A Charles Darwin University student from Germany has won the International Business Student of the Year prize at the Chief Minister’s Northern Territory Export and Industry Awards.
Natalie Mundle, who arrived in Darwin in February just as Tropical Cyclone Carlos was bearing down on the city, described the certificate she received at the Convention Centre ceremony on September 1 as her most precious possession.
“It is the first award I have won and the first real recognition of my work,” she said.
Fluent in German, French and English, Natalie enrolled at CDU through the Study Abroad Program and is working towards a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.
“One of my professional aims is to increase cultural awareness in the workplace, especially for international businesses. The basis of international business is cross-cultural management and for that you need an awareness and respect for cultural differences,” she said.
Natalie, who grew up in both France and Germany, and who describes herself as an international citizen, was quick to recognise the broad cultural diversity in Darwin’s population.
“Darwin is a big melting pot where people from different cultures seem to have integrated very well. I don’t see the separation among the cultures here that I’ve seen in some countries.”
Natalie said she would never forget her “stormy welcome” to Darwin on February 15 this year, as Cyclone Carlos was dumping 367mm of rain on the city.
“We don’t have tropical storms where I come from [Stuttgart] and I had never seen horizontal rain. I was worried but people were laughing and saying this is normal in a cyclone.”
Natalie plans to return to Germany in November to honour study and employment commitments, but has not discounted the possibility of returning to Darwin.
“I feel that I have achieved a lot here and that Australia [offers] me so many opportunities.”
Natalie thanked her nominating lecturer Dr Rajeev Sharma.
“He is the best lecturer I have had in my life. I can’t really put into words how grateful I am and for the very good support I have received.”