Student Life

QUT Business Leaders’ Forum: My experience

Time has never passed so slowly as waiting for the doors to the QUT Business Leaders’ Forum to open.

With aspirations for a career in international relations, I was buzzing with excitement waiting for The Honourable Julie Bishop to share her story. I was also nervous: would she be the role model I imagined?

She took the stage for her keynote speech. Logically, she started from the beginning: her childhood on a rural property.

We were then led through the ups and downs of her early career, her promotion to become the only female managing partner at Clayton Utz, her life-changing experience at Harvard Business School and the 15 years she spent in the Australian Federal Government, positioning herself to be the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

It was the perseverance she described in these 15 years that inspired me the most. From her statements in question time to the articles she wrote to the boards she chaired, she was deliberate and determined to be the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

A key takeaway from the event was her strategy for assessing a situation which comprises four questions:

  1. What are the other options? (what else can achieve the desired impact)
  2. What does it actually cost? (dollars, social impact, reputation)
  3. What is the evidence? (support your claims)
  4. What could possibly go wrong?

Reflecting on these, The Hon. Julie Bishop addressed her response to MH370. Like the 15 years spent positioning herself in the Federal Government, she was deliberate and determined in her actions. From addressing the UN Security Council to reconvening the Ukrainian Government, there was no doubt the Australian people came first.

So, in the words of The Hon. Julie Bishop herself, never let others define who you are or what you can achieve: set your own benchmarks.

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Bachelor of Business (International)

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