Sapna Patel (2006)

Technology, public speaking and trade fairs – how unique MLC School experiences shaped Sapna's success.

Sapna Patel (2006) started at MLC School in Year 7 in 2001. After leaving school, she went on to graduate from both a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. At the age of 24, she completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Australian National University and was admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales

It was around this time that she found something from school that she had long forgotten about. In Year 8, her teacher had asked the class to imagine themselves 10 years into the future and write a letter to the school as an Old Girl, detailing their post-school achievements. Envisioning herself as a 24-year-old, 14 year old Sapna had written that she had studied law at the University of New South Wales and became a lawyer.

After a few years working at Ernst & Young as a Solicitor, Sapna left to start ImmiAdvisor, an online platform connecting visa applicants with reviewed migration agents and lawyers around the world, as well as local jobs, products and services. From a young age she was passionate about business, technology and helping people. Looking back on her time at MLC School, she remembers the Commerce trade fair in Year 10 where she set up a business, as one of the key moments in her adolescence. She recalls that it solidified her childhood dream of pursuing business as a career. She also remembers the sharp focus on technology at MLC School, which prepared her for the current digital climate and inspired her to run a technology business.

Sapna credits her extracurricular participation in Speech and Drama while she was a student at MLC School as the catalyst for building her confidence and instilling a lifelong love for speaking in front of audiences. At university, she combined this love for public speaking with her passion for business and marketing, and taught Marketing as a Casual Academic at both the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. Utilising the public speaking skills she has been developing since she was at school, she has been able to pitch to and win contracts with blue chip companies for ImmiAdvisor. More recently, her audiences have also included over 300 CEOs at the CEO Institute Summit in 2016 where she spoke as both a speaker and panelist, as well as lawyers at the Law Society of New South Wales where she was a panelist on the topic of Technology and the Law.

Sapna was the 2017 face and story of the University of New South Wales Business School, and her startup story was featured in both the Oceania Alumni and Global Alumni social media campaigns for Ernst & Young. She is the inaugural winner of the UNSW & CEO Institute Scholarship and was invited to participate in the Clayton Utz Startup program where she received free legal advice. She was also selected for the UNSW FounderLab Program, which won her no-cost technology development.