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Campus News : December 2011
www.uow.edu.au University of Wollongong Campus News December 2011 11 TORGE FISCHER German Study Abroad student, 2002 A semester at UOW as a Study Abroad student in 2002 made such an impression on German student Torge Fischer that a year later he became an agent for the University. After a second trip to UOW in 2003 Torge became a UOW agent, recruiting German students to study in Wollongong for part of their degree. Later he and a friend started an agency called Study Aussieland, representing Australian universities (including UOW) in Germany. Torge's fasination with international study started at high school, when he spent a year in Texas. When he began his International Management degree at the University of Flensburg in Germany, he investigated Study Abroad options In Australia and New Zealand. "Wollongong attracted me as it is a medium sized city close to Sydney," Torge said. "I didn't want to go to Sydney but wanted to be close for weekend trips. I had never heard of Wollongong, but the name sounded 'exotic'. "When Europeans think of Australia they consider Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru and kangaroos, so Wollongong for me was breaking away from this narrow view and going to a place where I hoped to be away from tourists, getting to know some real Aussie-ness -- which I did." Torge said a highlight of his time at UOW was Tonia Gray's Outdoor Education classes, that included a trek through the Blue Mountains. "That trek was an adventure that represented Australia at its best, and was a key factor in making true friends from Australia and overseas," he said. "That class also opened up further possibilities. Tonia invited me to guide the class the following year, so I was able to return to Wollongong in 2003. Tonia also introduced me to Trish Tindall (UOW's Manager, International Relations) and this led to me becoming an agent for UOW in Germany." Torge completed his Bachelor of International Management in 2003, then moved to Denmark to study for a Masters degree in Business Administration and Modern Languages at Copenhagen Business School from 2004-2006. During his time in Copenhagen the Study Abroad bug bit again, and he did a semester exchange at Tec de Monterey in Mexico -- the fifthcountrythathehad lived and studied in. His fascination with international study flowed through to his Masters thesis topic - The Internationalisation of Higher Education in Latin America. After graduating he stayed on in Denmark, working as an International Coordinator at Aarhus University. "I think all this overseas study and developing a theoretical interest for the industry through my Masters research led to my career in international education," he said. "Now, after five years working in the industry, I know I chose exactly the right job for me." For the next 12 months Torge will be back-packing around the world. "But I plan to find a new job afterwards in international education," Torge said. "I don't know yet where this will be, but that is the whole magic about it." NH Agent inspired by Study Abroad Torge Fischer pictured on holidays in Norway. His experience as a Study Abroad student at UOW inspired him to become a recruitment agent for the University in Germany. SIMON CHUNG Bachelor of Mathematics (Computer Science) 1989 University of Wollongong graduate Simon Chung has been awarded the Australia- China Alumni of the Year Award at a gala presentation dinner sponsored by CPA Australia at the Marriott Hotel Beijing. Simon graduated from UOW in 1989 with a Bachelor of Mathematics majoring in Computer Science. He is currently the Global Chief Operating Officer of ChinaSoft International, a firm primarily engaged in IT solutions, outsourcing and consulting services. Beijing-based ChinaSoft International is a stock exchange listed company that employs about 13,000 people in 26 subsidiaries worldwide. Simon began his career in the Australian Department of Defence (Navy Division) as an IT officer and manager before joining the Department of Finance as an IT database leader. Simon returned to Hong Kong in 1995 and spent the next few years working in a range of IT consulting firms including ATOS Origin. In 2006 he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of ChinaSoft International and has improved the operations management and assisted in achieving more than 30% growth since 2005. He has improved return-on-investment for investors and helped to expand the company to new business sectors and customers through marketing and promotion. As the company has grown from 1500 employees in 2005 to 13,000 Simon has enhanced and managed this rapid growth. Simon also personally mentors junior staff on project management, customer satisfaction skills, and organisational work ethic. UOW had two other alumni finalists in other award categories: Dr Laurens Tan (Master of Creative Arts -- Visual Arts, 1993) in the Telstra Sensis Australia China Alumni Award for ICT and New Media; Patrick Jin (Master of Business Administration, Distinction, 2003) in the Mallesons Stephen Jaques Australia China Alumni Award for Corporate Achievement. UOW's Dean of Informatics Professor Philip Ogunbona attended the awards ceremony. BG Graduate wins Aust-China Alumni award Simon Chung