Leading the Future
Each year, 100 students from across Australia are chosen as 'Top100 Future Leaders'. It's not a small title and it's definitely not a simple process.
Covering everything from electrical engineering to marketing, GradConnection's annual competition has ten awards on offer and a range of industry-leading companies as award sponsors. To be selected as a finalist – and hence a Top100 Future Leader – there's a few hoops to jump through.
First, there's an online application and resume submission. Then an online interview. Then a game-based assessment. Plus a final in-person assessment day.
"It took quite a while to complete," Maddison King says with a laugh.
Just a few short weeks ago, Maddison was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Jacobs Young Professional Award – and as a 2019 Top100 Future Leader. Currently studying a Diploma of Innovation on top of a Bachelor of Construction Project Management and a Bachelor in International Studies, Maddison had – "naturally" – applied for the award sponsored by Jacobs.
Because of the Diploma I know nothing is impossible. I could view construction related issues through a different lens.
Whilst Jacobs is known as a premier international construction company, this particular prize required something out of the ordinary. The Young Professional Award was open to any student from any discipline. The only stipulation was a passion for how sustainability will drive future innovations and a specific focus on a multi-disciplinary approach.
"There was stiff competition from students studying all across Australia," says Maddison. What gave her an edge was not only her passion for sustainable construction, but her unique perspective as shaped by studying the Diploma of Innovation.
"Because of the Diploma I know nothing is impossible," she explained, "I could view construction related issues through a different lens."
"The construction industry has a huge amount of potential for improvement in the realms of sustainability and innovation. By studying the Diploma of Innovation I am gaining the skills to ensure that when I enter the workforce I can make an immediate impact and also influence others to have a more creative approach to complex problems."
Maddison isn't the only Faculty of Transdisciplinary and Innovation student to be recognised in recent years. Last year, Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation student Julia McNamara also earned the honour. However, it was for a distinctly different category – she was named as a finalist for the 2018 Nestle Marketing Award.
"I think it's a testament to the relevance of what we're learning," she says on the breadth between the two awards.
"No matter which industry you're passionate about, transdisciplinary thinking and creative problem solving are critical skills to have."
So with the rest of 2019 still to come – and with it, the title of being one of the year's brightest future leaders – Maddison has her sights set on big things: building her skills as a female role model, exploring pressing problem spaces within construction, and implementing the skills she's acquired through her Diploma of Innovation.