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“How my postgraduate degree changed my life” – ICMS alumnus

“How my postgraduate degree changed my life” – ICMS alumnus

November 28, 2022

International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) alumnus Marcelo Schmidt was a guest speaker at the November ICMS Dean’s List Recognition Ceremony.

Marcelo spoke of how leaving his home country of Brazil and pursuing a postgraduate degree at ICMS has allowed him to make a life in Australia. He has recently been granted Australian citizenship after extending his postgraduate student visa through professional advancement and becoming highly skilled.

He is currently Strategic Alliances Manager (ANZ) at Jabra, following a four year stint at Lakeba Group. In this case, he started working at Lakeba while studying at ICMS and rose through the ranks to be appointed Head of Partnerships.

Marcelo studied an ICMS Master of Management, graduating in 2019. He was the Best Performing Master’s Student of his cohort and was awarded an ICMS Postgraduate Innovation Scholarship.

Read an edited version of his inspiring speech here:

“I guess we are all in search of something when we decide to do a postgraduate qualification. Some of us are searching for additional knowledge, or want to ramp up skills in a selected topic.

If we are more technical in something very specific, we become an asset and of greater value in the job market. You will be ahead of the competition and able to grab your dream job.

Others are looking for knowledge. In other words, they believe that additional business acumen will help them to spark their inner fire, their entrepreneurial spirit and perhaps a new Elon Musk will arise from the Northern Beaches.

Education as a route to an Australian life

To be completely honest with you, I was looking for education as a way to find my path here in Australia. Back in 2017, when I arrived in this lovely country that I call home now, I didn’t know much about how I was going to find my way to stay here. However, I was confident that further education would pave the way to my new life.

I felt that a master’s degree would give me time to figure out how I was going to stay here; it would actually give me four years in this country. [The 2-year postgraduate program duration means international students are eligible to apply for the 2-year post study work visa upon completion.] Furthermore, it would give me connections to build a new network of people and, eventually, extra points for the Australian visa system.

A postgraduate degree at ICMS would also give me the opportunity to study in a higher education institution that offers connections with Australian organisations and, of course, the chance to studying in Manly. As a true ocean lover, this was priceless for me.

From day one, I promised myself that I was going to embrace my education journey and would give it all to leverage this opportunity to position my name in the Australian business market.

Conscious of the costs that involve studying in Australia, I also decided to give my best so I could win any type or form of scholarship, so I could save some extra dollars while I was building my plan. Luckily, and on my own merits, the ICMS Professional Scholarships Program recognised my efforts, and I was granted a partial scholarship that helped me to build my confidence that I was on the right track.

Persistence Pays Off

Thanks to ICMS, while still a student I had heard about a Manly-based technology start-up that was looking for qualified students to work in their business. I had contacted them many times with no response at all, so I decided to visit them and introduce myself.

Fortunately, the owner was an Italian entrepreneur who, after five minutes of conversation, said that I could work for him. This led me to the opportunity to work for Lakeba, a leading digital solutions company, operating globally with employees worldwide.

I stayed for four years and was promoted internally until I became the Lakeba Head of Partnerships, leading a team of people and travelling the world for them. It also gave me the chance to reposition my skills to technology businesses and to align my professional path as leader of partnerships, opening connections with Google, Microsoft, Lenovo and AWS, among others.

More than that, it also gave me the chance to build on my previous professional experiences and align this with business consulting. As a result, I was able to apply for a skilled visa, and in less than five years I became an Australian citizen.

Once you are a permanent resident in Australia, a world of opportunities opens for you. All you must do is work hard around what you want to do with your life. You’ve made it!

The rest is history. What matters is that education changes the world. At least, at least it has changed my life so embrace it and have fun in the journey.”

To read an article written while Marcelo Schmidt was still a student at ICMS, click here.

For more information about ICMS, click here.

To connect with Marcelo Schmidt, click here.


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