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Of Kangaroos and Vegemite Sandwiches

Posted by Matthew on 01 March 2009

Well, it has been a while since I have posted on this blog.  Hope you all missed me.  You might have been wondering if I was so busy because of my rigorous academic schedule (maybe my Mom)...  Well, no.  I decided to spend this term studying abroad in Sydney, Australia.  And it has been well worth it.


I spent the final months in London vigorously preparing and studying for my new adventure.  I watched the Mad Max films and Australia; reviewed Patrick White, and researched recipes for kangaroo.  When I was finally ready, I started my 22 hour voyage to the land down under.  I decided not to live with any other students as I wanted to immerse myself in Aussie culture as much as possible.  So I found an apartment on the beach (literally on the BEACH) and began what has been 6 of the best weeks of my MBA so far.  I spend my days swimming and snorkeling, the sort of general malaise that students possess and the employed lament.  I have also been traveling heavily.

By the time I leave Australia in early April, I will have seen the Australian Open, boated on the rivers in the South Island of New Zealand, flown over Milford Sound, scuba dived at the Great Barrier Reef, hiked through the Daintree Rainforest, driven along the Great Ocean Road, eaten at Tetsuya's restaurant (9th best restaurant in the world according to the 2008 List of World's Best Restaurants), camped at Ayer's Rock, cuddled koalas, hopped with kangaroos, swum with dolphins, and cooked some shrimp on the barbie (numerous times).  So, as you can tell, it has been pretty busy.  Oh, and I also fit a week long diving extravaganza in the Maldives.

And I think I might have also been to a couple of classes on International Business Strategy, New Product Development, and Corporate Governance.  For anyone thinking about studying abroad in the future, Sydney Australia at the Australian School of Business AGSM MBA Program is highly recommended.  Escaping winter in London and the United States is a huge plus, but the students and people here are extremely friendly -- quick to chat over a schooner and show you their wonderful country.  And it also further reinforces that there is only a certain amount of education that occurs in the classroom.  Sometimes, you just need to get out on the beach with friends and enjoy life and travel.

I will be getting back in April to London, but I will not take any more classes.  I will prepare for my future career in banking by once again traveling as much as possible - planned trips to New York, California, India, Barcelona, Paris, Kyoto/Tokyo, a safari in Kenya, and diving in Zanzibar.  So, I highly recommend doing a study abroad while you are at business school.  London Business School encourages it more than any other business school I know and for good reason.  The networks created abroad and the ability to be taught by a different school's faculty and points of view along with the ability to experience more of the world will inevitably make you a better person and a stronger candidate for jobs post business school.  And in this current economic climate, we can all use every advantage we can get.

Conrad Maldives Air

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