In professional working life, sometimes you need further leadership education to take you to the next step in your career progression. You might be seeking promotion, or vying for an executive role for which you’re not yet qualified. Or perhaps you just really want to make your start-up dream a reality and don’t have the skills to know how to manage a business.
This is when you might consider an MBA – a big decision that has the potential for big rewards. As Professor Allan Trench, UWA MBA Director, explains, “we teach our MBAs to speak and practice the language of major business and industry firms so we’re really preparing people to operate successfully in very senior decision-making environments. It’s not an aspiration – it is an expectation – that our MBA will transform your life. We’ve made some very happy students”.
To answer questions you might have about the program, we’ve put together some advice about the experience and what you can expect as an MBA student.
1. What is an MBA and why would someone do one?
A Master of Business Administration, or MBA, is a postgraduate degree for professionals seeking to take their career to the upper management or executive level. It focuses on leadership development and nurtures your career goals by providing a personalised study experience.
By undertaking an MBA, you meet leaders in your industry and graduate with significant advancement towards your ultimate employment and business aspirations.
2. Which MBA should I do?
Which type of MBA you undertake depends on your circumstances:
The intensive route
One option is to fast-track your studies: you may be currently employed and wish to remain in your job while studying mainly online, out-of-hours, or on weekends, so an intensive MBA may be right for you.
By spending 12 to 18 months studying intensively around your working hours, you’ll reduce otherwise lost income and also have the opportunity to immediately put into practice the skills you’ve learned in class.
The flexible option
Alternatively, if you prefer to tailor your studies according to your personal circumstance, a flexible program may be more up your alley. You can study at your own pace: you may choose to study up to four units each trimester, or even take a break from study altogether – the decision is yours.
The MBA Flexible can be completed in 16 months full-time or up to five years part-time; the typical completion time is more than two years.
3. How will it affect my career during the degree and afterwards?
Each MBA candidate’s goals are different: you might be seeking promotion in your current role or apply for a more senior opportunity, or you could be interested in being an entrepreneur by starting your own company. You may even want a career shift or an entirely different career altogether.
To help you reach your career objectives, an excellent MBA program should have dedicated career mentoring for students, including individualised career coaching through a career advisor and an industry mentor, a suite of career development workshops, online resources and presentations by industry leaders whose experience you can learn from.
Recent graduate Joel Turco, for instance, found career mentoring a highlight in his MBA experience: “Through the mentoring program I received direct access to some of the brightest business minds in the country. The mentoring program was a true differentiator of the UWA course.”
4 . How do I balance study and work during the course?
An MBA study plan should fit your lifestyle, whether you’re employed, have other responsibilities or even prefer to study online at your own pace.
Having lots of study options and a tailored study plan gives you the chance to organise your MBA around your life, ensuring your well-being remains a priority despite your increase in workload.
The balancing act of study is helped by choice: you can choose your elective, or ‘option’, units to suit according to your personal study plan.
Whether you’re interested in leadership development or entrepreneurship, a particular industry sector such as minerals and energy or social impact enterprises – or whether you simply wish to learn more about how senior decision-makers operate and think differently – there are options for everyone.
5. Will I get to meet and network with industry executives and leaders in my field?
The primary benefit of undertaking an MBA is the incredibly rare access to industry leaders and Board Members who you’d likely otherwise never meet.
Masterclasses with Senior Executives and Senior Managers from top ASX companies and government departments give you the chance to hear about the journeys of CEOs, and a top-level Business School Board means you’re in good hands.
Dr Rebecca Rey (UWA Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education) 08 6488 4840