Building business experience while still in uni

by May 3, 2021

Balancing work, socialising and hobbies – all while still at uni – isn’t easy, so we wouldn’t blame you if gaining professional experience isn’t at the top of your list right now.

However, upskilling doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, programs like Univative make enhancing your professional skills fun, social, and competitive! As a unique, inter-university consulting competition, Univative provides current university students the opportunity to enhance their professional skills and experience by designing innovation solutions for genuine problems posed by industries and communities. Real-world experience with real-world companies.

In the past, Univative has given students the chance to work with companies like IBMNickelodeon, and EY. Teams have four weeks to work on the project, come up with a solution, submit a business report and video presentation online, and attend a live virtual Q&A with a panel of judges from the organisation.

We spoke with a past participant, Monique, to hear about her experiences with Univative, plus the benefits and challenges that have continued on to this day.


Thanks for chatting to us today Monique! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

I graduated from UTS with a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of International Studies (Spanish major), and completed Univative working with the business ClickView.


What did a day in the life of Univative look like? 

A day involved actively collaborating with a number of students from different faculties to find innovative problem-solving solutions for our nominated business. 


How has Univative helped you in your career or study? 

Univative was a great program to be part of as it equipped me with the skills to successfully transition into the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry after I finished university. It allowed me to understand how to work collaboratively and manage a team, deliver to deadlines and understand how to tackle real-life business problems. Additionally, it helped me to grow my network of future potential employers. 


The top 3 things I enjoyed about Univative were…. 

– Making new friends and expanding my professional network
– Learning how to present and effectively communicate solutions to solve business problems
– Learning how to overcome challenges and be flexible with business plans 


Something I didn’t expect about Univative was…. 

That it would motivate me to pursue a career in business, as it gave me the confidence to transition into a different industry. 


What are some of the challenges your fellow students might face in Univative? 

Sometimes it can be difficult joining a team and working collaboratively with other students that you previously didn’t know, or who are from different faculties.


My advice would be to embrace the experience as it can be a very valuable learning opportunity. For me, the experience taught me how to form rapport quickly but also to view business cases from many different perspectives to solve the problem. This was very helpful in my career when later I had to manage cross-functional teams such as supply, research and development, legal and regulatory for product development when I was the Assistant Brand Manager for Vanish. I was able to do this because I learned to work collaboratively with my team to overcome challenges through Univative.


Any advice for students looking to complete Univative in 2021? 

The experience is definitely worthwhile. It provides an insight into key attributes necessary to be successful within a working environment. It provides real-world experience and allows you to practise, make mistakes and learn from them, all while making lifelong friends and acquaintances, and expanding your social and professional network. 


Univative is open to all current students from all faculties. Visit the Univative website to read detailed criteria, and to find out all the benefits Univative could have on your personal and professional future!


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Lily Cameron

Lily Cameron

Communications Assistant

Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.

Monique D'Souza

Monique D'Souza