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Boosting business acumen

A Deakin MBA has enhanced Amany Wahba’s science career.

After establishing a successful career in the field of medical science, Amany Wahba decided it was time to improve her ‘business acumen’ by undertaking a Deakin MBA.

With an undergraduate degree in science, Amany first worked for a private pathology organisation for 10 years before moving into commercial sales where she held a number of management and specialist roles across Australia and New Zealand.

Since 2008, she’s been a sales manager with Thermo Fisher Scientific, a global organisation committed to serving science.

‘I chose to study an MBA to improve my business acumen and help with my career progression by  studying subjects I’d not learnt formally  such as finance, marketing,  human resource management and organisational behaviours,’ she says.

The reasons for choosing to study at Deakin, she explains, included the MBA program’s number-one ranking in Australia, its ‘best value for money’, and flexible on-line delivery.

‘It also offered accelerated completion through Deakin’s trimester system with intensive-mode units that could also be completed over a few weekends,’ she adds.

Opting for a part-time study mode of both online and on-campus learning, Amany says that although completing the MBA was a huge time commitment, she was well supported by family members who managed the home responsibilities while she either attended lectures or studied.

‘I also managed by studying on weekends and public holidays. I often listened to the 40 minute “summary” version of lectures on-line and did a lot of group assignment work out of hours and weekends to help get through assignments more efficiently,’ she says.

Amany’s current role as sales manager for Thermo Fisher’s Specialty Diagnostics Division in Australia and New Zealand sees her managing a team of product specialists who provide products for the pathology, clinical, food, dairy, pharmaceutical, academic and research markets. 

‘I enjoy meeting customers, understanding their requirements and being able to find solutions to help improve their productivity and efficiency for their laboratory. I also deliver presentations on Thermo Fisher’s capabilities, undertake business reviews and discuss partnership opportunities that provide strategic value,’ she says.

Reflecting on the Deakin MBA program, Amany says some of the highlights included learning about organisational behaviour, how the culture of an organisation is driven by senior leaders and how, at all levels, this can be nurtured.

‘I also enjoyed learning about human resource management – how to attract and retain talent – as well as financial reporting & analysis – understanding profit-and-loss statements, financial terms and reviewing company annual reports.’

Since completing her degree in 2016, Amany is already recognising the benefits to her career such as being able to ‘speak the same financial language’ and being better prepared for staff recruitment processes.

‘I’m better at knowing what to look for in a candidate’s personality, attitudes and establishing a cultural fit. I’m also able to apply motivational practices to drive certain behaviours, set up high-performing teams, and know the difference between leading and managing a team and how this impacts staff behaviours,’ she says.

Amany’s advice for anyone considering an MBA is to first ensure there is support from your employer and your family to help see the journey through as there is a ‘ large time and financial commitment’ she says.

‘Then consider how it will benefit your career and put some long and short term goals in place to help visualise what success may look like for you. If you have any hesitation, search for answers from trusted sources (such as those who have completed an MBA or university academics). Ultimately you need to be comfortable with your decision and the impact it may have on your career.’

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