This new series shines the spotlight on 40K Globe alumni who, through a Q&A, are asked to reflect on their time and experiences working on the ground in India as part of our former social enterprise internship program. Although 40K Globe is no longer in operation, the memories and experiences are held closely by many and have helped pave the way to new entrepreneurial ventures, career directions, insights and worldviews. Here, we explore some of these experiences and learn more about what our alumni are up to today.
For our second profile we caught up with 2017 alumni, Allanna Firth, who participated in the program as part of her MBA at the University of Sydney. Allanna currently works for EY and is also a valued member of the Plus Education Board.
Where are you currently based and what is your occupation?
I am based in Sydney, working for EY—one of the big four consultancies as a Director of Data and Analytics, focused on the Education sector. I help clients uplift their data capabilities to improve learning outcomes for students K-12 and in higher education.
In what year/s did you partake in the 40K Globe program?
I completed the Globe social enterprise module as part of my MBA at the University of Sydney in 2017.
Why did you choose to participate in the program?
I wanted to understand more about social enterprise and the Plus Education module offered an opportunity to do this as well as provide an immersive learning experience by visiting India.
Also, at the time, most of my delivery team were based offshore in India. I had always wanted to visit, to understand and experience different cultural aspects including authentic Indian cuisine.
What memories stand out most about your experience in the program?
Sensation overload being in India:
- Emotional – friendly, gentle, proud, humble people, poverty
- Sight and sound – crazy traffic, bustling streets, colourful
- Inspirational realisation of the purpose and impact of Plus Education helping lift literacy of vulnerable children
- Friendships with fellow MBA students
How did your experience help you in your career?
The Globe experience spurred my interest and passion for education, technology and how data can help improve learning outcomes. I chose to leave financial services and joined a consulting organisation where I could leverage my data skills focused in the education sector. Ultimately completing the full circle as I joined the Plus Eduction Board earlier this year.
How has it impacted on your life and outlook in general?
The MBA Globe social enterprise program provided a new lens to my home and work life, from so many perspectives. Experiencing the extremes yet simplicity of Indian life, the optimism and contentment of those that have far less but in other ways far more, was a life changing experience. Through this immersive experience the insights gained into the culture and people undoubtedly paved the way for me to become a better people leader and a well-rounded individual in terms of appreciating diversity.
If it weren’t for the Globe program, I would not have discovered my passion for education or that it was possible to do something more fulfilling with my career and working life.