Daniel Petre advises graduates to take a process of self-discovery

Thursday, 13 June 2013  Features

Daniel Petre AO, the Founding Director of the Petre Foundation, took the opportunity to highlight the way personal relationships and luck form a graduate's career, when he delivered a graduation address at UNSW's Australian School of Business.

Industry leader, social entrepreneur and philanthropist Daniel Petre also received the honorary degree of Doctor of Business.

In his speech he said "the process of self-discovery is critical in terms of giving you a strong understanding of where you are coming from and how your motivations can conflict with others."

He also encouraged graduates to take courses in psychology, and to understand what makes people tick. "Increasingly the management of people will become a critical employment skill. Being an effective and motivational manager is not just about holding office parties or delivering the numbers. It is more about understanding what motivates people, how to get people to support you in working towards a common goal and how to create a work environment that respects the role of work as part of a whole life experience."

Daniel Petre graduated from UNSW in 1981 with a degree in Computer Science and Statistics. He has been a leading player in Australia's technology industry for more than 25 years, including time working at Microsoft's headquarters in the US.

He told those UNSW students graduating today that they will have at least 5 major career changes in their lives; not just changing employers but complete changes in their corporate career. He recommended "always make sure that you are in the position where you could leave your current employer for a range of roles with similar pay and opportunities. If you become beholden to only one potential employer around your specific skill set then you have lost control of your life."

He is the author of 4 books, one dealing with the impact of the internet on Australia and 3 on the roles of fathers in their child's development and work/family balance. He left graduates with one nugget of advice he said they should always follow.

"Life is long and it is much more enjoyable if you are doing something you love and which you find fulfilling."