Case Studies in Foreign Policy Decision Making. It was fun to be regularly engaging in discussions and arguments on different contemporary issues. 

I have found the workload challenging at times, but an important part of study is learning to perform under pressure, so I have enjoyed the experience it has given me.

My favourite things about Griffith

There are so many student clubs at Griffith providing sports and cultural events. In particular I have joined the Griffith University Latin American Club (GULAC), which gave us the opportunity to do fundraising, invite new members, create new initiatives such as market days to raise money and mostly to connect with others.

I also joined the United Nations Students Association, where we get the opportunity to speak about contemporary issues, negotiate and debate with one another. 

I was a member of the GI Mates peer support program, which supports new international students on arrival and the Student Linx program, which runs social events, and language exchanges with local students during the semester.

When I am not studying I like to…

Travel, but I also enjoy working part time in a cafe in order to save towards the travel that I can do during the breaks and after I graduate. 

Hanging out with the friends I have met and live with in Australia. 

Where I expect to be in 5 - 10 years time

My goal is to be working in Logistics, which should be an area with big opportunities in South America in coming years. I will be applying for internships to build experience and mostly in South East Asia where I can build relationships that will be helpful to Columbia. 

So, within 5 years I expect to be working in a multi-national company doing export and import and in ten years, I hope to have the capital and networks to start a company.