Where are they now? 40K Globe Alumni: Allanna Firth

Allanna with Maria, a 10-year-old daughter of one of the women running ANU making bags from recycle tetra cartons.

What is your current location and occupation?

In what year/s did you partake in the 40K Globe program?

I completed the 40K social enterprise module as part of my MBA at the University of Sydney in 2017.

Why did you choose to participate in the program?

I wanted to understand more about social enterprise and the 40K module offered an opportunity to do this as well as provide an immersive learning experience by visiting India. 

Also, at the time, most of my delivery team were based offshore in India. I had always wanted to visit, to understand and experience different cultural aspects including authentic Indian cuisine. 

What memories stand out most about your experience in the program?

Sensation overload being in India: 

  • Emotional – friendly, gentle, proud, humble people, poverty
  • Sight and sound – crazy traffic, bustling streets, colourful
  • Inspirational realisation of the purpose and impact of 40K helping lift literacy of vulnerable children 
  • Friendships with fellow MBA students

How did your experience help you in your career?

The 40K experience spurred my interest and passion for education, technology and how data can help improve learning outcomes. I chose to leave financial services and joined a consulting organisation where I could leverage my data skills focused in the education sector. Ultimately completing the full circle as I joined 40K Board earlier this year.

How has it impacted on your life and outlook in general?

The MBA 40K social enterprise program provided a new lens to my home and work life, from so many perspectives. Experiencing the extremes yet simplicity of Indian life, the optimism and contentment of those that have far less but in other ways far more, was a life changing experience. Through this immersive experience the insights gained into the culture and people undoubtedly paved the way for me to become a better people leader and a well-rounded individual in terms of appreciating diversity.

If it weren’t for 40K, I would not have discovered my passion for education or that it was possible to do something more fulfilling with my career and working life.

40K MBA cohort 2017

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