With an international study and career background, George Jose wanted a postgraduate business degree that could enhance his portfolio of practical skills.
George had completed an undergraduate engineering degree in India, followed by engineering and project management experience in the Middle East, but he wanted to broaden his qualifications and extend his career options.
‘One of the drivers for my decision was to take a fresh perspective and gain relevant international experience in the field of study. Deakin stood out as a progressive university with an MBA (Master of Business Administration) that has been around for nearly 30 years,’ he says.
Graduating in 2011 with both an MBA and a Master of International Business (MIB), George considers that one of the most relevant units in his MBA program was a four-month business practicum which he completed with international professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY).
‘To begin with, I drafted a business research project which was championed by my Deakin mentor. Ernst Young then sponsored my research project which was also later used as an internal white paper,’ he says.
George’s project not only took out the semester’s ‘best business practicum project’ award but, importantly, also opened up a new career pathway.
‘During the practicum I led multiple internal (EY) and external (client) stakeholder interviews and over the course of the project, I also came to appreciate the scope of work undertaken by Advisory and EY’s high profile clients. Naturally, EY Advisory was a preferred option after my MBA,’ he recalls.
Now in a Dubai-based senior management role with EY’s Program Management Advisory practice, George credits Deakin’s MBA and MIB for facilitating a new career – even during a world-wide economic slump. George was previously with EY Melbourne and Perth offices, before his move to EY Dubai.
‘I completed my studies during the height of the global financial crisis but the skills and experiences I gained in the MBA were relevant, easily transferable and allowed me to “reposition myself” in the job market. This has given me more leverage and more options in a tough job market. I now apply the MBA across different areas and the international business component of the course plays an important role,’ he explains.
Completing an MBA not only strengthened George’s professional profile but also delivered a positive personal impact by boosting his credibility and confidence.
‘The activities and assignments encouraged me to interact with people and, in turn, grow as a person – particularly because I learnt a lot from people of diverse cultural and educational backgrounds which is reflective of the modern workforce.’
With several Deakin awards to his credit, George has been a member of the university’s MBA Advisory Board from 2014 - 2017 and continues to be a strong advocate of industry-based learning.
‘My advice to current students is take every opportunity to build work-place skills and network – this could be vacationer programs, internships or volunteering as well as extracurricular activities such as student bodies, societies and mentor programs. Further to developing your networks and personal and professional strengths, it adds a strong dimension to your profile.’