Our next guest, is Mariam Mohammed: recent President of the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA), & in fact the youngest President in the 40+ year history of the organisation, where she managed a team of 17 staff, 28 councillors & a $1.6m budget to benefit ~25,000 post-graduate students . Alongside her co-President Kiriti, they lead an outreach campaign that resulted in a 632% increase in voting over two-years! We talk about how Mariam thinks of customer-segmentation within her membership base & tailoring events to the needs of her users.
Mariam is also the Founder of MoneyGirl, a social enterprise focused on making financial education more fun & accessible for young Australian women. She is brutally honest with her insights into the ups & downs of creating a startup to tackle the front-page worthy world of financial education. We talk about her plans for the future & why financial literacy is such a pressing issue, particularly for women due to the links to domestic violence.
· “We, as student leaders, come into positions that we may have never been in before…and then we discover… that the vision we have, or the vision our people have, are very different to what the organisation is willing or able to do.”
· “Our strategy was essentially to have a community engagement strategy, which didn’t really exist before.”
· “Figure out who it is that you want to engage, how are you going to do it & what is it that they need from you in order to engage with you.”
· “We had international student events at regular intervals… they formed almost 50% of our post-graduate student body. We also had a women’s conference, we had informal seminars targeted at specific audiences that we wanted to engage. It helped us identify: (1) Here is the part of the post-graduate community that is already well engaged;  Who are the communities who are least engaged but are important to engage? Then we figured out what would be the best way to engage them. Whether that means social events… collective safe spaces, or social media engagement.”
· “When I first started at SUPRA in 2016, the engagement level was (something like) 2% of the student body (of 25,000 post-graduate students). Your engagement is important because if you are not engaging your community you are not able to full, and to the best of your ability, represent them.”
· “If you think about yourself as the brand… I need to figure out who Mariam’s market is. I need to go through the exact same process for myself! Knowing how to map your stakeholders; knowing how to identify those gaps, knowing exactly who you are serving & why,… [is so valuable after your lifetime as a student leader & into your career].”
· “I work very mindfully to make sure I don’t turn into a workaholic.”
· “Recognise your guiding purpose.”
· “Only 50% of Australians know very basic personal finance… That number goes down to 35% when you look at just Australian women… If you look at Australian youth that number goes down further to 24%.”
· “Financial literacy is a survival skill.”
· “MoneyGirl is not just about financial literacy, MoneyGirl is about women’s wellbeing.”
· “We don’t talk about the bad or harder parts about building a business too often!”
· Connect with Mariam via https://www.linkedin.com/in/marmariam/
· Follow the MoneyGirl story via https://www.linkedin.com/company/moneygirlau/
· Reach out to MoneyGirl on Twitter: @MoneyGirlAU
· Check out The Social Impact Lab: https://www.thesocialimpactlab.com/
· Startup Muster Report (2018): https://www.startupmuster.com/reports
· “1 woman per week is murdered by her partner [current or former] in Australia,”
Data supported by White Ribbon website, original source: Bryant, W. & Bricknall, S. (2017). Homicide in Australia 2012-2014: National Homicide Monitoring Program report. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2ozctxh.
If you, or someone you know, is the victim of domestic violence, please utilise the free support services available for each state of Australia at the White Ribbon website: https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/find-help/
For more interviews with leaders like Mariam, make sure you follow Campus Consultancy:
And remember to connect with our host, Josh Farr, on www.linkedin.com/in/joshdfarr
Join us again soon!