Article contributed by Marta Kucmierz, Class of 2019.
I was chosen to be a part of 6th MBA World Summit, organized by German company called QX Quarterly. This year MBA World Summit took place in Sydney and was co- hosed by the Australian Graduate School of Management at University of New South Wales- the continent’s top institution which actively contributes to its thriving economy. Previous summits took place in Hong Kong, Barcelona, Miami, Barcelona and Cape Town.
Selection process: First stage: CV submission and short answer to two questions. Second stage: 1-minute video submission on how Why should someone look forward to having YOU as their boss or leader?
Out of over 2000 applications, 100 most inspiring personalities from the worldwide leading business school were chosen for the program.
I had an amazing time at the summit. It offered more than I expected. The diversity of students was great: almost every one of them studied MBA abroad. Students came from top business schools including MIT, LBS, NUS, INSEAD, MC GILL, OXFORD, IE, etc. Everyone had a great story and was a high performer, so interaction was very inspiring. There were also local students from AGSM, so it was a great chance to make an Australian network. I met some great people and with some I will definitely stay in touch (some have already given me advices on job search and student exchange). A few of alumni actually found a job (at Henkel) or internship (at BASF) through summit network or the organizer.
One of the best parts of the summit was Summit Laboratory Sessions. We could pick 5 out of 20 to participate in. I took part in the following: “Rethinking money for a fairer economy”, “10 horror stories in the service industry”, “Exploring cross cultural management”, “Solving for the AHA moment”, “Redefining good business”. I particularly enjoyed the customer horror stories because it came from the speakers’ own entrepreneurship experience and the session was engaging (we had to introduce ourselves, describe our customer stories and work in group to find a better solution). Rethinking money was also very interesting because it was on topic that was gaining more importance in business world, that is social impact. The speaker was an entrepreneur himself and he was talking about his own insights. All the speakers were very professional, and it was impressive to see them presenting with so much confidence in front of a demanding audience.
There were also very interesting speeches given by local entrepreneurs (businesses engaging aboriginal communities) and leaders (former CEO of Facebook in Asia Pacific, founder of Sinorbis, CEO od Wise Tech). We also had a short case study session for one of the startups incubated at UNSW Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, called project Everest Ventures. It was a great chance to cooperate with other students.
Topics that were dominating in this summit were: social impact, social entrepreneurship, social investment, industry 4.0, job up skilling, tech, AI, age if Asia.
I think summit was well organized. We were given quite a high degree of independence and there was no compulsory attendance in any events. The organizers recognized that we were professionals and there was no necessity for supervision. That meant we had to organize our own transport to venues (Uber or walk- I think it will depend on the country the summit is in) and airport. The organizer set up the what’s app group before the event, so we could start interacting and making arrangements in advance. The event venues were outstanding: welcome reception at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, university conference rooms and farewell on a Harbour Bay cruise.
I also think that organizer wanted us to get cosy with each other because they arranged not only shared rooms, but also shared beds for participants! It definitely worked as we bonded well! Haha We also had a great time enjoying campus and Sydney nightlife.
Tips for future applicants:
You should invest time into creating the video. I think just a simple self-filmed with a very generic answer will not make you qualify. Try to think of something creative in terms of content or format. Maybe go out to a city and film it in front of Singapore landmark, engage your classmates or show what you are passionate about. If you have multinational experience, underline it as this is what the organizers look for.
As for the summit itself, if you have an interesting topic to share (either your area of interest from MBA curriculum that I research more deeply, start up or business you are working on, interesting past work experience), apply for SLS( there is also a voting for the best speaker so worth putting effort into). Of course, it should be related to business, but it doesn’t have to be just business: you could talk about time management or integrating sports into busy professional life (that was the topic I applied for, but I was too late- spots were already filled out). Giving a talk will give you greater exposure and it is a great practice for future business presentations. I think the best sessions were the ones that engaged others (as mentioned above).
Next MBA World Summit will take part in Frankfurt in March 2020. I highly encourage everyone to apply, especially that this is a home turf of the organizer so the summit should be even richer in content and you could benefit from some great networking (there should be more companies and sponsors involved and he venue is supposed to be very nice). Also, once you qualify, you are allowed to take part in the summit for life, so it’s a great source of new networks. Many of the students from this batch said that they would join, and I am also considering to. The company also offers yearly paid membership which allows to join to all of their global networking events.