South African International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) Master of International Business student Samantha Hardiman will graduate in 2023. She is currently completing her industry placement as a marketing coordinator at ICMS where she is involved in event planning, updating website, coordinating social media and community engagement.
“I have been nurtured as an ICMS student before I even enrolled, from being advised by the ICMS African country manager Sean Palmer, to receiving academic assistance from the Student Success Centre (SCC) and the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) team,” Samantha said.
Samantha was one of the many students affected by the Covid-19 global pandemic, as she had enrolled in ICMS – located in Australia – while based in her home country of South Africa.
The closure of international borders and restriction on movements meant that she started her Master degree via online learning from South Africa, and what could have been a disconnected experience turned out to be a lesson in maintaining and cultivating connections even from afar.
“It was a rollercoaster of events when I started my postgraduate studies in July 2020 from South Africa, but I felt continuously supported by ICMS staff whilst studying via Zoom
“There were many false starts with new Covid variants, closed immigration offices and pending border openings, but I landed in Australia in early January 2022 and have not looked back.”
Once in Australia, the nurturing ethos of ICMS has continued to impress Samantha.
“As a student, I have been able to explore my career options and interests during the industry Masterclasses and have been advised by my Work Integrated Learning (WIL) advisor to find a suitable placement given my interests,” she said.
“As I have experienced it, all aspects of ICMS, from admissions to faculty and support staff, are aimed towards empowering students like myself through a nurturing approach. I have felt that at the heart of ICMS is the desire to equip each individual student with the educational and practical tools needed to be career-ready and to succeed in the industry in which each student has chosen to carve out a career.”
“It was extremely important to me, when deciding where to study, that an internship was a part of every student’s degree. In my experience, I found that at other higher education institutions only top students were accepted into internships,” Samantha said.
All ICMS undergraduate and postgraduate degrees include a WIL component of up to 600 hours, allowing students to gain valuable work experience before graduation.
“Being an international student, I wanted a practical degree that would encourage me to interact with businesses in Sydney and beyond. Through my internship at ICMS, I find myself interacting with businesses and pioneers across industries. I have gained vital marketing skills and been professionally mentored by my colleagues, empowering me to realise that I am capable of taking on new challenges.”
She loves her role showcasing award-winning career-focused ICMS to students whether from Australia, where ICMS is located in Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW, and in the city of Sydney, or around the world.
“The best thing about working at ICMS in marketing is seeing people’s dreams come true through studying here. There are so many opportunities and assistive measures to help students realise their personal and professional dreams.”
The number of different intakes per year was a bonus, so when I decided to start my master’s degree I didn’t have to wait until the following year to enrol.
[ICMS offers three main intake dates: February, May and August; and 4 mid-term dates: March, July, October and December, meaning students can enrol throughout the year.]
“Having studied at a large university in South Africa I almost expected that not hearing back from student services or lecturers within a week was the norm. Even when researching where to study my Master degree in Australia, the attentiveness of the staff and faculty members at ICMS blew me away.” [The ICMS Difference]
“I really appreciate the relevance of the course material and the breadth of the ICMS Master of International Business coursework. I did not want something that would make me feel pigeonholed into one career, so I chose something a bit broader with the ability to specialise in my actual career as opposed to my coursework.”
Studying at ICMS is not just about the degree you graduate with, it’s about soaking up every experience that living and working in Sydney offers.
For students who like to make the absolute most of their Australian and student experience, opportunities to take part in events and activities that stretch and strengthen character and abilities are endless.
Highlights so far, for Samantha, include co-hosting the prestigious Surf Life Saving Northern Beaches Annual Awards Evening, attending Fashion Week in Sydney with ICMS, and growing in confidence in her public speaking abilities as the postgraduate speaker for the postgraduate orientations and ICMS Open Day.
On a personal note for Samantha, running the iconic City to Surf, a 14km run from Bondi to Sydney, was a dream when visiting Australia on holiday prior to moving over to study. She was able to run the course this year as a resident of one of the world’s most beautiful and bustling cities.
“I had always said, one day I am going to live in Sydney and run the City to Surf, and now I’ve achieved two of my major life’s goals!” she said.
“For me, there is no certainty, there is only opportunity. In my future professional career, I see myself in a position of higher-order decision making, with the ability to teach others from everything I have learned,” Samantha said.
“Perhaps I will own a wedding venue, or a resort. Perhaps I will be overlooking Sydney from my office. Personally, I hope that I have set the foundations of my life to be able to be on my way to some remote corner of the world I haven’t yet travelled to in my 4×4 or yacht.”
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To connect with Samantha Hardiman on LinkedIn, click here.