From banking to sport, technology to construction, a business career has allowed Victoria Momsen to make an impact in several industry sectors in Australia and taken her as far afield as New York and London.

For Victoria Momsen, AGSM MBA alumna, a business career is about far more than money – it’s a chance to shape the world, from contributing to better buildings and infrastructure to helping transform the global real estate and construction industry into a more ethical sector. And she believes it offers a path for everyone.

“When people think about business, they often think about being an accountant or as an investment banker,” she says.

“But there are so many things required to bring a business together, from the financial side to people management, operations, organisational structure, product, marketing, brand and design. There are so many different roles that most people have never even heard of, or even considered as a career path.”

Victoria also believes it’s important that women have the opportunity to be involved in big decisions that determine the flow of money, shape economies and set the direction for research and innovation. 

“Corporates and the capital markets are making big decisions on where to invest, what suppliers to use, areas for innovation and investment into research and development. However, in a lot of cases, the investment decision making still skews towards male-dominated projects and industries. We need more women in business to be part of the initial process and to have a voice when it comes to decision-making – we’re half the population after all.”

Setting a strong foundation for an exciting future

You could say business is in Victoria’s blood. She grew up surrounded by women taking their place in business environments, from her mum who worked at Macquarie Bank and Freehills, to her grandmother and great aunts who worked in and founded entrepreneurial ventures.

“I grew up seeing women in the workplace or in an entrepreneurial setting, so I was always interested in business. We’d go and visit my grandmother in the shop, and she’d be serving busloads of tourists.”

After completing an undergraduate degree in Commerce at the University of Sydney, Victoria decided to top-up her business education with an MBA from AGSM @ UNSW Business School, which helped take her career to the next level.

“The first degree set up the foundations for a career in business, then coming back and doing an MBA allowed me to really drill down into the areas I was most interested in. I could take all the real-world experience, unpack it, and really understand why things worked or didn’t work in a practical hands-on environment.”

One of the benefits of choosing AGSM for her MBA was the opportunity to participate in an international exchange program at the NYU Stern School of Business for a semester.

Here, Victoria immersed herself in sports business, brand strategy, entrepreneurship, innovation, and design thinking. She was also able to extend her stay by three months to do a summer internship at the NFL.

Since graduating in 2017, Victoria applies what she learned during her business studies every day, especially when she’s looking for solutions to work-based problems.

“The MBA taught me how to use problem-solving principles. How to structure a problem, to work with different techniques such as using an hypothesis-based approach to validate future feasibility and viability. I also use other skillsets such as interpersonal and humanistic skills, networking, and apply a growth mindset to bring diverse groups of people together.”

Bringing business and technology together

Victoria has experienced firsthand the diverse career opportunities available to women. Over her career, she’s worked at Macquarie Bank, as the CFO for the NRL's West Tigers, and as the General Manager of Product Management at Lendlease Digital. And most recently joined the Minerva Network - a network of leading Australian businesswomen with the collective mission to enable elite sportswomen to maximise their opportunities on and off the field - as an Executive Director to lead the team through future growth.

While her roles have all been very different, she’s used the skills and strategies she learned during her studies in every single one.

“Digital product management and strategy is all about the fundamentals of business,” she explains.

“What’s the value of what you’re selling and what do your customers want? What are their needs and how will you meet them? You need to be able to use skills like liaising with different stakeholders and colleagues who have expertise in these areas to get the best outcome for your client.”

In her previous role at Lendlease Digital, Victoria created and launched “Podium Property Insights” – a digital platform bringing data together across every stage of the construction and property development process. Her job included taking the platform from an idea and turning it into a generally available software product, getting board approval, setting up and bringing teams together to work on and build the product and getting customers to use it.

“Podium Property Insights helps bring data together from across a building so asset and investment managers can optimise them for occupancy or energy efficiency,” she explains.

“For example, a retail manager might want to know the best way to get more customers through the door. So, by using this software, they can test different strategies to see what will work best: i.e by redesigning where they place shops or understanding how to leverage marketing campaigns so that will attract more customers. Or corporate real estate owners might want to know how much space they’re actually using vs not, which has an impact on where they place their teams or how they fit out a new office tenancy.”

Making an impact on people and society

As well as being interesting and rewarding, a career in business has given Victoria the opportunity to make her mark on the construction industry in Australia.

“The built environment has such a large impact on us as humans and how we live. Our buildings shape our day-to-day lives and communities,” she said.

“Working at Lendlease allowed me to be part of a business where you see that in a real tangible way. When you’re involved in big infrastructure projects that can last 50 years, you’re playing a part in shaping cities for the future.”

And being able to track where building supplies and products are coming from has allowed Victoria to immerse herself and further understand how industry supply chains can become more ethical and sustainable from the outset.

“Supply chains touch on so many things. Not just financial considerations, but child labour policies, sustainability, and quality of materials. So, you’re not just managing financial costs for a big project, you’re managing the carbon footprint, social impact, and risks across $200 - $300 million projects,” she explains.

“You’re also choosing which organisation your funds go to, which shapes the economy as you are enforcing change based on where you choose to spend your money”

Victoria is now putting her business skills and love of sport to work for others as Executive Director for the Minerva Network by linking elite female athletes with Australian businesswomen.

For Victoria, it’s an opportunity to give back to women’s sports and help professional athletes build the skills and knowledge to continue pursuing their athletic careers while giving them the tools to transition into whatever they want to do next.

Embracing opportunities and building connections

Victoria believes it’s never been a better time for female-identifying students considering a career in business.

“There are so many opportunities and so many female entrepreneurs today, which is very different to when I started my career. You see all these amazing people on LinkedIn or TikTok doing all these amazing things, and you can be part of it.”

But she recognises the dangers of comparing yourself to others or trying to do everything all at once.

“Comparison is one of the challenges I see facing young graduates. They feel they need to get things done faster because they’re comparing themselves to all these other people, not just locally, but globally.” 

For those looking to start or grow a career in business, Victoria suggests seeking out connections from outside your circle and taking advice from mentors who have done what you want to do in the future.

“Find mentors who have started their own business, or who have risen up the corporate ladder, or are working in the same industry as you would like to gain a career in and seek advice from there.”

“And branch out from what you think you know, to learn more about what you don’t know because there are so many different things to do out there, and it can all be so rewarding in different ways. I’m always amazed at how many careers there are in business – the possibilities are endless.”

“When I look at my friends from uni, we all studied the same subjects to start with, however, we have all followed our own passions and have gone into different industries and jobs.”

Interested in a career in business?

Follow in the footsteps of successful women like Victoria Momsen at the UNSW Girls in Business Camp. Open to any year 10, 11 or 12 female-identifying high school students in New South Wales with an interest in studying Banking and Finance, Economics, Information Systems and Technology Management, Risk and Actuarial Studies at UNSW Business School.


Learn more about the UNSW Girls in Business Camp

Learn more about Information Systems and Technology Management at UNSW Business School

Find out more about the UNSW Business School