MSIS Continental Connections: When in Melbourne

The Master of Science in Information Systems Study Tour seeks dynamic and interesting countries that have the type of business and technology culture students are eager to explore. Connecting with senior executives for intimate tours and talks, this is a one-of-a-kind cultural deep dive and learning experience for students and alumni. The MSIS tour to Australia covered 10 days, 7 flights, 3 cities, and 8 company visits. Click here to read the first part of the MSIS Australian Adventure: Sydney.

Familiar Faces Across the Globe

After exploring Australian business in Sydney, students and alumni travelled to Melbourne and saw how a familiar business looks from the other side of the globe with a visit to Seattle-giant Boeing Aerostructures.

Trailing Edge of Innovation

Boeing Aerostructures in Australia tells a story of innovation and technological advances. It is the country’s only designer and manufacturer of advanced composite aerostructure components for commercial aircrafts, including the infamous ‘moveable trailing edge’ for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Students had a complete factory tour and learned how parts of the 787 Dreamliner are designed, assembled, and built, and the major technological advances required to do so.

“It was interesting to see how everything works behind the scenes here,” said Ramie Kamarakeh. “My MSIS program mentor is from Boeing-Seattle.” Ramie was able to connect concepts he has learned from his mentor, to engage in valuable discussions with Boeing IT leaders on their efforts towards continuous improvement. Students also remarked that Boeing’s culture and values remain strong even in different countries.

After the factory tour with IT Senior Manager, Marcellus Renaux and IT Director, John Williamson, they met for a speed networking session where Boeing employees had the chance to meet the students in small groups and learn about their careers.

Road to 5G

The tour’s next stop was to the telecommunications company Telstra Labs. The showstopper here is the company’s 5G service across the country and their innovative use of technology and drones to support the agriculture and mining sectors. “Telstra was great to visit. They still support telephone booths, but they now also act as WiFi hotspots. The company also uses drones and supports water purification systems. They’re investing in so many different industries because they recognized how technology connects everything,” said Abhishek Sharma.

I was impressed with how Telstra welcomed us and our conversations with their executives were so relevant to what we learned at school. This is how business and technology combine in the real world,” said Aishwarya Pathak.

As Telstra is Australia’s leading provider of mobile phones and broadband internet since 1975, the business has made leaps to be at the forefront of innovation. “Telstra’s culture felt innovative like a start-up,” said James Lewis.

Beyond Technology

Just as the MSIS degree combines aspects of business and technology, the study tour provides opportunities to see how the two intersect. Students and alumni were invited to meet with government officials Jacob Goldschlager and Jim Findley of the U.S. General Consulate, and Damien Millen, Digital Economy Department, and Stuart Bland, ICT/Tech and Trade, of the Victorian State Government.

Visiting the U.S General Consulate provided students the opportunity to hear about the support in place for both local companies and their global employees. The group learned more about the business relationships between the U.S. and Australia, allowing them to view the innovative companies they have visited with a new lens.

“I was surprised to learn how much happens behind the scenes at the U.S. Consulate to help companies and expats working here,” said Aishwarya Pathak.

The visit to the Victoria State Government, highlighted the way Melbourne is taking the tech lead, and Millen and Bland were open in their discussion about plans to support start-ups and businesses.

“We learned how much the country relies on exports and that China is the number one trading partner. The government is trying to expand into other sectors,” said Ramie Kamarakeh.

Each visit highlighted that there are increasingly more tech jobs and opportunities in Australia, and the Victoria State Government “offered tongue and cheek job offers.” It was clear they would all be welcomed to work in the country.

Back home, the students are still buzzing about the experience. “Everyone should go on this trip if they can,” said Andrew Vermehren-Shepler. “I’ve made business and personal connections that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

The MSIS Study Tour isn’t just designed to plug students’ classroom and professional experiences into a global technology and business environment – it is also an opportunity to explore the culture and heart of each city. Stay tuned to read about the cultural highlights on this once-in-a-lifetime trip!

Interested in becoming a part of this global cohort? Apply today!