A true entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Caroline has built an impressive career guided by curiosity, creative disruption, and a rich tapestry of life experiences. Combining business, technological innovation and social progress, she has one rule…
“Do things with people not just for people”.
She’s worked in business consulting, run a social enterprise accelerator program, co-founded tech start-up, isgood.ai, she was Director of Strategic Design at Isobar, then head of Community Experience at Beyond Blue. Now, she’s Deputy Director of Entrepreneurship here at Monash University.
When she’s not solving business problems of her own, she’s empowering her students to do the same. Always tying her practice back to her core purpose – advancing positive change that is impactful, sustainable, and uncompromising.
Tackling the big problems through a multidisciplinary approach
Caroline’s curiosity to explore far and wide rather than feeling like she has to be a specialist is what she describes as the key to breaking convention – allowing her to identify new solutions to real world problems in the design and business worlds alike.
It’s why she encourages her students to not pigeonhole themselves into one field of work or a specific mode of inquiry. When her students break free from these preconceived ideas of who they are and how they should behave, that’s when they really begin to grow – it’s conducive to innovative thinking.
“We blend different disciplines because it helps us focus on the problem rather than just coming up with a solution because we think it’s a good idea.”
By incorporating human-centred design, inclusive design, and social impact organically into her way of working, Caroline propels her Entrepreneurship and MBA (Digital) students into a space where business suddenly becomes less about profits and losses and more about societal progression as a whole. Something which her latest crop of students find to be both enriching and purposeful.
Creating an ever-changing MBA for an ever-changing world
As businesses adapt to a world with growing needs and concerns, Caroline has recognised a need for a new type of MBA. The traditional MBA teaches you how to be a strategist, how to do accounting, how to manage finances. All of these disciplines you need to know, but she believes entrepreneurs and business leaders don’t need to be all of those things, but rather just know how to engage with all of them.
As a result, Monash have implemented areas of study around community building and around lifelong learning and currency. Caroline believes you need to be intentional about these aspects of business to be a successful leader.
“I challenge everything. Because truth is only formed by our experiences. Truth, or rather what we believe to be truth, doesn’t necessarily exist forever, and we’ve learned that.”
Monash’s online MBA (Digital) is also designed to engage students and professionals from different backgrounds, different industries and different problem spaces. By creating a diverse mix when forming teams, students benefit from a wide range of methodologies and experiences brought to the table. They approach business problems with a holistic approach.
A fresh take on unlocking student potential
Experienced in helping young people looking to start businesses, particularly social enterprises, Caroline helps her students figure out what they need, or even just helps them envision what’s possible. She believes a lot of students aren’t necessarily given those opportunities, they know the standard routes to starting a business, the traditional models of business operation, but showing them how to unleash their potential in a way that might not even exist yet is what excites her, and her students most.
Further to this, Caroline challenges the more traditional educational experiences – she is always looking to foster a constant two-way dialogue with her students.
“A learner is just as much of a teacher as the teacher.”
If history is anything to go by, it’s true that many of the problems of tomorrow, today even, will be solved by young thinkers. And Caroline maintains a steadfast belief that each and every one of her students has the power to be one of those change-makers.
By acknowledging this, Caroline is able to act as a soundboard to students of all ages and experiences, rather than dictating what she believes to be the right way to go. A modern teaching style that will no doubt inspire the next wave of entrepreneurs on a mission to change the way we work, and the way we live.
Learn more about the MBA (Digital).