Why you should be considering an MBA in uncertain times

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long been considered an entry point into senior management, finance and consulting roles, but it may come as a surprise that it can also help you respond to global challenges and build a career far beyond working for traditional firms.

Shaun Bond MBA teacher
Professor Shaun Bond

According to Shaun Bond, professor of finance at The University of Queensland (UQ) Business School, undertaking an MBA to affect change and deal with crisis situations is a growing trend.

“In recent years, leaders have been asked to respond to a raft of challenges, from climate change to the rapid rise and disruption of technology. We are also seeing the impact of recent black swan events like the COVID-19 pandemic and Australian bushfires,” Bond says.

Bond, who teaches into the globally ranked UQ MBA, says, “We are seeing more and more professionals come through the MBA who want to make a difference. Yes, they want to advance their careers, but it’s not just about the next rung on the ladder anymore.

“Finance and economic programs equip you with the technical skills, but a great MBA develops the human management skills you need to lead during a crisis.

“In times like these, technology and artificial intelligence can’t take the place of strong leadership. It’s leaders who have the skills to think about a challenge critically, manage the complexity of people, and respond with confidence who will make a real difference,” he says.

Bond has taught at leading business schools across the globe, and says this new wave of MBA candidates is set to change the face of industries – embracing human connection to do so.

“An MBA is not just about gaining a qualification, it’s about choosing a program that gives you the ability to work with a diverse and experienced cohort, and build lifelong connections and networks.”

– Professor Shaun Bond

Chris Hurn MBA Alumni
UQ MBA alumnus Chris Hurn

Student quality is an area UQ shines in – the university has ranked number one worldwide for the quality of their candidates by The Economist for four consecutive years.

“One of the reasons I joined UQ is the strength of the MBA program. I am working alongside academics who have had an extraordinary impact on their fields, teaching motivated and passionate students,” Bond says.

UQ MBA alumnus Chris Hurn transformed his finance experience with an MBA to become the general manager of a game-changing company providing crucial IT services to the healthcare industry. He believes the difference in his MBA experience is all about people – both students and staff.

“The great thing about the teachers in the UQ MBA program is, they all have industry experience. It was all about how you can take this knowledge and apply it into your company, into your career, into your industry,” Hurn says.

“I really enjoyed my class experience – the people I was surrounded by were all doing exciting and interesting things. My classmates all brought different experience and perspectives to the table with incredible passion.

“The UQ MBA not only prepared me for unprecedented challenges, it also gave me the confidence to know I can lead people through change,” Hurn concludes.

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Originally published in In The Black