Having worked in the HR department at an engineering company in her home country of China, Sherry Xie had some experience in what she describes as a less-than-ideal work culture.
“The HR department was regarded as ‘cost’ department. The company was facing a high turnover rate, low work engagement. Most employees complained about the poor management and culture of the organisation,” said Sherry.
“I have realised management, especially HR, can play a vital role in improving employee job performance and organisational productivity,” she said.
With that in mind, Sherry took the leap and enrolled in a Master of Business Administration / Master of Human Resource Management at the University of Newcastle.
“One of the attractions of the degree for me is problem-based learning (PBL), or case-based learning. Workplace culture in Australia is very different from China. PBL learning helps me create a deeper understanding of management, rather than just memorising it, and has helped me to develop problem-solving skills as well,” she said.
Since arriving in Australia, Sherry has embraced the many opportunities that have come her way, including taking part in the University’s Empower Network program, and attending social events like NuMate.
“Social and cultural events are a good platform for students to strike the balance between study and life. They also create a sense of social belonging and develop an inclusive, global mindset,” she said.
Sherry has even put on her dancing shoes, joining the University’s Latin Dance Society.
“For me, dancing has become a tool to connect with other international and domestic students. We have a salsa friends facebook group. In this group, we always share interesting things and activities. We have also performed at some UON events such as International Women’s Day, and Harmony Day,” she said.
Between her studies and buzzing social life, life at the University of Newcastle is even better than Sherry expected.
“The University provides an inclusive and supportive learning environment where you can access various learning resources and peer mentoring to improve your English language skills and study performance,” she said.
Set to graduate with a two postgraduate degrees and valuable global insight, what does the future hold for Sherry?
“I hope I can utilise the management knowledge I have gained from my postgraduate programs, especially in HR, as well as knowledge of workplace policies in Australia, to develop and improve employee job performance and organisation culture – including things like promoting gender equality opportunities,” she said.
Sherry Xie moved to Australia to study a combined MBA/Master of Human Resource Management at the University of Newcastle.
The University provides an inclusive and supportive learning environment where you can access various learning resources and peer mentoring to improve your English language skills and study performance