“Be open-minded. Don’t judge before you’ve actually listened to the person or understand why they’re doing certain things.”
Starting in Switzerland and continuing at South Street, Yannik’s journey has seen him move countries, pursue a degree in Economics and International Business, complete an internship, achieve a scholarship, become President of the Murdoch Business Society and land a job before he graduates - all while giving back to the Murdoch community through mentoring students and volunteering.
That’s a lot to achieve in a relatively short space of time when you’re out of your comfort zone and navigating your way around a new country. So what cultivates the kind of thinking that turns challenges into opportunities?
“I like exploring different mindsets or reading work done by people from a completely different perspective. It’s exciting to listen to their arguments because I don’t think you can really form an opinion if you haven’t listened to both ends of the spectrum.
“The people I find inspiring are those who achieve the unconventional or who have left their mark on the world.”
When you’re at uni, there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore new perspectives – it comes with the territory. But it’s up to you to make the most of it.
“Murdoch offers a variety of opportunities and exciting programs to students that are motivated and commited.
“I like going to the talks run by the Business school and listening to people who’ve achieved something great, overcome unthinkable situations or surpassed expectations. It’s really interesting to hear what decisions they made in their life to end up there.
“I remember a presenter at Murdoch Multicultural Day who told the audience about his journey from failing high school and struggling socially as a victim of bullying, to becoming one of the most renowned neurosurgeons in Australia through hard work and determination.”
From the first tutorial to landing a job
Sometimes we know instantly when we’ve found our place in the world. We could land there by accident and or maybe we’re led there through a series of events. But whenever that inkling that we’re onto something good strikes, stick with it.
“One of my earliest memorable experiences at uni was walking into my first tutorial. The tutor was just amazing. She did such a great job at teaching and you could really feel her passion for economics. I thought yep, this is going to be good. I just knew I was in the right place.”
Yannik stuck with his initial interest in economics and business and followed it all the way to Australia. It’s paid off as his strengths in his interest area has already secured him a job – even though he’s yet to graduate.
“I loved the economics unit I completed during my banking apprenticeship in Switzerland – it initiated my interest in the dynamic interaction between different countries and economies.
“I always knew I wanted to go to uni so I looked into studying over here when I was back in Switzerland. I looked at the different universities and got in touch with Murdoch. I felt really well looked after from the beginning which helped a lot with the decision making process.”
We often hear how important it is to network while you’re at uni and Yannik’s story shows that meeting new people really can take you places.
“An internship opportunity came up through going to networking events and keeping in touch with the relevant people. At the end of the three weeks of the internship, they sat me down and said they’d like to offer me a job. ”
Leading through team work
Yannik is an active member of our Murdoch community and mentors other students through programs like Peer Assisted Study Sessions and being a Peer Academic Coach. His role as President of the Murdoch Business Society is a natural progression for someone who’s comfortable sharing his knowledge and skills but it’s his views on leadership that really stand out.
“There is no one unique strategy that you can lead people with. Everyone is different and everyone wants to be approached differently, they tackle issues and problems differently, so it really comes down to being able to adjust to the individual.
“Overall, I believe in giving people the freedom to come up with their own ideas while helping them execute it. I want to help them out if they start doubting themselves or think it’s too much work and remind them that they’ve got it.
“I think that’s really important. With the Business Society, I really believe that it’s not just the President who runs it. It’s important that you have a committed team because there’s only so much you can do as a single person. I actually don’t like to refer to titles that much. I think ‘titles’ and ‘hierarchy’ can get in the way. Everyone that wants to contribute positively should be able to have a go.”
For students who are about to embark on their own journey to university – whether locally or from the other side of world – Yannik encourages you to get involved and make the most of the opportunities on offer.
“International students are really well looked after here. Student Advisors would get in touch on a regular basis and just see how I was going and if I needed any help. So there’s certainly a lot of support, especially in the early stages.
“Get involved from an early stage. Join a sports team or social clubs, just get out there and give something go – you might regret not trying it.
“If I look back, I think I could have done even more just by taking the opportunities that are available such as scholarships, internships, meet and greets for example. Start early because it gives you an understanding of what’s around you.”
Looking ahead, Yannik is aiming to work with, and for, other people. We all have our own unique way of thinking and when we embrace it and put it to work, we make progress. But if we combine our thinking and work together towards our shared goals, the possibilities are endless.
“I’d like to be able to apply what I’ve learned to create something for the better and solve problems with people from different cultures and backgrounds. I’d like to find ways to share the benefits of the world’s development and innovation amongst all people on this planet. I believe this can only be achieved when people work together.”