With an undergraduate degree in science, Stephanie Kaparos says that ‘never in a million years’ did she think she’d one day be studying a master’s degree in business.
‘I actually thought that it might be a bit boring but soon came to realise that with my growing role in family business, a postgraduate business degree was a way not only to learn theory but also contribute more within the company,’ she says.
Stephanie’s role within the business covers HR, payroll, accounts, operations, business development, strategy and project management. She also works closely with the organisation’s financial controller, operations managers and directors.
‘The advantage of working in family business is that my role has had no constraints. With the information and knowledge I’m gaining through the MBA, I’m now also able to be involved in wider aspects of the business,’ she explains.
Stephanie chose to study an MBA at Deakin not only because of the workplace relevance of the curriculum, but because of her previous experience with Deakin’s online learning.
‘I’d previously completed a postgrad in human nutrition with Deakin and loved the online environment. The MBA online delivery allows me to study when it suits me and around my full-time work commitments. I can listen to lectures in my own time and at my own pace. The advantage is that I can balance my studies around my other commitments and plans as opposed to balancing my commitments and plans around my studies,’ she says.
As well as the flexibility and online community, Stephanie’s MBA studies include the option of undertaking intensive residential units and international study tours.
‘I’ve completed two residentials with another one coming up. They are a great way to learn with lectures, teamwork and networking.’
In June, Stephanie participated in a marketing study tour in the USA and says it was an ‘incredible experience’ that covered three major US cities and included university lectures from local marketing experts.
‘I really found value in visiting both major companies and start-ups and learning about their businesses from strategy to development to marketing. I made a lot of contacts – both with other students and the business people that we met along the way. As I plan to soon move to Europe (where my partner is studying) having international contacts provides me with important networking opportunities.’
In the meantime Stephanie says she loves her ‘always evolving’ role at work where she’s already using the MBA learnings to build on her strengths and skills.
‘I also know that when I move overseas, the MBA will provide me with wider range of work options. I know manufacturing and processing as well as food and the hospitality industry very well and would love to stay in those industries working across the entire business in a management role. I know my strengths and I know that I can contribute to any business in a positive manner – especially with all of the knowledge and experience that I have gained through the MBA.’