You have wanted to get started on an MBA for some time now, but you are yet to take that final step?
Does this sound familiar? It is a very common situation and many people allow their doubts to hold them back for years, but once started the rewards from an MBA can be huge.
Below recent graduates of the Ducere-University of Canberra MBA share their reflections on some of the most common barriers to getting you started and some of the successes they have enjoyed.
Will I get value from this MBA?
You may be wondering if undertaking this MBA will be worth the time, effort and financial investment. Will it really deliver the professional outcomes I desire?
Typically the return on investment for study is assessed on the impact 6 months to 3 years post-graduation, but our flexible, industry integrated MBA is demonstrating that it can deliver professional value from the moment you begin the course.
One third of our graduate survey reported that they had already seen a salary increase at the time of graduation, which they directly linked to undertaking their MBA. 78% of our graduate survey reported that they had already experienced professional outcomes as a result of the MBA at the time of graduation. These outcomes include promotions, consultancy work, more desirable roles and tangible business opportunities.
“The experience that I got in three different types of big organizations… resulted in a promotion and a new job for me before I even graduated.” Tegan Kop, 2016 MBA Graduate.
Students believe they can achieve such a quick return on their investment because they do not have to take a career break to complete this MBA, and at the same time they immediately bolster their CV with new and broader professional experience.
Recent graduate Jennifer Flew worked with Linfox, Save the Children and NAB, “I have worked in the same industry for a long time. Gaining insight into the perspectives of different industries – both from the Industry partners as well as project team members, changed the way I view my own industry”.
Recent graduate Peter Goodwin worked with Maddocks, a federal government department and Save the Children, “There was great value in the opportunity to work on real problems… I appreciated having projects with a company, government department and NGO.”
Will I have the time to study?
80% of our MBA candidates work full time and 85% of our inaugural cohort were able to graduate in 12 months. To achieve this they employed effective strategies for managing time, tirelessly supported by our dedicated student support team. Careful planning, managing expectations and utilising time that is usually unproductive are key.
MBA graduate Erin Pinto gives this advice: “PLAN!! Make time each week to see what you need to read, review, research and draft, as well as your project… Team meetings that run once a week… you complete everything you need to do for the Team project then, the rest of the week is yours!!!”
MBA graduate Sean Gavin says, “Maintain a regular time commitment. Small amounts of study often will keep you on track.”
“I had regular group meetings with my project teams and expected outcomes around these. I found that because I was in that headspace it was then easy to continue individual study after these times.” Tegan Kop explains.
“I worked out a study timetable with my family, and I stuck to it,” offers new MBA graduate Sara Bowen. “When I was studying, I studied and when I had free time, I took it – and my family backed me all the way.”
Will I struggle going back to study?
Most of our MBA candidates are mid-career with an average age of 39. This means many students have not undertaken tertiary study for several years, and some have entered the MBA purely on the strength of their professional experience without prior tertiary qualifications. Understandably some have initial concerns about meeting the required academic standards of the course, yet support from peers, support staff and academics enables them to rapidly overcome this self-doubt to be successful.
MBA Graduate Michael McKenna shares, “I had some serious doubts. I was now part of an MBA project team that contained some seriously clever people and I felt exposed.” However he continues, “They made it easy for me, identified where I was falling and were just great people.”
Ducere’s student centric philosophy means we are constantly seeking feedback from students to improve the student experience and drive the greatest amount of success from students with broad and different backgrounds. This is reflected in over 97% of students surveyed reporting that they are happy or very happy with the level of support provided by the Ducere Student Experience Team.
“The level of support was top shelf. The portal was far user-friendlier than others.” Scott Draper, 2016 MBA Graduate.
“Ducere focused more on experiential learning as compared to being more textbook focused. They made the program exciting with real industry projects that made the learning not only real but with reinforcement of how it’s actually applied in the real work environment.” Indu V, 2016 MBA Graduate.
“A different focus and a different attitude: rather than taking the traditional university approach of ‘we know lots more than you do and we will tell you how to go about getting your qualification’ Ducere’s approach was more collaborative and engaging.” Sara Bowen, 2016 MBA Graduate.
“The project-based platform was a valuable platform to engage with the program theory. Learning is not just about reading, it is about understanding and to apply the learning and theory in a practical environment.” Jamie Marra, 2016 MBA Graduate.
Can I afford it?
Of course this is an important consideration. For Australian citizens the most common route is to take advantage of government FEE-HELP, which allows you to spread the cost of the course over time. You may be eligible for tax deductions, partial scholarships are available and there are no “hidden costs” such as textbooks, subscriptions, or exam fees. There is no interest on HELP fees for postgraduate studies, just indexing in line with CPI and unlike undergraduate degrees you don’t pay extra to use FEE-HELP. Ultimately, as discussed above, you need to decide whether you believe you will get the value you desire from the program
What do you think?
2016 MBA Graduate, Michael McKenna, “I say do it! I can tell you the feeling of utter euphoria that I experienced on the 5 April made the journey even more special. Get involved, call Dūcere”
Investing in your future by completing your MBA degree is immensely rewarding, but all too often we tend put off the things in life that really challenge us, and ultimately enable us to grow personally and professionally. Has this article helped you put your doubts aside? Embark on your MBA journey with us today.