Offering a combination of theory and practice through guest lectures, site visits and experiential activities; Residential units provide a rich and unique learning perspective, and an opportunity to meet fellow managers to develop your professional network.
Deakin MBA Deputy Director Dr Steve Jaynes says that the Residential learning experience builds strong teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills.
‘Surveys of graduate skills in demand by employers consistently point to a need for these ‘soft skills’: Deakin’s MBA Residentials provide an excellent environment and opportunity to work on those skills and to achieve effective results through group dynamics.
‘By actively enhancing their online MBA in an interactive, face-to-face intensive mode, graduates achieve a valuable point of difference in the job market. A differentiation that is valued by employers,’ he says.
Involving six consecutive days of intensive study, Deakin’s Residential units offer a range of activities that incorporate experiential learning and engagement with practitioners and industry leaders such as Brian Cook, CEO of the Geelong Football Club, Tim Orton, CEO of the Nous Group, Janet Dore CEO of TAC, and Cameron Lamperd, Product Manager RipCurl.
MBA student Alex Ramsey says that Residentials are an exclusive opportunity to really push and probe facilitators and guest speakers in order to gather invaluable insights.
‘Broadly speaking, an MBA is a tool kit and different tools can be applied in different situations. The challenge is knowing which tool to apply for a given situation, and theoretical learning can be difficult to apply in practice.
‘In this respect the Residentials include a wide variety of guest speakers from many walks of life. These speakers typically have faced many challenges, and learning how they applied tools, or took differing approaches is invaluable,’ says Ramsey.
MBA student Will Weijers further explains that the most beneficial element of completing a Residential was the ability to 'switch off' thinking about work and focus on learning.
'There were no distractions, no extra thoughts creeping in about what I needed to do at work tomorrow, everything was focused on what I was learning. And the proof is in my results - I got the highest mark of my MBA in the Residential.
'I also wasn't completing assignments in the same location. I was completing them with fellow students, sharing the load, the stress and the laughs. It provided a memorable capstone to my degree and is something I'll look back to with great fondness,' he says.
Residential units complement other study modes and are a great option for students who want to manage their work commitments by completing a unit in a compressed period. Equally valuable is the opportunity to build professional and enduring networks with fellow participants and other managers – networking is one key to how the business world works!