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Darko Penjalov

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Master of Business Administration

I come from a heavily technical background, having studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in my undergrad. That is why, working as a Solution Architect in the telecommunications industry, it has always been my goal to add more business knowledge to my set of skills.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program seemed like a natural choice because, I reasoned, it would help me to better serve my clients by having a greater understanding of the business environment, strategy, challenges and demands that they face, as well as helping with my future career aspirations to move into management.

Why Deakin off-campus studies?
Given that my job involves as much as 80% overseas travel per year, studying on campus just wasn't an option. So my dream of further study languished unfulfilled. My lucky break occurred when talking to some managers at work, I realised that most of them were studying for their MBAs off-campus at Deakin, which I didn't realise was possible until that point. The light bulb went off and without any further delay I enrolled in a Deakin MBA.

Challenges
I am very happy with my decision to go back to study. I realised very quickly how I could immediately apply the new skills and knowledge in my day to day work. Having said that, it is not all smooth sailing. Managing work-life-study balance is the biggest challenge for me. Not having a family yet certainly makes things easier, but an active social life and frequent travel tend to get in the way.

Successes and aspirations
I very much appreciate the flexibility and support provided by the University to off-campus students. I remember having to do an exam in Jakarta, where I happened to be on a two-month project at the time. It was extremely difficult to juggle a demanding project workload as well as long working hours, with studying for the exam. But the fact that I could do the exam overseas helped immensely.

Study tips and advice for new off-campus students
Discipline is the key to keeping on top of things. Completing weekly readings as well as frequent use of CloudDeakin discussions makes things easier. I also recommend attending lectures whenever possible, because this enhances your overall experience, as well as allows you to meet your fellow students.

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21st February 2013