Beer with the Boss offers alumni invaluable career insights


One hundred and thirty alumni recently gathered for the annual event, Beer with the Boss.

The evening was supported by Macquarie’s Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB), led by Ki Yan Baldwin and members Alistair Booth and Delia Deng. Beer with the Boss was an opportunity to engage with nine accomplished bosses, including three from YAAB.

“Networking at alumni events is always insightful and inspiring,” said alumni Viraj Dugar. Selena Chua added that the event provides attendees with opportunities to strike up interesting conversations with senior leaders and alumni, making new connections. “I am looking forward to more events like this,” she said.

“It is like speed dating but with bosses,” joked Dr Prashan Karunaratne, referring to the event where attendees move between bosses every 15 minutes, gathering tips and insights.


The bosses included Karen Ganschow, Head of Data Sciences at Aware Super; Heidi Han, Communications Consultant; Rakin Hasan, Manager of Technology and Systems Assurance at HLB Mann Judd; Kaylene Hubbard, Tax Partner at KPMG; Michelle Hutchison, Chief Operating Officer at Schebesta Ventures; Richard Norrie, Cyber Resilience Consulting Lead at Dell Technologies; and Alejandro Ortiz, CEO and Founder of Alejandro Ortiz Consulting.


As the bosses shared their expertise, alumni listened intently, asking questions and soaking up the knowledge on offer. “There was a real buzz in the air. The alumni were super-engaged and asked so many great questions,” said Ms Hutchison.

Ms Hubbard agreed: “The energy in the room was incredible; the diversity of attendees and their confidence and enthusiasm were inspiring. I was in awe of them and their self-awareness.”

Mr Norrie noted: “All the bosses were really passionate about what they do. And this is what I attempted to instil in the attendees – passion will get you places that even raw talent cannot.”


Michelle Hutchison, Chief Operating Officer at Schebesta Ventures, engages with alumni

The bosses addressed practical aspects of employment, guiding graduates on breaking into the corporate world and tackling questions about negotiating tricky situations, entering new fields or managing tech start-ups. The rise of cybersecurity, risk and AI emerged as particularly hot topics.

Ms Ganschow addressed fears about job loss, saying, “There will always be challenges so be bold, be curious and don’t stay still. Put a light on the hill and watch people swarm.”

Mr Ortiz shared his insights on making informed and meaningful career choices. He encouraged introspection in alumni to identify core talents and align them with passion to achieve a fulfilling career.

Ms Han connected with alumni who had been international students and shared her insights on building a supportive network.

Mr Hasan said: “It’s important to remember, we’re all running our own race. It’s not about reaching the finish line; it’s about enjoying the journey and what we learn along the way.”

Referring to the alumni in the room, Ms Hubbard concluded: “The future is in good hands.”

Activities to further support the employability of Macquarie alumni are now being planned for 2024. If you would like to get involved or share ideas, please email





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