Swinburne student Raksha Yadalam has landed a job with the career services provider Career Money Life after pitching a new strategy to help international students with their careers.
Ms Yadalam graduated from the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2020. As part of her studies, she completed the unit Innovation Discovery and Technology Transfer, which gives students the opportunity to work alongside an industry partner and explore ways of developing and implementing innovation.
Ms Yadalam and her team applied their learnings to Career Money Life by developing three product or service diversification strategies.
‘All the models and principles we learned in the first half of the unit we directly applied to qualifying our ideas for the second half, with Career Money Life,’ Ms Yadalam says.
Founder and CEO of Career Money Life, Sandy Hutchison, took part in sessions with the team, answering their questions before they pitched their final strategy.
Ms Yadalam had the idea for OzzyPal, where the business' model of providing holistic and well rounded career, money and life services for employees was adapted for international students.
‘I found that there was a gap in the market and a large need for services and assistance in the area. As an international student myself, I understood and deeply resonated with the pain points I was trying to solve.’
They pitched OzzyPal and received an offer from Career Money Life to develop the idea. When COVID-19 led to borders closing and a pause in international student arrivals, the idea had to be paused.
Ms Yadalam stayed in touch, and when Career Money Life was hiring for its marketing team in mid-2020, Ms Hutchison took Ms Yadalam on as a copywriter.
Ms Yadalam now manages all marketing activities, including social media, Google Analytics and meeting with suppliers.
‘I'm lucky to have a team that provides me with so many learning opportunities in different departments,’ she says.
‘Raksha presented with enthusiasm and a clear vision and followed up with the Career Money Life team to explore ways of turning their idea into reality,’ says Ms Hutchison
‘Given the commitment and energy she demonstrated with her project, she was the first person I thought of when we decided to bring on a new resource to support our marketing.’
Ms Yadalam is grateful for Swinburne’s focus on practicality and industry experience.
‘We were never confined to our books but always pushed to think practically and out of the box through work-integrated learning, guest lectures and working alongside industry partners.’
She recommends students introduce themselves to every speaker, lecturer and industry partner to build their networks and career prospects, particularly at a time where COVID-19 has affected a lot of businesses.
Her advice to any students engaging in pitches is to keep it catchy, short, precise and informative.
‘Give them the important numbers, show them the statistics, and always back up everything you say with research and data. Show them not only why they should invest in your company, but also why they should invest in you as an entrepreneur.’