AGSM MBA Students Join Graduate Business Conference

Two AGSM MBA students have attended a global get together designed to build a working network of future leaders to share their experiences and discuss solutions to common business issues. 

The 36th annual Graduate Business Conference (GBC) was held at Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP) in France in April. 

The Graduate Business Conference (GBC) is the only international MBA leadership conference and is attended by the incoming and outgoing Presidents from the top 50 MBA programs worldwide.

The goal of the GBC is to bring together student leaders from the world’s top business schools to share best practices, discuss solutions to common issues, engage in leadership development activities and promote a strong network among the participating MBA students, while enriching their educational experience.

This year AGSM 2020 Full-Time MBA class presidents Mark Wilson and Serena Lu represented the school alongside their counterparts from the top 50 MBA programs worldwide.

Mr Wilson said the conference contained an extensive program of keynote speakers, panel discussions and best practice solution workshops.

“Philippe Houze’, Executive Chairman, Galeries Lafayette, spoke about always choosing the harder path to build resilience. I felt this aligns with my decision to do an MBA as I knew the experience would be challenging, but it’s the times when we are faced with the most challenges that we grow as a person,” Mr Wilson said.

“As a concept, we are taught that networking is an important ‘soft skill’ but to truly grasp the dynamics in action was a profound experience,” said Serena. 

“62% of our cohort consists of international students, and being an international student myself, I feel strongly about the need to hone networking skills and participate in events. Since returning from the conference I have relayed this message back to our MBA cohort, especially to the students who are still working on their networking skills.” 

The conference also explored the idea of self-reinvention as a way for leaders to challenge the status quo and implement innovative ideas. For large organisations this means a fundamental change in organisational culture to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and associated behaviours. 

Camille Kroely, Head of Digital Transformation at L’Oreal spoke about how the cosmetics giant is disrupting their own industry by investing in digital technology to remain competitive within their market. 

“L’Oreal acquired Modiface, an augmented reality beauty app, which allows consumers to see what it’s like to wear a type of makeup or use new hair products before purchasing the actual product,” said Mark.

“It was a stark reminder of how AI and digital technology is advancing business markets across all industries and how big businesses are partnering with early stage start-ups to achieve this goal.” 

Mark and Serena saw strong parallels between organisational reinvention and building a personal brand. 

“In the AGSM MBA program, we are taught to ‘build our own brand’. This conference encouraged me to think about what is my personal brand? And how can I have a unique point of view on the evolving world around me?”, Serena said.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (