MBA To address pandemic response ideas with free program

5 June 2020

MBA students from The University of Queensland (UQ) Business School will be given a huge head start in helping their organisation deal with the fallout of COVID-19 with the launch of a free, six-week program to test and validate response strategies.

The Test Your Idea program commencing in late June provides UQ MBA students and alumni with the opportunity to have an idea or innovation rigorously tested by some of the best and brightest minds in business.

UQ MBA Director Dr Nicole Hartley said the program had been developed as a way to assist students and their workplaces through an unprecedented period of disruption.

“As the crisis has unfolded, we started to think about how we could add maximum value to our students and implementing new ideas, innovations, and strategies is what organisations need more than anything at the moment,” Dr Hartley said.

“This is an opportunity for students and alumni to come in with an idea and have it tested and validated with the best and brightest minds we have to offer.

Dr Nicole Hartley

“It gives them access to faculty and other mentors that have done this before in a short, sharp program designed to deliver real-world solutions to real-world problems.”

The new program draws heavily on the UQ Business School’s established entrepreneurship expertise and will be led by Dr Hartley, Director of Graduate Management Associate Professor Tim Kastelle and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Cameron Turner.

“Adapting to disruption has been a key part of the UQ MBA program for years,” Dr Hartley said. “However, managing the impact of technological disruption, digitisation, automation, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) now has the additional layers created by the health and economic crises.”

“We understand that when economic crises have happened in the past, entrepreneurial pathways have opened up to more people.

“That is not just about traditional startup entrepreneurship where you develop a new product and service and sell it; it is also about the opportunities from thinking innovatively or embedding new innovative practices in your organisation.”

“We want this program to put those ideas under the microscope and help deliver some clear, tested, and validated responses for their business to help them survive and thrive through the crisis.”

The Test Your Idea program aligns perfectly with the overall UQ MBA’s mission to provide a highly personalised MBA journey designed to future-proof students’ careers.

“No matter the industry, everyone has been affected by the unforeseen curveball of COVID-19. The challenge we are all facing now is how do we stay resilient through this experience and learn, innovate, and grow?” Dr Hartley said.

“Our Master of Business Administration will broaden your critical thinking, creativity, and agility to respond to an ever-changing business landscape. It will help you rise to the unexpected with the nimbleness to pivot and lead the business when it needs it most.”

While the UQ MBA has traditionally been held at the university’s state-of-the-art campus in the Brisbane CBD it has made a number of changes to ensure current and new students’ learning can be undertaken online in a range of flexible study options.

Dr Hartley said the transition to virtual classrooms had been widely accepted by students and staff with live online lectures and workshops complimented by individual support.

This article originally appeared in MBA News.

Find out how you can harness innovation to stay 'pandemic prepared' with a UQ MBA.