Deakin students battle the Tasman Sea, Bass Strait and 800 kilometres of open ocean to learn about leadership

5 January 2011

A group of MBA students and their teachers are crossing the Tasman Sea and Bass Strait into Williamstown – a sea journey of almost 800 kilometres – all for the sake of learning and leadership.

Deakin University's aptly named MBA course unit, Audacious Leadership, sent 21 students on a nautical assignment, this morning (January 5) – departing from Hobart on board the One and All tall ship.

Dr John Mc Williams, Senior Lecturer from the Deakin Graduate School of Business said the participating students were mature-aged working professionals from a diverse range of industries.

"I've got participants who are senior managers and leaders working in organisations as diverse as ANZ Bank, Destination Melbourne and government departments," Dr Mc Williams said.

"For many of them, this will be a trip of a lifetime. "It places our academic teaching of leadership within a very real and practical framework.

"The aim of the unit is to provide participants with a deep understanding of their own capacity for leadership as well as reflection on the actions of leaders and followers."

Dr McWilliams said it wouldn't be all fun in the sun and sea for the students.

"Most have never sailed on board a traditional sailing ship," he said. "The crew will train them on how to handle and navigate, and then they are expected to take over the ship with minimal supervision."

MBA Director, Dr Terry Boulter said the assignment was a core subject within the Master of Contemporary Leadership degree and a unit which MBA students are encouraged to undertake.

"I believe this is the first time a Victorian university has embarked on such a training course and represents our commitment to experiential learning within the Deakin Graduate School of Business," he said.

"On top of being physically and mentally challenged, the MBA students are also tasked to complete a learning diary during the voyage and submit an analytical essay."

News facts
  • MBA students go to sea to learn about leadership
  • Assignment is a core subject within the Master of Contemporary Leadership degree

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin Media Relations
03 9246 8221

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27th January 2011