20 April 2016: A Perth trio were among 24 students to travel to the nation's capital as part of the first cohort to graduate with a Master of Business Administration (Innovation and Leadership) from the University of Canberra.
A total of 27 students graduated from the new MBA which sees students work on a series of industry sponsored projects with companies including the National Australia Bank, KPMG, Linfox and online recruitment firm Seek.
Engineering lecturer Indumathi V, senior manager in the resources sector Peter Godwin and building industry entrepreneur Sean Gavin, said they were all impressed by the contemporary approach the MBA offered.
"I'd had an itch for 20 years to do an MBA and one day I read an article in The Australian about this new course that was starting up, so I made a phone call," Mr Gavin said. "We were working in collaborative teams in a dispersed environment with real life industry partners, so all those elements I thought were unique."
The industry engagement was a major drawcard for the MBA with course partner Ducere sourcing collaborators from both the private and public sectors in Australia and abroad.
"I liked the project with KPMG that I did; it was to do with the start-up sector in Melbourne and it was very engaging," Ms V said. "Similarly a Federal Department of Education and Training project for work-integrated learning for international students, that was something I enjoyed very much as well."
"I was also on the Education Department project and that something that I found had very diverse stakeholders and was very challenging," said Mr Godwin, who works for SNL Metals and Mining. "The project with Save the Children Australia was also very good as we got to apply some of the concepts we learnt in the marketing and other units."
While each of the WA representatives already had impressive resumes, they were confident the MBA gives them the knowledge to further their careers.
"I'm an engineer by profession and I always thought that the technical and the business combination was always quite useful and powerful," Ms V added. "Career-wise, I'm still figuring out where to go, but somewhere in terms of strategy or operations management is something I'm aspiring to."
"I've been in business for 20 years, and I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the mechanics of my work," Mr Gavin added. "But I think once you start getting into the MBA and understanding a lot of the readings and putting together a lot of the academic writing, if you really want to understand something you write about it, and that was one of the learnings – I wrote a lot, we all wrote a lot, and I developed a much deeper understanding of the mechanics of business."
Read about more of our recent graduates: