40K Globe Alumni: Where are they now? Tom Bambrick

Through a short Q&A series, we are reliving and exploring some of our 40K Globe alumni experiences during their time in our former social enterprise internship program, and learning more about what they are up to today. This time, we’re welcoming Tom Bambrick of the 2014 & 2016 cohort!

Where are you currently based and what is your occupation?

I am currently based in Wollongong, 1.5 hours south of Sydney, where I work for UOW Global Enterprises, a subsidiary group of the University of Wollongong that owns and operates campuses in Dubai, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Outside of work, I am an avid runner, taking advantage of the beautiful tracks on the coast and escarpment, volunteering for parkrun and helping out at my local Surf Lifesaving Club.

 In what year/s did you participate in the Globe program?

I participated as a Glober in December of 2014 working on the Banyan Bags project in Mylanahalli and returning in December 2016 as a team leader to conduct an impact assessment for the village of Hunasuru. In between, I attended several team leader training events as a participant and facilitator.

Why did you choose to participate in the program?

In the spring semester of 2014, I was grabbing lunch between classes from the Subway at UOW. I sat down next to Keegan Tacori, somewhat of a 40K Legend. He was wearing a very stylish pair of Khushi shorts, one of the early projects 40K, which I had to compliment him on and ask where he had brought them. He then excitedly told me his story, ending with “applications close tomorrow! You should apply!”.

So that’s what I did! Within a week we had the group interviews, then the weekend Glober training and by November I was jetting off to India with six other Globers (who I’d only met once at the training weekend) to travel around the Golden Triangle before our program began in December.

So, why did I choose to participate? I guess it was because the quirky shorts were promised! Four pairs later, I’d say it delivered. The professional development, training, working with welcoming communities, learning about social enterprise as a viable alternative and stepping out of my comfort zone were all added bonuses!

What memories stand out most about your experience?

Living, breathing and doing social enterprise in a completely new environment with five other awesome humans was an amazing experience, from the morning song and 555s to the long treks in and out of Bangalore to source suppliers, samples and equipment, and the team dinners at Church Street Social, the entire journey was a formative experience personally and professionally. India will always remind me of the richness of human experience and the pure energy that comes from living in one of the world’s megacities.

Did your your experience help you in your career? If so, how?

I’ve used my Globe experience many times over, from balancing priorities to answering interview questions. I constantly return to my Glober and Team Leader handbook to revisit the lessons and realign my approach to teamwork and communication. Also, the connections I made through 40K have continued to be important to my career, as everyone has chosen their path and our shared experience allows us to connect and leverage opportunities as they arise.

 How has it impacted on your life and outlook in general?

The experience taught me a lot about the importance of living a values-driven life. I have adopted the 40K values into my career and personal approach, seeking to engage with opportunities, people and experiences that align with these. Along the same lines, I learned the immense importance of self-leadership and that to effectively serve others we must first take care of ourselves. This has shaped my approach to mental and physical health and work-life balance.

If it weren’t for the Globe experience, I honestly wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

Keep your eyes on our blog for more alumni interviews. If you’re a former 40K glober and would like to take part in the series, please reach out —we’d love to hear from you!

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Plus Education is the group operating name of registered Australian charity, The 40K Foundation Australia Ltd, and its subsidiary organisations, 40K Plus Education in India and Cambodia.

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