Hear how Sharleen Wang traded one career for another and found her feet in Agribusiness
The journey to an international career in trade and agribusiness was not linear for Master of Global Food and Agribusiness graduate Sharleen Wang.
With an already enviable career behind her in sales and operations management across a range of industries and countries, Sharleen never lost sight of her desire to work in international trade.
“Back then, I believed the best way to increase my chance to reach this goal was to undertake a master’s degree in international trade.”
Enrolling into a Master of International Trade with the University of Adelaide, Sharleen explored the breadth of subjects available to her and chose to undertake a course called ‘Trends and issues in the world food system’, as she had always had a passion for food and cooking since her childhood.
“This course made me realise that there are many issues and problems in the food system that I was not aware of. I was very interested in those topics and decided to learn more about them. Hence, I transferred to the Master of Global Food and Agricultural Business.”
Through this program pivot, Sharleen’s studies were further aligned with her interests, allowing her to pursue trade subjects with a lens on the food and agribusiness industry. A highlight of the program was the flexibility to choose electives in line with her passions, allowing Sharleen to broaden her knowledge and skillset.
“What I enjoyed the most is to be able to have a large degree of freedom to choose the electives that I was interested in, from different disciplines.”
Growing up in China and working all over the world, Sharleen has a natural appreciation for other cultures and vastly benefitted from the connections she made with other students from different backgrounds in the classroom.
“They help me to understand countries and cultures that I’ve had almost no contact with, which broadens my horizons.”
With her clear dedication to the agribusiness industry, and with the help of the Centre for Global Food and Agribusiness, Sharleen secured a research internship with Laucke Flour Mills, an international producer of high-quality flour products. Based in Adelaide, Sharleen’s role was to research consumer trends in China and develop a business strategy for market growth in the area, allowing her to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
“Through the internship research, I could apply what I had learned in class to form strategies and provide advice to capture opportunities and solve problems.”
Sharleen made quite the impression during her internship, with the CEO of Laucke Flour Mills attending her graduation and shortly after offering her a job with the company as International Trade development Manager.
“In my current role with Laucke Flour Mills, my main responsibility is to develop the Chinese market which involves everything from IP rights protection to supply chain, sales, and operations.” Sharleen Wang
When reflecting on her studies and how far she has come, Sharleen is grateful for the opportunities afforded to her through the Master of Global Food and Agribusiness.
“One of the best things that the program offers is the internship research, which is led by the Associate Director, Craig Johns. I think one of the shortages of many degrees is that the distance between the classroom and the real world is too long; the program has filled that gap.”
Sharleen’s global career continues to go from strength to strength, allowing her to pursue a true passion in food whilst expanding her horizons. With the agribusiness industry continuing to thrive, the time has never been more perfect to pursue your passion for food and make an impact on a global scale.