From a wide-ranging career across the world to leading strategy at RMIT, Frank is making an impact in the world of business and law.
Frank Kennedy leads strategy and innovation at RMIT’s College of Business and Law. He describes his career journey to higher education and the skills he sees in students that make them successful graduates.
“I’ve had a varied career across people and teaching, working in banking, developing capabilities, human resources and organisational development.
“I’ve worked globally, in Hong Kong, London and Bangkok, and it’s been fascinating getting a global perspective.”
Frank started as the Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Strategy & Innovation for RMIT’s College of Business and Law in 2019.
He’s already seen in a short time the impact RMIT’s industry engagement, design thinking and global connections have on producing job-ready graduates.
“There’s a great diversity of students and staff at RMIT. Our programs are delivered in Melbourne, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as through Open Universities Australia (OUA) and RMIT Online. We have a research hub in Barcelona connecting RMIT Europe to Australia and Asia.
“At RMIT we stand for knowledge exchange that provides an integrated view for business, focusing on research, great academics, strong programs and global centres.”
Having a wide ranging background in corporate business means Frank has great experience in identifying the qualities employers look for.
“The qualities of entrepreneurism, critical thinking and innovation are what employers are looking for.
“Businesses nowadays are smaller, more agile and more open to collaboration between other businesses. A good contributor to a business has to be able to make quick decisions, interpret data, influence people and put an idea forward with confidence.
“The critical thinking and problem solving skills of the next generation have been built through gamification, social media, artificial intelligence and a strong moral compass, so that's how they expect to engage in their studies and work.
“Future generations will have multiple career changes and directions and we’re building the future capabilities to suit that type of career progression. Rather than talking about jobs, we should be talking about impact.”
Frank Kennedy leads strategy and innovation at RMIT’s Graduate School of Business and Law. He describes his career journey to higher education and the skills he sees in students that make them successful graduates.
Giving students opportunities to have Work Integrated Learning is a key part of the RMIT Ready for Life and Work strategy.
“There are several ways RMIT prepares students to become exceptional contributors, entrepreneurs and executives. Work Integrated Learning courses take what you experience in the classroom into an organisation where you apply your learning in decision making, and use your leadership and problem solving capabilities.
“RMIT combines Design Thinking into their MBA and that’s a perfect way to ensure that the customer comes first.
“Design Thinking is centred around solving a problem by collaborating with agile groups of people and that’s what the real workplace is. We’re bringing those real-life challenges and problems into the classroom.”
Industry connections are built into all of RMIT’s programs and Frank has seen first hand the difference these partnerships make to both industries and students.
“The College of Business and Law engages with industry to get the best opportunities for students to join a business, whether it’s for an internship, or a semester, or to do exchanges. We find the right companies who are willing to give the experience, coaching and mentoring that students need.
“Part of RMIT’s DNA is social responsibility, innovation and impact. RMIT stands for business capability and that’s our strong proposition to industry.
“We have fantastic centres that look at human rights, international development, innovative justice, and even blockchain, which is about protection of remote communities and money, governance ethics, financial and commercial acumen.
“I recently visited RMIT’s Vietnam campus and saw great examples of authentic assessment. When students work on real jobs and tasks in a business, that business then gives part of the assessment. It demonstrates to industries and not-for-profits how much value our students bring to them.”
Frank sees multiple motivations for postgraduate study - specialising in your field, gaining entrepreneurial skills and learning how to ask questions.
“You might choose to study postgraduate because you want to get a deeper technical knowledge and become an expert in your profession. Or you might want to be an entrepreneur.
“Learning how to ask questions is a key motivator. Doing an MBA gives you great knowledge about the drivers of business that you can use to make decisions.
“As a CEO or GM you won’t be at the beck and call of an expert in finance or marketing or product, because you’ll have the knowledge to ask the right questions.
“What’s next for the College of Business and Law is being renowned as the go-to destination for shaping socially conscious individuals, enterprises and leaders who manage commercial, leadership, justice and fairness.”
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer