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Tara takes out WA Business Icon title

Media release

C289/08

30 October 2008

CEOs should keep a look out for Curtin University of Technology student Tara Franzinelli, who recently won the fourth West Australian Business Icon competition.

The eighteen-year-old Economics and Finance student, of Helena Valley, was one of 40 West Australians aged 18-25 who were selected from hundreds of entrants for the gruelling ten-day test to uncover the State’s sharpest young business minds.

Tracey Hodgkins, 2005 WA Telstra Business Woman of the Year and founder of Australian Experiential Learning Centre (AELC) which runs the competition, said Business Icon was designed for young people to test their business skills.

“Contestants in this competition are challenged through a series of very complex tasks. Much like the reality TV show The Apprentice, the entrants were placed in teams and slowly eliminated by a panel of judges, based on their performance on a number of tasks,” Ms Hodgkins said.

“They had to organise a charity art exhibition, design a marketing campaign for the City of Swan and develop a Human Resources plan for a HR and recruitment firm over ten days.”

The individual task for the four finalists was to create a management plan to assess and deal with the possibility of a disaster striking Kwinana and effectively wiping out WA’s diesel supply.

Ms Hodgkins said Tara’s presentation skills and a simplified message won her the title.

“Tara read the brief very well. She simplified her message and really sold it to the audience. She has brilliant presentation skills and she handled the inquisition like a seasoned professional,” she said.

Tara said she was delighted to win the competition and said the competition gave her a better understanding of the business world.

“I was after a real challenge and that’s exactly what I got. The competition tested all my skills and abilities and coming out of the grueling competition on top gave me a huge sense of achievement,” Tara said.

Tara won cash and prizes to the value of $5,000. She will complete her degree at Curtin in 2011.

Note to Editor: A photograph of Tara is available on request

Modified: 31 October 2008