Recognising that change, while tough at first, brings with it opportunities and growth led to International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) alumna Stephanie Macourt starting her career in real estate while still studying.
Stephanie is currently an Office Leasing Executive at JLL in the company’s Brisbane office in Queensland. She graduated in 2021 with an ICMS Bachelor of Property (Development, Investment and Valuation) as part of a cohort whose studies were moved online amid the Covid-19 global pandemic.
“What I have learnt most in the past few years has been the expanse of opportunity that lies ahead of each of us, and that those opportunities are regularly catalysed by change. Change is almost always scary, but it almost always teaches us or exposes us to something new,” Stephanie said.
“Learning online allowed me to consider opportunities I may not have otherwise. I’ve now spent the better part of the last couple of years in Brisbane, working in Commercial Real Estate with a global property company whilst simultaneously completing my final studies at ICMS online.”
“I am so incredibly grateful to have had the support of ICMS throughout the experience of working while studying. We are all encouraged at ICMS to undertake work within our respective fields, which in turn enabled me to take up the fantastic opportunity of working for JLL while still a student completing my property degree,” Stephanie said.
“It’s been a juggle managing a new job, a new city, living out of home for the first time and carrying on with my studies. However, ICMS provided me with unreserved support, and for this I am truly grateful.”
Stephanie had enjoyed her first year of studies as an on-campus student at ICMS’ Northern Beaches campus, taking part in all that student life offers.
“When I first came to the college, I was constantly on campus. It was a truly spectacular year in which I made excellent friends, learnt lots, and leaned on the resources offered. I had a standing coffee date on Tuesday mornings with my peers, went for walks on the beach after class and I was part of a pretty hopeless, but fun, basketball team,” she said.
This all changed when students were sent home and teaching was delivered online in early 2020, her second year of her property degree.
The level of support she received from ICMS staff and faculty while studying remotely is something she appreciated, and is thankful for.
“Whether it be a lecturer who regularly checked in on me during a difficult assessment, or a fellow student who brainstormed new concepts with me, or time in the Student Success Centre (SSC) receiving academic or emotional support (or both), my appreciation of the environment fostered at ICMS cannot be stressed enough, and I would like to thank all who have contributed to that.”
“A nationally enforced shift to a temporary online education allowed me to take my current role when it arose, and to expand my networks to an entirely new city of people,” Stephanie said.
To fellow alumni who were affected by international border closures and disruptions to learning, she had the following message:
“While the formative period of our lives – our time studying – has been deeply impacted by multiple years of a global pandemic… I encourage you to embrace change with open arms, and keep yourself open to the opportunities that arise from a change in course.
“There is no doubt that the years ahead of us will hold challenges. We currently live in a climate defined by economic distress, global conflict, and general uncertainty.
“However, I truly believe the teachings at ICMS during an incredibly tumultuous period have fostered our individual resilience, and prepared us to take things on, head on. There are no limits on what we as a cohort can achieve, and I hope each of you walk away from the college with unwavering self-confidence that you will achieve remarkable things.”
“Some of the best advice I have received whilst in Brisbane is to spend time fostering relationships from the grass roots up,” Stephanie said.
“The people who are similarly early in their careers will be the ones that grow in the industry with you, and so many of them will end up as key decision makers in the future. This advice applies to the relationships we have in one another too. This network will be something we benefit from for many years into the future – so keep in touch!”
* Pursue life with ambition that is not pigeon-holed, and one that embraces change.
* Avoid assuming that there is only one path for your future, and remain open to opportunities that may lie beyond your vision board.
* Network with people outside of your chosen field, read widely about global affairs, and take on opportunities that challenge you to think critically.
“We have been educated broadly, with business backgrounds and varying majors, and I urge you to capitalise on this. Understanding the scope of opportunity that lies beyond each of us is almost incomprehensible, and it is certainly wider than any one career path,” she said.
“Keep every door open as we progress through these developmental years, and ensure that you keep your network wide whilst doing so. I am certain each of you will have a surprising change of course throughout your careers, and if any group of people is able to manage this, it is us.”
* This post is an edited version of the speech Stephanie Macourt delivered at the 2022 Graduation Ceremony. ICMS moved teaching online during the Covid-19 pandemic in line with government regulations. Students have since returned to campuses, while online learning continues in certain instances – to the benefit of students who choose the flexibility of this mode of learning.
To connect with Stephanie Macourt, click here.
To learn more about the ICMS Bachelor of Property (Development, Investment and Valuation), click here.
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