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Bachelor of Management, Deakin University, Off Campus. Graduated 2010
Currently: General Manager, Bulk Food Grade, McColl's Transport
Mick Mulraney stepped into a general manager's position just prior to his 27 birthday. But he says it would not have happened had he not been on the brink of completing a Bachelor of Management. 'I was promoted to general manager in March 2010 when I was due to finish my course,' Mick says. 'I already had three years of higher education behind me and I know that made a big difference - my knowledge and understanding of the ins and outs of the wider world. I wouldn't have got the job without it.'
While living in Melbourne, Mick completed a Diploma of Management at VU Footscray before moving to Geelong to work with McColl's. Deciding to continue his studies, he chose Deakin mainly because of its convenient location. But it also ticked other boxes. 'I knew Deakin had a good reputation, particularly for its business courses,' he says. 'I had a hunt around to see what I would like to do and found I had a fairly well established university on my doorstep.'
Mick began the course on campus, juggling lectures at Waurn Ponds with his work commitments. But after a few months he switched to the off campus option. 'The lectures were quite interesting but I also found the infrastructure for distance students was pretty good,' he says. 'Everything is available online.'
When appointed General Manager Mick was already Commercial Manager at McColl's and had been with the company for five years. 'I was compiling the board reports, digging into the income statements and performing a lot of financial analysis,' he says. The subjects he studied at Deakin have proved a bonus in his new role. 'A lot of the management stream was directly applicable to what I do. And I was really new to economics - the economics subjects have helped me the most and given me a much better appreciation of the bigger picture.'
Strategic management has also been very beneficial on the job front, he adds. 'A differentiation strategy, for example, is what the company is pursuing at the moment. You have to have done the theory and know what is being talked about.'
By making use of Deakin's trimester system, Mick completed his degree in three years, despite his work commitments. 'Once you get the ball rolling you are better to keep going,' he says. And there could be more studies on the agenda. 'I never stand still so I am seriously looking at an MBA,' he says. 'To be considered for very senior leadership positions an MBA is just about a "must have", so I would like to take it a bit further.'