Project: Improving HR Strategies with Save the Children

MBA TST SCA V3

“So we just had the first project team finished from Ducere. So a group of MBA students and they were working on helping us with our strategy around indigenous employments. Improving the attraction, retention, development of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander staff. “ - Dianne Francois (Director of People and Culture – Save the Children Australia)

“They put me in a place on the complete opposite of my normal job would have me in. As a Government employee, I was actually having to work with a Non-Government Organization to help them better engage in Government and Service providers. So it help me better understand my current job, but also how I had to think quite differently about how to support them” - Ryan Winn (Student- MBA Innovation & Leadership)

“It took them out of their comfort zone, they actually got exposure to some Aboriginal elders, they spoke with a lot of our staff, they interviewed staff internally, as well as doing research. And some of them have said it’s actually what made them want to work in the sector. - Dianne Francois

“Exposure to the not-for-profit sector and exposure to a large and complex not-for-profit, like “Save the Children” can be, I think, a very defining leadership learning opportunity for many students” - Paul Ronalds (CEO – Save the Children Australia)

“The project team took a bit time to get going as we sort of learnt each other’s skills, and nuances and behaviors. But once we realized that we have a mix of accountants, lobbyists, govern employees and a range of other skills, we can work out how best to harness that and actually was amazing team” - Ryan Winn

“ They presented two weeks ago, it was an incredibly professional presentation. I think we were all stakeholders, so impressed. I think the student group exceeded our expectations, in fact. And I came up with a solution of roadmap, some benchmarking data, and some suggested benchmarks for success that were very detailed and also very pragmatic. Had we paid a consulting group to do that piece of work, I don’t think they would have done a lot better.” - Dianne Francois

“When you’re dealing with some of the most complex social and economic problems that our society faces, and that’s what we do here at “Save the Children”, we need only the very best staff and the more exposure we can have, to students that are going through a really advanced educational program like this, the better it is for us” - Paul Ronalds

“They actually have accelerated. A key piece of strategy work and planning work that we actually had on our agenda anyway. And speaking with some of  the key stakeholders, we doubt given the busy environment that we’re all in, and the scarce resources that we have, that we would have been able to do that piece of work, even in a year’ - Dianne Francois

“The hardest part for us in the end was actually disengaging from the project, because we were so excited and passionate about it, that actually almost handing over our baby back to “Save the Children Australia” was actually the most painful part for some of us. And actually sit there with the client, who were excited and passionate about the rework we did as a University assignment, and then talking back to us about how they would implement so many of our ideas and how practical and useful it was for them just in everyday business, was a significant change for when I last studied University. Because it was so theoretical and it was just an assignment that I put in my drawer, and I can make the sign in the piece of paper and that was the end of it rather than knowing that it will keep going for an organization” - Ryan Winn

“We feel that the work that the students have done will definitely have an impact. We see this as having an impact on the communities that we work with and also enabling the HR team and the Australian programs team to really get traction on improving our recruitment, retention and development of Aboriginal staff” - Dianne Francois

“Staying as MBA has been such an exciting and invigorating experience. It has led me into a world of study and opportunity that I couldn’t imagine doing six months ago. I found the global faculty really helpful to understand the bigger picture around how some of the core competencies and the methodologies, and the learnings within their course actually apply in the real world. It’s taking their classroom into the industry partners and then taking the next step and thinking about from a Prime Minster or Business Leader’s, or CEO’s perspective. From the real top, down into highlight of us.

It’s exciting now to be going to the second project which is firstly so different than the first project, its going from a social policy workforce HR issue to a major operational design, future business direction. So for me, it’s so interesting going so differently. Shows a diversity of experience you can get within the MBA” - Ryan Winn