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One session down. Another seven to go.

"The Bachelor of Business Leadership and Commerce Degree in just one semester has presented more opportunities than I could have ever imagined, and in taking these opportunities, I have had a far better University experience than I anticipated. Particular highlights have been the challenge of balancing involvement in a number of University groups such as TEDxMacquarieUniversity, FBE Base and AIESEC, and also having the rare privilege to hear the Vice-Chancellor talk about the concept of Servant Leadership. There is a real sense of community within the cohort and it's a fantastic opportunity to learn from and grow with some incredible and inspiring young people." – Amy Rodda 

The Bachelor of Business Leadership and Commerce Degree is a new integrated degree which delivers relevant, future-focused leadership skills. This four year degree combines high-level soft skills required by employers with high-level technical expertise developed in the Bachelor of Commerce. In order to be accepted into this highly competitive degree, students had to submit a CV, attend an interview and receive a high ATAR. Due to the rigorous selection process only a handful of students have been chosen to commence this degree in 2014. This year the Faculty of Business and Economics has 37 high achievers in the Bachelor of Business Leadership and Commerce Degree. 

A fun filled, educational Session 1 has already taken place for the Business Leadership students and has included the following:

Cohort Building Afternoon & Welcome Evening

On the 20th February the new cohort of the Bachelor of Business Leadership Degree came together for an afternoon of fun and interaction. Students had the unique opportunity to meet each other before starting their first year studies. The day began with an ice-breaker exercise and get-to-know-you games with students rotating around the room making conversation and meeting each other. The marshmallow challenge was a great team building game, with students intensely competing against each other to build the tallest structure with spaghetti and marshmallows. During the day students were inspired by a 'Thoughts on Leadership' video in which seven industry leaders spoke about what leadership means to them and any advice they would give to students about leadership. This was a great introduction to a course that gravitates around leadership. One of the highlights of the day was the Amazing Race around campus, students were acquainted with the likes of Frank the Bear, Jack the Dinosaur, BESS and even the Indian Spice Garden. There was team spirit and competitiveness seeping into the atmosphere everywhere.

After a fun filled day students had the opportunity to meet academics, Industry Leaders, the External Advisory Board, their principals and parents of the cohort at our Business Leadership Welcome Evening. The proceedings of the night included a guest speaker, Iggy Pintado (Australian Institute of Company Directors) and a current Business Leadership student, Harrison May. Students also received a welcome gift package which included a branded Macquarie University and Business Leadership hoodie.

"The early semester cohort afternoon, was a great opportunity for us as a cohort to come together and start our four year journey together. It gave me the chance to meet new friends and settle into University, before having to worry about my first lecture!" – Joshua Westlake

Cohort Catch Up & Online Profile Workshop

After two weeks of settling into University life, the 2014 Business Leadership Cohort got together for a catch up. During this gathering the Business Faculty's student-for-student committee, FBE Base (Business Alliance for Student Engagement) presented leadership opportunities to the students to embrace. Many of the leadership students now hold executive leadership positions within FBE Base and other student societies within the Faculty. These wonderful experiences will help the students learn about leading volunteers - a quite different arena than leading paid workers.

"The degree has given me a foot in the door, as I've been able to become involved in FBE BASE and ECFS. It has also given me the opportunity to be invited to the Careers Accelerator Program and the First Year Merit Scholars Residential Workshop, and I'm sure there will be many more opportunities to look forward to." – Kelly Ireland

An individual's online profile, whether it be on Facebook or LinkedIn is imperative to any job opportunity. Erin Raine from the Macquarie University Career and Employment Service spoke to the first year Business Leadership students about the significance of online profiles. What not to do on Facebook and what to do on LinkedIn was discussed including tips and tricks for students to find work opportunities. A conversation was held regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using online platforms and the impacts of these platforms to their future leadership careers.

"The Business Leadership and Commerce Degree has been as fun as it has been hard working. The introduction cohort meeting was extremely welcoming and the various workshops such as the online profile workshop has helped in many ways by providing information and insights that I would have otherwise not known. I am definitely looking forward to what is to come." – Justin Chou

Vice-Chancellor's Talk on Servant Leadership 

What is Servant Leadership? Sitting side by side third year Leadership in Management students, the Business Leadership cohort's question was answered by the Vice-Chancellor himself, Professor S Bruce Dowton. The students were able to gain an insight into the Vice-Chancellor's personal leadership experiences through past storytelling. The engaging talk included knowledgeable lessons surrounding perspective, alignment of intent and interpreting complexity to ease uncertainty. Key teachings were learnt; one must listen before they speak, model ethical behaviour and make sure intent is aligned. Question and answer time followed the inspirational talk which deepened student's insights into Servant Leadership - an exciting privilege for Business Leadership students.

"The talk given by the Vice-Chancellor was an extremely interesting insight into what his perspective on leadership was. His ability to weave real life experiences into what defines 'leadership' were fantastic and a better way to connect to the story he was telling. I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and gained a lot out of what it means to both lead and to be a leader."- Harrison May

Leadership Talk about Paid and Non Paid Workers

This cohort of students were invited to listen to guest speaker Mr Steve Fernie (Regional Commissioner – Hunter and Coastal Scouts Australia) on his experiences and thoughts on leading both paid and non-paid workers in a complex environment. Steve has been leading 2500 people (from ages 6 to 80) for over ten years in his current capacity, he enlightened the students with and extremely realistic view of leading in both the workplace and what he termed 'volunteerland'. He firmly regaled to the students that over the years the differences between leading these two cohorts have become more the same. This he puts down to the increasing rights and obligations of volunteers within an organisation. Ultimately, Mr Fernie emphasised to students that leadership is a continual learning experience for all who embrace it.

"A very inspiring talk by a leader from the real world. I was able to see how my business knowledge from University translated into the real world and how intricate it is to go beyond managing and into leading." - Fleur Ryder

Overall a busy yet inspirational first Session for students, with many more exciting opportunities to come.

Bachelor of Business Leadership and Commerce Degree Cohort 2014