Gigay Escueta

From the Philippines to Melbourne

"Being in Melbourne is much more than just acquiring a degree!”

Margarita (Gigay) Escueta completed the BS Management at the Ateneo and worked as a professional ballerina and corporate banker before moving to Melbourne. She is studying the Executive Master of Arts and lives at Queens College.

Gigay graduated cum laude from the Ateneo, but went first to her first love: ballet. She eventually became a Company Member at Ballet Philippines, dancing professionally in the country’s premiere ballet company before pivoting to corporate. A 3.5-year stint with HSBC followed, with a focus on relationship management and strategy roles in commercial banking.

Gigay says, “My experiences heavily influenced my choice of degree at the University of Melbourne: the Executive Master of Arts, which covers project management, leadership, creative and critical thinking, people management, budgeting and financial management, as well as organisational theory and practice. It makes sense of my choices and brings my different interests and career goals together.”

A definite highlight has been the opportunity to study a subject in Italy. “I took Leaders, Business and Culture in Florence – the first overseas intensive subject designed for my degree. Florence was beautiful, and being able to do case studies, site visits and industry comparisons on location was amazing!”

Now a true “Melbournite” she loves the coffee, the culture and appreciation for art. Her advice to new students is to “understand your reasons for choosing to come to Melbourne and studying your course. Be honest about what you want to achieve and treat every day as a learning experience. Being in Melbourne is much more than just acquiring a degree!”

Gigay is in her final semester and plans to work in the performing arts sector after graduation, advising arts organisations on business strategy and helping them become sustainable.

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