I’m passionate about the Master of Business and Technology because it’s a differentiator. I think it’s the only course of its kind that’s offered in engineering and IT faculties. It really is focused on producing business leaders who understand the strategic value of technology.
The program is oriented around leadership primarily, and so it focuses on the issues of leadership, the issues of strategy, the issues of leading change, and around leadership issues around marketing and so on. It also introduces research as a leadership responsibility over a total of 12 subjects, so the eight core subjects, primarily covering those areas I’ve mentioned, and four electives, where people can strengthen a particular area if that’s what they feel they’re portfolio needs.
The MBT community is a real differentiator in terms of postgraduate education in Australia, and we now have the community itself, which is alumni, but we’ve started to include industry partners in that as well, and current students. It’s probably around 2000-strong now, and it’s very, very active. So they run events, they raise sponsorship for events – so for example, every November they run a golf day; they raised $40,000 last year, and that’s just one example of many. They’re always running events, always bringing in top speakers, =getting sponsors to sponsor events – it’s unique. I don’t know if it in any other postgraduate situation.
Given the mission of the program, which is to produce the innovative business leaders of the future – Australian business leaders of the future – we are really pushing the process of them looking at creating their own organisations, and we have some really, really good examples of alumni who have created their own companies. An example is Wisetech Global, which was created by Richard White, who was a student about 10 years ago, recently listed, about three months ago. It’s worth $2 billion; it’s the biggest of its kind in the world now.
It’s a rare combination to have somebody who’s out there in industry, who has fantastic specialist knowledge, but who is also a committed educator who cares about developing other people and will invest the time and energy in helping other people to grow and develop. I always bear the mission in mind that we are trying to produce the innovative Australian business leaders of the future – that’s in the back of my mind, frames of reference, when I select students.