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Broadening skills and boosting career pathways

"The MBA Program provides insight into the demands and challenges of clients".

As an associate director with the Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) and with 17 years’ experience across both the private and institutional banking industry, Kellie Inglis decided it was time to add a strong business degree to her skillset.

Wanting to boost her career opportunities and also expand her knowledge and industry connections, Kellie is now half-way through Deakin’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) and has taken advantage of its flexible learning options around her work and family commitments.  

Kellie says she began exploring the option of undertaking a Deakin MBA after chatting to Deakin course advisors at a jobs’ fair where she was volunteering for the CBA.

‘The staff I spoke with were very helpful and encouraging as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to cope with the study load and a full time job,’ she recalls.

With support from her employer and the flexibility of the MBA program, Kellie has been able to take a blend of online and on-campus units to fit in around her preferences and commitments. This has included taking a short leave-of-absence from work to study as a full-time student.

‘By studying fulltime over summer, I benefitted enormously in terms of completing more subjects and allowing more time to delve into the coursework. I’m also now considering how I can incorporate an overseas study tour,’ she says.

She has found the MBA program’s cloud, online resources and off-campus options to be ‘excellent’ but also enjoys the opportunity and flexibility to study on-campus whenever she can.

‘Personally, I have found the on-campus experience highly beneficial for my learning and the opportunity to meet other students invaluable. I’m also looking forward to completing an intensive residential unit later in 2017,’ she says.

Kellie’s role with the CBA includes managing a large portfolio of clients and providing them with insights, analysis and consulting services. Working in long-term strategic partnerships, she delivers bespoke and tailored solutions that are designed to address her clients’ needs.

‘These solutions enable clients to be innovative in the way they interact with their customers, drive costs out of their business and mitigate fraud and operational risk,’ she explains.

Although her role holds high responsibilities, Kellie’s CBA career offers her the benefits of flexibility and variety.

‘I’ve had a number of great experiences both personally and professionally in the past six years and CBA continues to be very supportive of my personal and professional development.  It’s an organisation that focuses on innovation and technology and this facilitates many interesting discussion points and insights for clients,’ she says.

In November 2016, Kellie was also honoured to win a CEO Award for Individual Service for Institutional Banking and Markets.

‘The awards recognise individuals who consistently and effectively display the values that underpin the strategic priorities, vision and commitment to CBA values,’ she says.

While she acknowledges that juggling study, career and family responsibilities can sometimes be challenging, Kellie is also grateful for the flexibility of study leave from work – and a family who keeps her positive.

The MBA’s course outline and requirements are also set out very clearly at the beginning of each trimester and that planning is crucial to academic success,’ she adds.

Expecting to complete her degree in 2018, Kellie says the MBA program is a ‘holistic, all-encompassing business course’ that’s providing her added insight into the demands and challenges of her clients.

‘In terms of my own career progression, the confidence I’m gaining from my studies is opening my mind to transferring and using my skills more broadly. I’m now also considering how I can be involved in charitable organisations with a longer-term view of undertaking a board position.’

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