She discusses her international education, visualizing success, and how she balances work & studies at UniMelb
Maria Cruz is a 29 year old Masters of International Business student from Manila, Philippines. She completed her undergraduate degree from Chapman University in Orange, California.
"I started working in the Asia Pacific Region and learned what a pivotal role they play in the region."
Q: What’s something people wouldn’t know about where you grew up?
A: The Philippines relates better with Latin American culture than Asian culture due to a 300-year Spanish rule. This is seen predominantly in the Catholic religion, holiday practices, greetings, and food!
Q: Growing up, would you ever believe you would be living in Australia?
Growing up in the international school system and living in the Philippines made me exposed to the USA so much. Colonialism plays a huge roll in that. I never really gave Australia thought until I started working in the Asia Pacific Region and learned what a pivotal role they play in the region.
Q: What philosophies or mantras help guide you?
I am guided by the saying “have the end in mind.” I have believed visualizing my goals plays a pivotal role in making things happen.
"This experience has helped me extract what I love most about how they are run towards its application in a future job."
Q: What have you learned about yourself being so far from home?
I have learned a lot about resilience from being away from home for 6+ years (cumulatively). There have been many “I wish…” and “if I was home (scenario)…” moments, being absent from milestones with family and friends, and just a lot of missing out on things. But I have learned that all those moments are part of the journey that makes me stronger and go back to why I am away in the first place.
Q: How does your native society value education?
Filipinos value education very much because they understand that it reaps many benefits. I wish that we had a better public-school system and access to better education for all. There are great organizations like Teach for the Philippines that are working on that.
Q: Has MBS changed your outlook on what you want to do with your career?
MBS has helped me realise what kind of career I want, what kind of business I want to work for, and what kind of role I want to play as a leader. My exposure in working within the University, with institutions like Carlton and United Breweries (an AbInBev company) and social impact organisations like Teach for Australia though 180 Degrees Consulting has really helped in giving me a look into different types of organisations operating in Australia. This experience has helped me extract what I love most about how they are run towards its application in a future job.
Q: How do you find balance in the busy world of graduate studies?
Busy is a good thing! I have much more on my plate than just studying which I feel has complemented my education very well. I find balance in making a home here with my partner, Rob, getting to know new neighborhoods, and sitting for long conversation with friends.
Q: What’s a culture that MBS has encouraged you to learn more about?
I think a lot in my quiet time and I distill a lot of subliminal information and personal observations. MBS is home to many nationalities but it is up to students like you and me to be able to be part of the multicultural experience. MBS has taught me to be tolerant because there is always room to learn more, and go deeper than what meets the eye.
Q: Do you make plans? Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 3 years?
I make plans but am happy to learn from the journey. I see myself as a compass for others and businesses alike, bringing a good mix of heart, soul, mind, and strength to make things better and get to where we should be.
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