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If, right now, you have no idea where you’re heading, it might be time to ask yourself the ‘big questions’, or just jump in and let your curiosity guide you. For UOW grad Matthew, career success didn’t come without its fair share of hurdles, but one thing’s for sure, it’s the journey that counts.
Four years ago, Matthew Kusi-Appauh moved from New South Wales to Victoria to take on a role he wasn’t even sure he could do. “It was a long, tough, and at times, painful journey. More than once I thought about throwing in the towel,” he says. But he pushed through, motivated by a self-directed challenge: “To help good people do great things.”
Now, as the General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Aussie Broadband, Matt says he’s most proud of getting Aussie Broadband listed on the ASX. For those who don’t know, the ASX is the Australian Security Exchange. Listing on the ASX gives your company access to a broad network of investors in Australia and across the world. It’s basically business speak for ‘you did good’! “We’ve taken the business from 20,000 customers to over 300,000 in just four years. Listing was the culmination of all that work and I’m pretty proud of the part I’ve played.”
At only 27, Matt has achieved a lot, but that also comes with its unique challenges. “I think everyone experiences imposter syndrome at multiple points in their life – uni, work, home, sport, whatever. I’m no different,” he admits. “At one point I grew a beard, partly so people I worked with would think I was older (and therefore more experienced) than I actually was!”
Talking about his role, Matt says he likes the range of work he gets to do: “Everything from designing marketing campaigns, to developing new products and delivering major projects. Every week there’s a new challenge that pushes me to develop additional skills and build creative solutions. Plus, I get to work with some awesome people.”
Having studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Dean’s Scholar) at UOW, Matt majored in International Business and Economics. “I was always interested in business, and I was born and raised in Wollongong, so the Bachelor of Commerce was the logical choice. It was one of the best decisions I ever made!
“I received a lot of support from UOW, but the best thing was the people I met and the friends I made while there. They’ve been there through everything, from late-night cramming sessions to work mistakes and the occasional meltdown (even car breakdowns), and have had a hugely positive impact on my life.”
Despite all his accomplishments, Matt doesn’t believe that you ever truly ‘make it’, explaining, “Your career and your life should be a constant work-in-progress. You’ll kick goals some days and completely stuff things up on other days. Just try to learn as much as you can along the way.”
Finally, we asked Matt what advice he’d give to students finishing up Year 12.
If Matt’s career trajectory says only one thing, it’s that you never know what’s around the corner. With determination, drive and the motivation to give things your best shot, you’ll be surprised by how far you can go.