Each week I join the Your Money panel for a segment called Taking Stock, where we discuss the trending money news of the day.
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I’m a firm believer that higher education is incredibly important – especially for those wanting to run their own show. I did a bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Melbourne, and at the time I didn’t know I was learning so much. You see it’s not just the education that’s important, but the people you meet along the way. The ability to get ahead and achieve what you set out to is very much connected to the networks you develop. I continue to learn every day, and education continues to evolve; that’s why institutions and courses must stay relevant.
There isn’t one size fits all. I reflect on my time at university when we were required to work in groups on certain projects, and I hated it. I just wanted to get in and get the work done myself. But what it did teach me is how to work with others – and specifically, people I may not have chosen to work with in the first instance. I found it incredibly challenging and frustrating at the time, but it taught me how to get along with people I didn’t know; and that is a vital skill in business – relationships. When you’re in startup you need to be able to attract people who have different skills and different strengths and put them together to create a result.
I was honoured when many years after my degree the University of Melbourne asked me to join the board. Reason being, 60 percent of undergraduates in the program want to run their own business – and as a proud voice and advcate on behalf of thousands of small business owners, I was honoured to take up the invitation. On the board they had bankers and lawyers and accountants – but they had a need to show students the way forward when it comes to running businesses, alongside the fundamental shifts and changes to come as the nature and notion of work changes. The future of work is very different than the work we sit in today, and as such we need to be nimble and agile – and our education institutions must reflect this. We must educate for the workplaces of tomorrow. Life is a lesson, it is our curiosity that allows us to become the best version of ourselves.
There are many ways of getting ahead – and money doesn’t equal happiness. You have to live to your purpose; and to get there you must be curious and interested. How you can bring your best talents to the good of the community or others? That’s where purpose lives. I do a lot of work in schools and universities, and these places build the foundation and provide the fundamentals. But how do you apply that to something worthy of your gifts? It’s a long life, so choose something that makes you feel proud, allows you to contribute and makes the world a better place.