Claire Peng is a Consultant at Synpulse Management Consulting based in Hong Kong. She studied Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Master of Business (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) at The University of Queensland (UQ) and lived in Brisbane, Queensland, from 2011 to 2019.
What are you doing now in your career?
I am a management consultant focusing on the banking sector. My team and I help global banks unlock their digital transformation's journey by empowering the business with digital innovation, embracing agility, and further driving sustainable growth to meet changing business and market requirements.
Tell us about your studies in Queensland?
My story with Queensland began in 2011, where I started from the IES College Foundation Year in Brisbane before entering university. From 2012 to 2017, I pursued my Bachelor of Commerce degree, majored in Accounting and a Master of Business, majored in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Queensland.
Did you work or undertake projects with employers or industry groups during your studies?
Yes. I have gained valuable and fruitful work experience from various sectors during my studies, from the government to higher education and the financial services industry.
In my second year of university, I had the first internship experience with the Brisbane Lord Mayor's Office as an International Relations Officer. Politics and International Relations have always captivated me. This experience has certainly helped me understand how Brisbane plays a role in the Asia Pacific region. And how can I draw my geopolitics knowledge into execution and put project and stakeholder management skills into practice.
As an International Student Ambassador at The University of Queensland, I also had the opportunity to intern in the university's China office during my summer break. It was a great experience that I shared my experience with many incoming students from China. And to understand how the marketing and recruitment strategy works in different regions.
In my last year of undergraduate, I deep dived into my study area through a work experience with BDO Australia. I've always believed learning by doing is the most effective way of personal growth. I have gratefully learned a lot by working alongside a team of bright individuals in the corporate finance department.
Apart from my internships, I also gained my industry experience through participating in various competitions and community programs, such as Investment Banking Challenge, Management Consulting Case Competition, and Community Consulting Program. These experiences have shaped me as a well-rounded critical thinker and a proactive problem-solver today.
How has your experience in Queensland helped you with your career?
Having the clarity of my goals and how to achieve them best during my studies was not an easy task. For me, it comes from trying something new and stepping out of my comfort zone.
Everything I do shapes who I am. My internships helped me realise the areas I excelled at and those that needed further development. It encouraged my personal growth and enabled me to gain firsthand exposure to the real world and to discover a career path that I would like to pursue. I have made the fullest of my time in Queensland by engaging in various events, volunteering, and participating in students' clubs and societies. All of these experiences shaped me as a person and helped me build valuable skills.
How did you decide Queensland was the right place for your future?
Queensland has its reputation for being the 'Sunshine State' of Australia with friendly people, gorgeous landscapes, and a great lifestyle. So, why not?
What was the highlight of your experience living in Queensland?
I have been introduced to the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community when I was in Queensland. From the Brisbane hub that I joined, I have met many extraordinary young leaders who are thriving to contribute to the local communities with their remarkable talent and passion. We worked together on a project called ARMCare, to enable refugees in Australia to attain disability support services and successfully integrate into the Australian community. And have received the NDIS fund from the Australia government. During my time in Queensland, I have grown as a person with cultural sensitivity, become impact-minded, and determined to make a positive change to the world.
What advice would you give to future students thinking about studying in Queensland?
Be open-minded and explore your passion while you are in Queensland. I'm sure that you will enjoy the study in this sunshine state. Still, I would also encourage you to apply your knowledge into practice by taking an internship or work experience.
What's the easiest way to develop a social life in Queensland?
Queensland will never disappoint you with its abundant options of activities and events. Check out the 'Things to see and do in Brisbane' page from the Brisbane City Council's website to help you plan your adventures around the city and suburbs.
During my time in Queensland, I have got to know the city and immersed myself in its culture by volunteering at a range of public events such as the Fete de la Musique Festival, the Brisbane Film Festival, the G20 Summit, and the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament. And of course, as a student, you can also develop your social life by joining the students' clubs and societies at your schools and universities. From there, you can meet like-minded peers and form life-long friendships.
Do you have any ongoing ties with Queensland?
Of course! I had formed life-long friendships when I was in Queensland. And I am still involved in the NGO based in Brisbane and serving as a non-executive director to continue giving back to the Queensland community. On top of that, my company recently expanded to Australia. And I am always happy to be the bridge between China and Australia. Most importantly, I carry the Queensland spirit with me and spread the sunshine to people around me wherever I go.