Here's how your job improves when you complete an MBA

A Master of Business Administration (or MBA) is an excellent way to take your career to the next level but it can also mean a large investment of time and money. So is an MBA worth it? And what will your work and career look like with that experience and qualification under your belt?

We spoke to three graduates and an academic about how an MBA can change your career trajectory.

How does Deakin's MBA improve the career path of its graduates?

Dr Paul Harrison, MBA director and senior lecturer in Deakin Business School, has seen many careers propelled with the help of an MBA. ‘An MBA is, even at face value, a great way to signal to your current and future employers that you have the skills and capabilities to lead your peers and lead an organisation,’ he says.

‘It's particularly useful for people who want to take a step up from middle management to senior management, and even executive level and C-Suite. It can be hard to get to those very senior levels in an organisation without having the knowledge, skills and capabilities that you develop doing an MBA.’

With a 360-degree evaluation and goal setting factored into the course, it’s not a matter of getting to the end of your degree and then starting to explore your options. ‘You've already been working towards that point so you know exactly how you can use your degree to launch the next stage in your career,’ Dr Harrison, explains. Deakin’s MBA is designed for you to take what you’re learning with you to work the next day.

Higher salaries, promotions and new job opportunities are commonplace for MBA graduates. ‘We enable increased opportunities and experience, in order to enhance your employability and promotability,’ Dr Harrison, says.

A breadth of business perspectives

Recent graduate Josh Davey worked in aerospace project management before completing the MBA at Deakin. Post MBA he’s working for the Department of Finance. ‘I studied the MBA to get a broader business perspective,’ he says. ‘The MBA provided me with the tools and knowledge to work across multiple areas of a business rather than just in project management.’

Davey found live case studies the most beneficial. ‘I enjoyed being thrown a difficult business scenario and then trying to identify strategies,’ he says. He also valued the networking opportunities: ‘Throughout some of the team assignments, I've been fortunate to meet some awesome and very talented people along the way, which made life a little bit easier.’

Making a difference in healthcare

Sugandhika Kaul is a commercial account manager with healthcare company Abbott, managing sales, support and business development in three states of Australia. Kaul says she undertook the MBA to develop a ‘holistic business view’. ‘It gives you a different perspective to a problem and enables you to innovate new ways of finding solutions,’ she says. ‘You become more self-aware in the process which, in turn, increases your emotional intelligence.’

Kaul found that completing the MBA informed every aspect of her work. ‘I applied all of my learnings to grow my business, build stronger relationships with my customers, explore new market segments and help my organisation expand their footprint in areas they were not present before,’ she says.

One course highlight for Kaul was a study trip to Silicon Valley Trip. ‘It put everything into perspective from how you help motivate people to deliver their best to helping organisations gain competitive advantage,’ she says. ‘It taught me how embracing failures allows people to innovate, which in Australia is not a norm yet.’

Having done her undergraduate degree at a different university, Kaul was impressed with how practical the course at Deakin was. ‘I found Deakin to provide more industrial exposure where you can learn from real life experiences,’ she says. ‘The Deakin MBA faculty is very welcoming which gives comfort in a new environment and makes approaching them easy.’

Leading in agriculture

As the CEO of Agtrix, Kris Beavis has been leading a group in the delivery of agriculture technology internationally. ‘AgTech is an exciting industry and being with a company that is an enabler to the food supply chain has a genuinely positive economic outcome for our communities.’ Prior to this role, Beavis was leading a group delivering helicopter emergency medical services.

Beavis says the MBA has expanded his strategy disciplines and leadership knowledge. ‘I strongly believe that some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way could have been dealt with better if I’d had the pre-knowledge I acquired through the Deakin MBA,’ he says. ‘For me, the benefit of the MBA is that I’ve added some more tools into the toolkit.’

Beavis valued getting the opportunity to work with students from a variety of industries. ‘It is interesting who pops up in your syndicates from nationally recognised sports coaches, through to military leaders to business leaders,’ he says. ‘The close team dynamic of shared success in assignments can’t be underestimated.’

What do you learn in an MBA?

While the MBA caters to all industries and offers a range of industry specialisations, it’s a program for those who want to lead at a senior level. ‘The MBA is really designed for people who want a breadth of understanding and scope about what it is to be a manager and leader, rather than depth of expertise in one specific discipline,’ Dr Harrison says. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ degree.

‘We try and work with students individually to develop opportunities and pathways that create value for them personally and also professionally,’ Dr Harrison says. ‘We work with students to help craft their unique path rather than say, ‘this is what you should be expecting’. We attract people from many different industries and walks of life so there are many different directions we can help you take.’

Ready to propel your career? Learn more about Deakin's MBA.