Reaching a career threshold can often be the motivation for choosing postgraduate study. It’s a qualification than can build a bridge to the next level – or create a pathway to the next direction.
When Ford Davis enrolled in Deakin’s MBA (Master of Business Administration) he was looking for what might be next after his career as a Maritime Warfare Officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Needing a qualification that would underpin his RAN experience, Ford says he chose to study at Deakin because of its strong reputation in the tertiary education sector and the close proximity of the Melbourne Burwood Campus to his home.
‘As a person who prefers to attend lectures this proved to be a valuable decision. During the MBA journey, enthusiasm can wain and during those long winter nights the proximity of the university made it easier for me to attend lectures and not procrastinate,’ he recalls.
Ford says that what he liked most about the MBA course was simply the ‘course itself’ where every subject offered him professional value.
‘I liked that fact that almost every assignment was based on a case study. This not only kept the course relevant and interesting, it also assisted in identifying and applying the course learnings. As middle manager I found myself immediately implementing the tools I was learning.’
While Ford preferred to attend lectures on-campus, he says having the MBA course content available online was an added bonus.
‘Being able to access the units online was an invaluable support to my learning, especially when I was overseas for work as it meant my education journey continued seamlessly.’
With a career that’s seen him responsible for the delivery of global engineering projects and international information communication technology (ICT) programs, Ford is now a manager within the Strategy and Operations team at Deloitte.
‘Primarily I help clients by developing new strategies, improving processes and optimising costs to deliver tangible value. I like having the opportunity to work with some of the most intelligent and talented people in the world to unlock value for clients (altruistic value), utilise cutting-edge technology, and being a leader in developing innovative business solutions,’ he says.
Completing his studies in 2016, Ford says the content of his Deakin MBA program enabled him to successfully transition into a new career.
‘Several of the subjects resonated strongly with me and changed the way I looked at problem solving. After completing the strategy unit (with Associate Professor Colin Higgins) I was simply dissatisfied with delivery and implementation as a career even though, at the time, I was delivering major multi-million-dollar ICT projects simultaneously throughout the world,’ he says. ‘The frameworks I learnt in my MBA went on to form the basis of my consulting career. It’s also a qualification that now sits on my resume, underpinning my work experience and supporting any future goals.’
Ford’s advice to anyone considering MBA study is to ensure there is enough time – both professionally and personally – to complete the program as it takes a considerable commitment.
However he says making the most of every opportunity and embracing group assignments brought him not only study success but lifetime friendships.
‘Most of my peers were motivated, like-minded individuals who also wanted to enhance or change their careers. These connections enriched my study journey and my professional career … I also made some terrific friends with whom I still socialise today.