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"The program has put me in the driver’s seat to take any business to a whole new level".

With a young family and a full-time job, Kane Hooper knew he needed a postgraduate course that was highly flexible and accessible.

‘I wanted to be able to attend on-campus when I could find the time, but also complete my study through the Cloud when my commitments were too great. Of all the MBA programs I researched, Deakin had the most flexible program for me with an excellent reputation of quality education to back it up,’ he says.

However what Kane was not able to prepare for when researching his study options was the added challenge of caring for a critically-ill child.

A month after commencing his MBA study, Kane’s youngest daughter was born with severe health issues which required double bypass open-heart surgery and a five-month hospital stay. While Kane’s wife stayed with their daughter, he worked, studied and cared for their other two children.

‘I had a lot of support from family and friends to do all this … my wife and I decided I should still complete the MBA as we knew it would only help our family in the future.’

During his first year of study Kane attended the annual Brookes Oration where he was inspired to set himself the goal of achieving the prestigious Brookes Scholars Medal award.

But a few short months later his daughter was dealt another health blow with the diagnosis of leukaemia. 

‘She then spent the next eight months in hospital undergoing chemotherapy – and again my wife had to live in the hospital with her,’ he recalls. ‘I continued to work full time and, despite all the barriers, studied and worked often late into the evenings still determined to achieve my best.’

Kane’s daughter eventually made a full recovery and, remarkably, Kane completed his MBA with outstanding results which earned him the Dean’s Merit Award for Academic Excellence – and the coveted Brookes Scholars Medal award.

On reflection Kane says he ‘definitely made the right choice to study at Deakin’ as he could not have achieved his goals without the support of Deakin’s staff.

‘The lecturers and support staff were incredibly supportive throughout the entire process – not only in getting me through and graduating from the MBA, but achieving the Brookes Scholars Medal Award. I am so grateful to the university.’

Although during his career Kane had managed several large companies, he decided on postgraduate study to ‘fill in the missing gaps’ he needed from formal business education.

Now in his new role as a Chief Operating Office for a software integration company, he says the MBA has given him the knowledge to ‘grow’ a corporate business of any size along with the skills needed to achieve its organisational goals.

‘I come from managing businesses that require recovery and turnarounds – where the business has little time and few resources to save it from involuntary liquidation. The skills I have gained dramatically speed up my ability to save these companies and return them to profitable and sustainable operation,’ he explains.

His study experience also provided him with the opportunity to enhance his professional networks and strengthen his career.

‘The MBA program has put me in the driver’s seat to not only expand my career but also to take any business to a whole new level of operation. The value I can now offer as an executive to any business has dramatically increased with the MBA.’

While he acknowledges that ‘an MBA is not for the faint hearted’, Kane says it holds great rewards for those who are serious about career success.

‘The value of the Deakin MBA cannot be overstated. And besides, if I can complete the program in two years, receive the Brookes Award, and do it with a critically-ill child, I think anyone can do it.’

Kane also has an enduring commitment to Deakin.

‘I personally believe in giving back to any organisation that supports me. Deakin has such an incredible culture and support structure which enabled me not only to graduate with an MBA, but also achieve this award. I am so grateful to the university and in return I am now on MBA Advisory Board and MBA Alumni Committee. I will continue to support Deakin throughout my professional career and beyond.'