Meet some of our alumni: Annie Shu's story

Annie Shu became involved in CAMP through the CAMP 2015 sponsor Westpac. As the

Innovation and Strategy Manager for Westpac Group, Annie enables businesses and individuals

to develop an innovative mindset, to think outside the box and tap into opportunities in today’s

rapidly evolving economy. She first heard about CAMP through her work, and was interested to

see how it could benefit her role with Westpac. “Westpac had a CAMP official launch in the

head office, a big campaign drive on our intranet as well as featured stories about CAMP and

how we could get involved. The relationship between China and Australia is a big focus for

Westpac. For me, I was fascinated to see how entrepreneurial skillsets can help to equip you in

today’s ever-changing workforce. My current role deals a lot with innovation and

entrepreneurship and I wanted to see it from a firsthand perspective as an idea owner, how to

visualise and develop a concept. I was keen to see what new perspectives of entrepreneurship

that CAMP could offer.”

 

Although Annie deals with innovation in her day-to- day work, CAMP offered her something new

“As part of our work, we are already tapped into the Sydney and Australia entrepreneurs and

venture capital firms. CAMP allowed me to tap into the Hong Kong and China start-up

environment and understand more about what is going on in Asia. The network CAMP provided

allowed me to tap much more deeply into the Asia-aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

 

For Annie, tapping into the Shanghai innovation scene is a return to her roots. Annie was born

in Shanghai, but has spent her formative years in New Zealand and Australia. Her working life

has been very focused on Australian business. “[Participating in CAMP] has enabled me to

deepen my engagement with the Australia-China space. We had connected with people from all

across many different industries in China”. Annie was a member of one of the finalist teams that

won the opportunity to pitch their innovation at the Overseas Talent and Entrepreneurship

Conference in Beijing. “We saw how fast and how competitive the environment is if you were an

entrepreneur. That was the first time we saw our idea at an international perspective. We got

really good insights and feedback from our judges and investors. The pitch in China was a

valuable experience. It opened up our perspective to the urgency to change- how fast-paced it

is in China. We gained a better understanding of the time imperative to acting on new innovation

and ideas.”

 

6 months after CAMP, Annie speaks highly of what the experience has brought to her work.

When asked “I was able to know much more about different teams within Westpac. There were

different areas that were supporting CAMP and we got to know some of the business mentors

along this journey. Personally, it was such a great experience, there were 23 delegates from

Westpac and throughout the journey we were able to form a network to help each other through,

we have also been able to collaborate as part of our work now because we have this network.”

 

Beyond this internal networking, Annie believes that the innovation learning was a really

valuable part of the program. “The way that CAMP was pitched to us was focusing more on the

China-Australia relationship. But I found that the innovation entrepreneurship learning is equally

valuable to Westpac employees and is a key skillset for the current working population. CAMP

really allowed us to equip ourselves with thinking outside the box, thinking about

entrepreneurship and innovation. There are a lot of different skillsets that I can take back into

my current workplace."

 

Annie is certain that CAMP will continue to benefit her work. “I will definitely be drawing upon

the network and learning in my work in Westpac. One example of this is that through the CAMP

experience, we were able to gain a better understanding to some of our partner organisations in

China including Tencent and Alibaba, this facilitated a better relationship with them as we

connected our relationship manager to serve our valued institutional clients in a better way”

It is the CAMP network that Annie values most of all. “One of the best things about CAMP is that

you get to know different people from different industries. It is quite rare to see a group of

people who went on a summit who are still contributing to the group many months after the

program commenced. A key success measure for CAMP is to see how engaged people are one

year after, it is close to one year since CAMP’s commencement last year and we see the bond

between the delegates grow stronger. CAMP community is more like a family now. Whenever

you are in another city there are a whole lot of people that you already know. You are no longer

going to somewhere that is foreign. We were only face-to- face for a week but the bond that we

all created is much deeper, it is hard to explain actually. I believe because all our passions are

the same, we really built a lasting friendship together.”