Looking back: The first year of the MBA

USBS090512-235By Richard Hall, Associate Dean, Management Education

What a year! An incredible cohort, some amazing learning experiences and so many outstanding achievements. The MBA is based on some distinctive key principles and aspirations: a commitment to experiential learning based on doing, developing practical skills and applying those skills in real business situations and in students’ professional work; generating a real cohort experience where students co-create learning with teaching faculty, industry experts, real clients and each other; developing personal and interpersonal skills as well as technical business skills; and extending students beyond the classroom with engagements and activities that emphasise the broader social context of business and management. I am really delighted that so many people have contributed to bringing those aspirations to life in the MBA this year.

Leadership Practice and Development, led by Mike Jenner and Will Harvey, exemplified so much of what we are about in this program – great practical learning and hands-on skill development in which everyone contributes and everyone benefits. In Data Analytics and Modelling, Tony Webber worked with students to find new practical ways to find data, analyse it, generate metrics and measures and, perhaps most importantly, interpret it to make better business and management decisions. Innovation in Strategic Marketing, led by Pennie Frow helped participants focus on cutting edge marketing strategies in an era of dynamism and change. Nigel Finch’s Financial Management used financial management tools and techniques to help students solve key business problems. And Strategies for Growth led by Nick Wailes and Suresh Cuganesan zeroed in on the key elements of strategy formulation and execution in the contemporary environment and engaged the whole class in tackling some especially challenging strategic issues for our valued partner, CSIRO.

The International Business Project unit, held in Shanghai, was one of the year’s highlights. The unit brought together immersion in the China business context, experience of one of China’s leading business schools, Shanghai Jiaotong’s Antai College, challenging work on a series of consulting projects for Chinese enterprises, and a deep appreciation of the scale and complexity of the contemporary China business environment. Hans Hendrischke and Bruce McKern did a tremendous job in pulling together such a complex program.

All this and more, much more, next year! Some incredible new electives, and two other very exciting core units – Critical Analysis and Thought Leadership, and Managing People and Organisations. We are also looking forward to introducing our new dedicated resource for Careers Advice and Advocacy, an extended range of business networking opportunities, Leadership Re-Imagined Seminars and boardroom lunches.

But for now, let me thank everyone for making it such a fabulous year. As I say at every opportunity I get: we are so proud of our students and I find your hard work, commitment, enthusiasm and support for each other and the program genuinely inspiring. Special congratulations to all our teaching team for their dedication, and to the Management Education team who made it all work: Nick Wailes, Taneka Lyford, Katy McEwen, Danny Shepherd, Claudia Kearns and Lucinda Crossley-Meates. And nothing at CBD would work without the incredible Chiara Giuliani!

Enjoy Christmas, recharge and get ready for a massive 2014!

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