Are you looking to take your career to new heights? Program Manager Andrea Thomas studied an MBA to take the next step in her professional career.
Working in the oil and gas industry at the time, Andrea enjoyed her challenging, yet rewarding role as a Support Services Manager but found herself hungry to take the next step in her career.
“I reached a point in my career where I needed further education to complement my experience and take me to the next level. An MBA was the natural choice for me that would allow me to move up into more senior management and leadership roles.”
Since completing a Bachelor in Irish Law before moving to Australia, Andrea had a strong desire to complete postgraduate study. Choosing a university that aligned with her core values and study ethos was important. Murdoch offered flexibility, support, and strong business networking opportunities as well as a strong sense of community and a positive academic record.
Andrea considered the many postgraduate degrees available in business including Accounting, Business Law, Management, Human Resource Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, International Business and Marketing, but ultimately selected the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at Murdoch as it best fit her goals.
“The MBA provided the opportunity to develop and enhance the skills and knowledge required to transition into senior leadership roles, while still working and building on my experience.”
Studying and work life
Although the MBA course can be completed in 12 months, Andrea chose a lighter study load to complement her demanding work schedule. In total, it took her four years to complete her MBA. She tried to be as strict as possible with her study schedule but was appreciative of Murdoch’s flexibility when life inevitably got in the way.
“I was very regimented with my study, but I found Murdoch to be very flexible, and designed to fit into a busy work schedule. Classes were largely timetabled around standard work times, and summer and winter intensive units were offered.”
To future students, Andrea cannot emphasise enough the importance of finding a balance between studying, working and your personal life. She believes ensuring you study a course you’re passionate about will help you to stay motivated when the balance is tested.
“Maintaining a good work life balance can be difficult while still meeting the demands of exam study, but when you’re passionate about what you’re doing it makes it a lot easier.”
Andrea’s experience studying an MBA at Murdoch
Andrea chose an MBA at Murdoch as she wanted to study at a world-class institution, that still had a strong community ethos and a friendly study environment. While Andrea completed most of the 16 units face-to-face, the external unit offering during periods where on-campus attendance wasn’t possible meant there wasn’t a big gap in study or any delays to completing her degree.
Despite the continued challenge of juggling her studies and her busy schedule, Andrea’s choice to study an MBA at Murdoch was never second guessed. Andrea achieved her master’s with high distinctions and was promoted to Operations Manager before even completing her degree. Andrea has since moved into a senior role in a Western Australian utility company and attributes her success in part to her MBA.
I really enjoyed my time at Murdoch, I would go back in a heartbeat. It’s a really wonderful school and I couldn’t recommend a better place to complete a postgraduate degree.
In particular, the quality of the lecturers was a highlight of her university experience.
“Murdoch’s lecturers are top-rate, and this was one of the biggest drawcards for me.”
Under the guidance of lecturers, part of the requirements of a Murdoch MBA course includes conducting a research project, applying learned theory to real workplaces. To her surprise, research became Andrea’s favourite topic while at university and became a hobby as well as a course component.
Andrea chose to focus her project on the oil and gas industry, giving her a new perspective on an industry she had been working in for 10 years.
“I loved doing the research project as it gave me a chance to understand not only elements of my own industry in greater detail, giving me a new perspective and outlook, but also provided me with exposure to a number of different resources and disciplines I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.”
Thinking of taking the next step in your studies?
Andrea found that studying her MBA helped her to grow both professionally and personally. Professionally, the exposure to different areas of business gave her a broader understanding of business principles and of her industry. The course also offers an opportunity to build and develop the leadership, negotiation and networking skills for strong growth and personal development.