Founding members of the MQ Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB) – Madeleine Avico
Founding members of the MQ Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB) – Madeleine Avico


Founding members of the MQ Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB) – Madeleine Avico

November 16, 2021

Meet Madeleine Avico, young alum. She’s changing the world of work and bringing a whole lot of heart to the workplace. Now remote working from the Apple Isle, she enjoys exploring Tasmania’s rich landscape on the weekends. Also fascinated by plant propagation – a lockdown hobby turned obsession – she says plants are ‘truly a wonder’. But we think it’s her natural curiosity at play; something she encourages other young alumni to bring to their work and networking opportunities, too.

Words: Megan English

‘As we explore different ways of working and reimagine the future of work, human resources is an exciting field to be in,’ enthuses Madeleine, an HR Leader at Johnson and Johnson who put the remote working theory to the test when her husband got a job in Launceston.

Now, having relocated from Sydney in July, she says, ‘Being part of designing a new way of working has been a great experience and, once the pandemic eases, I can embrace my hybrid work arrangement – a balance between remote work and connecting with my team in our Sydney office.’

Interestingly, Madeleine got her first taste of human resources as an intern, part of the Professional and Community Engagement program (PACE) at MQ. As she explains, ‘You can’t underestimate the value of professional experience while studying to provide an insight into your career and shape you as a desirable candidate.’

And, it would seem, this openness to new experiences has held Madeleine in good stead. She remembers, ‘As part of my degree, we had to complete units outside our faculty; I chose anthropology and science, which helped fuel my curiosity.’

This innate curiosity also led to Madeleine becoming an active member of the MQ young alumni. ‘I was drawn to learning about interesting topics and meeting people with a diversity of professional experience.’

Madeleine in Tasmania 2Madeleine feels strongly about networking as a way to develop professionally – but not necessarily in the way you might think. As she explains, ‘After graduating, I attended a networking event for early-career HR talent (not associated with MQ), and there was some dialogue around owning your mistakes.

‘This was interesting to me, as I wondered about what it would mean to abandon my perfectionist tendencies and become comfortable with failure. So, I asked the panel, “If you make a mistake, how do you own it?”

‘One panellist laughed and said, “You just do!” It must have felt like a question with too obvious an answer, although it felt valid to me. Then, another panel member started talking about a time they’d made a mistake, how they’d dealt with it, and reassured the room of young HR professionals.

‘Sharing their experience gave me the insight I was looking for, and I admired how they responded in a calm, kind manner and had truly heard my question. I’m still learning, but I try and emulate this,’ she says, and you can tell connecting with others is another essential skill Madeleine brings to her work – and YAAB.

For Madeleine, however, the young alumni community goes beyond networking, which can sometimes be negatively associated with brashly building your career and focussing on opening doors for job opportunities. Instead, she encourages anyone considering joining to broaden their perspective.

‘Focus on how meeting new people might help you grow where you are right now; how learning something new could support you in your current endeavours,’ offers Madeleine, who puts the human firmly back into human resources.

Connect with Madeleine on LinkedIn


‘The young alumni community is a great space to build new connections and ask questions on your journey – if you have a question on your mind, chances are someone else in the room is curious, too.’


About the MQ Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB)

Our Young Alumni Advisory Board has been set up to increase opportunities and support for graduates 35 years and younger as they embark on their professional careers.

This team of passionate Macquarie graduates and emerging leaders represent the interests of the young alumni community, bringing innovative ideas and a fresh approach to Macquarie’s young alumni program.

Throughout the year, the YAAB will offer a mix of both social and professional events and dedicated programming to build your career.

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