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August, 2017

The real power of ‘Giving’

Congratulations to Melissa Jap, the very proud recipient of the prestigious 2017 Tony Palmer – Monash Marketing Award.

The Tony Palmer – Monash Marketing Award is presented to a graduating student with a Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Monash University. The Award recognises academic excellence in the discipline of marketing, relevant work experience and genuine passion to become a professional marketer.

… and in the words of the Assessment Panel:

“While the other candidates submitted engaging applications and presented well, the committee agreed, Melissa expressed herself exceptionally well, showed great passion for marketing and displayed a clear interest to pursue a career in marketing.

Melissa has been an ambassador for Monash University and the Department of Marketing throughout her career as a student. Melissa undertook several internships, participated in the international study program and showed initiative in supporting start-ups and developing social media. Melissa also showed a strong sense of ‘giving back’to the community by tutoring disadvantaged students”.

‘Yes’ – Melissa embodies the essence of this Award … what a great achievement and promising future.

… and why is this Award highly regarded and sought after.

In addition to the cash prize – which is always appealing and appreciated – the recipient receives personal mentoring by Tony Palmer (President of Global Brands and Innovation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and a Monash alumnus).

… and if you’re a marketing graduate who wants to make their mark in a crowded and competitive marketing workforce, mentoring by Tony is a great kick-start to your career!

… and for each of the previous Award recipients, this ‘kick-start’ has given them a ‘head-start’ to their marketing career.

So, how did the Department of Marketing (Monash Business School) end up with this generous gift to support a marketing graduate to ‘realise’ their passion for a career in marketing?

To unravel the story … back in 2008 a chance corridor conversation with a long serving academic (Associate Professor Ken Grant) from the Department of Marketing started the string of events. Ken mentioned that he was catching up with one of our former Monash marketing graduates who was now the President of Global Brands and Innovation, Kimberly-Clark (Irving, Texas). Ken mentioned that he had stayed in contact with Tony since his graduation some years back. Although Tony wasn’t the highest performing student, his grades were nevertheless solid, he had a ‘thing’ for marketing and worked hard to support himself through university by working for Ken as a marketing tutor.

Over the years of sitting back as an observer and a mentor, Ken looked on with interest in Tony’s career – senior marketing leadership roles at Kellogg, Coca-Cola and Mars Confectionery Australia … and now, President of Global Brands and Innovation at Kimberly-Clark.

“If you’ve got time, you should meet Tony” was Ken’s advice … and so I took on the advice and met with Tony over a coffee.

… and as with coffee conversations with Jericho Cleary (Red Bull); Cath Stone (Jetstar); Andrew Gardiner (Melbourne Airport) and more, you never know where ’coffee conversation roads’ lead to.

Tony explained that there is strong ‘giving’ culture in the United States. Reflecting on his journey, his career and opportunities, Tony said that he “… wouldn’t be where he is if it weren’t for the Department of Marketing at Monash Uni”. The defining moment that influenced and shaped his decision to pursue a career in marketing was the Global Study Program, an elective marketing unit. The allure of travelling through Europe, visiting iconic brands in exotic places, hearing first-hand from senior executives who were Monash Marketing Alumni, on issues that impact on their business … this was impressionable on a kid who hadn’t strayed far from his family-roots in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Having benefited from the opportunities that were available to him during his time at Monash, Tony was determined to create something that would be enduring, something that would give other students who were also passionate about marketing, a leg up.

From a coffee conversation, we now have the Tony Palmer – Monash Marketing Award. And those who have received this annual Award have made the most of the possibilities, thanks to Tony’s generosity with his time to nurture and mentor the passion:

  • Dan Cable (the inaugural winner) – Manager, Strategy at PwC
  • Corrie Paoloni – Brand Manager at Carlton and United Breweries
  • Jessica Smith – Category Insights Analyst at Nature’s Organics
  • Michael Johnson – Local Area Marketing Manager at Renault Australia
  • Tom Weston – Marketing Officer at Sausage Dog Central
  • Monica Arklay – Marketing and Communications Mentor (Fiji) at Australian Volunteers for International Development

… and now Melissa Jap – congratulations!

Unlike the United State, here in Australia we don’t have a strong alumni ‘giving’culture. For the Department of Marketing (Monash Business School), Tony’s ‘giving’ is a start. And with the thousands of students who have graduated with a marketing degree from here at Monash University since the early 1970s, there is enormous scope for our alumni to ‘give’ in a range of ways … whether it’s giving-back by hosting students participating in the Global Study Program; the Marketing Internship Program; the Master of Marketing Mentoring Program or any of the initiatives that are brewed by the Monash Marketing Student Society (MMSS), the opportunities are real and may just be the gem that ignites the passion in the next generation of marketers from Monash.

We don’t know who the alumni were who agreed to host the students on the Global Study Program that Tony attended … and they probably don’t realise the impact they have had on Tony and many other marketing students … a belated genuine ‘Thank You’.

So, if you are one of our alumni who is interested in re-connecting with us, we are keen to have a coffee with you, as we did with Tony and see where the road takes us.