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Whether you’re an international student wanting to capitalise on the skills shortages here in Australia, or an Australian citizen keen to broaden your horizons overseas, the Deakin Master of Business Administration (International) is just the ticket.

Dr Alfred Presbitero, Associate Professor at the Deakin Business School and Course Director of the MBA (International), says that a global perspective has never been more important given that not many businesses in Australia or beyond escaped the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skills Shortages Are Global

Examining current business environments around the world, Associate Professor Presbitero shared information from the Australian National Skills Commission, which, in addition to Australia, “also identified that New Zealand, the United States and the U.K. are experiencing skills shortages too,” he said.

These far-reaching skills shortages are the perfect opportunity for both international and domestic students and professionals here in Australia to consider the Deakin MBA (International), said.

Deakin’s MBA (International)  Difference

Beyond the core business management competencies typically covered in an MBA, including finance interpretation, an introduction to data analysis and economics for managers, the Deakin MBA (International) provides “a focus on equipping students with the knowledge and competencies that can help them manage and lead organisations whether here in Australia, America, Asia or anywhere in the world,” said Associate Professor Presbitero.

“We cater to the needs of students, regardless of whether they are domestic or international. The ultimate goal is that we need to develop global managers and global leaders because for you to be successful, you need to have an appreciation and understanding beyond what’s happening locally,” he said.

Shubhangee Singh, a Deakin MBA (International) student graduating in December 2022, said that the program is ideal for people with little to no work experience but who have a keen interest in business, especially from an international context.

As an Indian national, Ms Singh had previously interned with two employers before embarking on the MBA (International) with Deakin University because of her own culturally rich background and the allure of learning about business in different cultural settings.

“With this degree, I would be able to understand the international sphere of cultures and at the same time be able to understand how business differs from culture to culture,” she said.

Ms Singh has the ultimate goal of working in marketing for a multinational company or an employer who works with culturally diverse customers.

Currently, Ms Singh has started exercising her new skills by managing alumni newsletters, social media and other marketing communications for an education provider with a highly diverse international network of students.

Broad Job Opportunities For Graduates

The employment successes being reported back to Deakin’s Business School are an indicator that the MBA (International) formula is working, with recent graduates sharing that they are now working for multinational organisations here in Australia, have returned to their country of origin and gained roles with multinationals such as Accenture, or have ventured into entrepreneurship, including in Australia, where they can respond to skills shortages.

“I recently spoke to one student – he was from India, and he was able to establish a business here in Geelong. It’s in the area of information and communications technology and is able to fill that skills shortage because he set up his own company, and I assume he will also be employing people to work for him,” Associate Professor Presbitero said. 

Going Global

“We do have a number of domestic students – their main motivation is to go overseas and work or establish their own business overseas. There’s big potential for them now because of the labour shortages in other places such as New Zealand, the UK and Asia.

“The way we have been teaching our MBA (International) students – that broad understanding of Australian markets but also how to work in different cultural contexts, how to navigate different markets – they could easily move from one place to another,” said Associate Professor Presbitero.

Associate Professor Presbitero shared with MBA News one of the practical frameworks that allow students to take their newfound managerial skills with them wherever they go.

“The PESTEL framework is a very simple framework that allows our graduates to quickly scan what’s happening in another country. It can help our graduates understand the opportunities as well as the challenges.

“By running through the PESTEL framework – for example, politically what’s happening in Europe right now, economically what’s happening in the United States with inflation, socially, let’s say in China where there is a continued lockdown due to COVID – they are able to understand and effectively navigate a different country or market,” said Associate Professor Presbitero.

Real-Life Business Challenges

The Deakin expert also shared with MBA News how real-life business problems are woven into the curriculum for MBA (International) students, including last trimester, where students were challenged to apply different frameworks to work out how Rex Airlines would be able to expand into Asia.

“Rex Airlines is an Australian company that’s been trying to get into the Australian domestic market. Our students did a lot of research to make recommendations and create a plan of action for Rex Airlines so they could venture beyond Australia, particularly to have a share of the market in Asia.

“This is the perfect course for those who are just venturing into managerial careers and are trying to figure out what they want to do because in the first year, students are provided with core competencies that they can apply anywhere they go, and regardless of the industry, sector or country, those key competencies will be valuable,” Associate Professor Presbitero said.

The World Is Opening Back Up

Ending on a further encouraging note, Associate Professor Presbitero said that there’s no time like now to explore global job opportunities, stating that Deakin’s MBA (International) graduates “become very attractive to global organisations, multinational companies and not-for-profits that have global operations.

“It makes them globally mobile, and given that the international borders are now reopening, that makes them explore the world and see what’s happening out there,” he said.

Learn how to manage and lead an organisation in an international context with Deakin’s MBA (International) 

This article was originally published in MBA News. Author: Jess Singh

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