Being able to merge his twin academic interests of politics and marketing, Joshua Cook says he’s achieving the ‘best of both worlds’ by studying a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce degree at Deakin.
But in his three years of study, Josh has also been able to explore some of the world’s best by jumping aboard Deakin’s international study programs.
Most recently, he took two-week study and cultural intensive to China which gave him a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to explore a different country, make new friends and stockpile cross-cultural experiences that were credited towards his degree.
‘As well as visiting China, I really liked the idea of completing an entire unit’s coursework in two weeks!’ he adds.
This was Josh’s third international study trip with Deakin.
In late 2017 he kicked off his global study experience by being one of only eight students Australia-wide to join the three-week cultural immersion program, The Mitsui Educational Foundation’s (MEF) Study Tour of Japan.
‘I felt very fortunate to be selected. The MEF program rotates universities each year and just over 360 Australians have been on the program since it started in 1971. I travelled with seven other Australian students and we learnt about Japanese culture, industry, and history from a business perspective. It gave me invaluable international insights, I’m now seriously considering a career in the Indo-Pacific region,’ he says.
Earlier this year, Josh also travelled to India with the Centurion Challenges Program where he worked on a marketing strategy aimed at improving the branding and packaging of a food products produced at the Urban Micro Business Centre (UMBC).
‘By helping to improve the profitability of UMBC, the organisation would be better able to train and upskill its local community, which helps fight poverty. There were many barriers to overcome but it was a truly eye-opening experience to some of the big-world challenges,’ he says.
On-campus, Josh has embraced enhanced learning experiences such as the 2017 Deakin Think Tank Challenge where he and his teammates developed a real-life business solution for one of Deakin’s industry partners.
‘We worked on a solution to “attract and retain high calibre graduate staff” for Dimension Data and presented it to a panel of industry and academic leaders. This was a very valuable experience which I will be able to build upon in the future. I also keep in contact with the organisation’s professionals who have acted as mentors and I have tremendous respect for them,’ he says.
An enthusiastic participant in student life at Deakin’s Melbourne Burwood Campus, Josh says there’s something for everyone.
‘Whatever your interest, there is group of likeminded peers at Deakin who will celebrate and champion you on.’
As part of his commerce degree, Josh is majoring in marketing and says he enjoys the discipline’s many layers and complexities.
‘Marketing is vibrant! It requires a fantastic synergy between ‘strategy’ and ‘creativity’. The whole process thrives off innovation and new ideas – keeping businesses competitive across their industries.’
Inspired by his international Deakin adventures, Josh is keen to secure a 2019 New Colombo Plan Scholarship – Australian Government initiative that’s focused on increasing the knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting young Australians to study and undertake internships in the region.
‘I’ve learnt that business and government can be a powerful positive force when they work well together … it would be an honour and a long-term dream come true to be eligible for this scholarship.’
While his future beyond graduation is yet unplanned, Josh says he’s ‘in it for the journey’ and is looking forward to building industry experience and possibly undertaking postgraduate study.
‘Ultimately, I want my career to be challenging, exciting, rewarding, and count for something worthwhile. A successful career should never be about money or the source of one’s self-worth but making meaningful, positive contributions toward something you believe in.’