The networking power of a part-time MBA
When Phoebe McDonald returned home after eight years in the UK, helping companies commercialise new drugs and medical products for global markets, she needed to rebuild her networks so enrolled in a part-time MBA at Melbourne Business School.
“I was more motivated by the personal aspects rather than where an MBA could lead professionally. That could astonish some people, given the investment required, but I found that the life I knew before no longer existed,” Phoebe says..
Phoebe’s decision to study at Melbourne Business School while working for Melbourne-based life sciences consultancy Commercial Eyes has had its professional benefits too.
Since enrolling in 2015, she has had two promotions – the first because her global experience made her a good choice to exploit growing business opportunities at Commercial Eyes, and the second because her MBA studies have given more confidence and expertise to manage and lead an expanding business unit.
Phoebe says her latest promotion has been “a real plus”, given her main motive for doing an MBA was to meet new people and consolidate and expand her skill set rather than climb the career ladder.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’m really enjoying the program and its relevance in my day-to-day. One really good thing about Melbourne Business School is the practical learn-and-apply nature of the program. In many instances, what I’m learning is directly applicable to a client engagement or internal managerial aspect of my role.”
Phoebe says her team at Commercial Eyes operates where marketing, health economics and strategy meet, defining commercialisation strategy for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
“I’ve found the concepts and frameworks that I’ve learnt in Jody Evans’s marketing class, Brandon Lee’s business strategy class and Onur Ozgur’s managerial economics class really helpful in terms of providing a theoretical basis for what I had been doing in practice. Importantly, for client engagements, that adds a level of robustness and credibility to analysis and deliverables.”
When asked what advice she would give to anyone contemplating doing their MBA part time, Phoebe says you have to be committed, determined and consistent with your studies, but also allow time to have fun.
“There are a lot of really intelligent, switched on people who come to MBS from varied educational and industry backgrounds. They really complement the class material. The faculty are great too. So far, they’ve been very energetic and knowledgeable, and their international experience and global perspective really aligns with my previous experience, having worked at a global level in the UK.”