Bachelor of Business Administration
bba, students, uts, business, lecturers, support, assignments, block, work, subject, study, degree, people, program, module, learning, cohort, new south wales, country, university
Welcome, everybody. My name is Robynne Quiggen, I'm Associate Dean, Indigenous Leadership and Engagement at UTS Business School. I'm a Wiradjuri woman and proud to be working here and talking to you today about the Bachelor of Business Administration. Before we begin the session on the BBA, I want to do that cultural protocol that we begin all our meetings and all our special occasions with, I want to acknowledge country. UTS Business School is located on the land of the Gadigal people and the Bidjigal people. We pay our respects to their elders past and present, to their ancestors, and to the custodians that care for this country today. On our behalf, I pay respects to the Bidjigal and Gadigal people. Thank you. So to talk about the BBA with you today, I'm going to introduce Tom Evans, the Program Manager. Over to you, Tom.
Thanks, Robynne. I'd like to introduce myself, my name is Tom Evans. I'm proud Wiradjuri boy, man, born in Lake Cargelligo. I moved to Sydney when I was quite young and grown up in southern Sydney, and I reside in Bidjigal land out of new Maroubra, La Perouse area of Sydney, and I am the manager of the BBA and Indigenous programs at UTS Business School. Before we get started, we'll be covering a lot off on this video. So if you'd like to skip ahead at any time, do so by just clicking the button below, and it'll take you to the section you want to see. Before we go on to some of the other things that we want to talk about today, I'd like to introduce you to some of the other members of staff that work closely on the BBA. So I want to introduce you to to Demeter McGinnis, Scott Walker, and Dean Jared, who's a Dr. Dean Jared, who is the lecturer on the BBA and other programs at the Business School.
Hi, everyone. My name is Demeter McGinnis. I am the Administration Officer for the BBA. I'm a proud Wiradjuri woman born and bred here on Gadigal land. I've been working on the BBA now for a little while. I previously worked for the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, which was a great experience, I love working in grassroots. Before that, I actually worked here at UTS at Jumbunna for several years, and I'm happy to be back here at UTS working with the students. Thank you.
I'm Scott Walker, I'm the Director of the BBA and I also teach in the program. As director, I help students manage any academic issues that might arise. I've been at UTS for a number of years and teach a large first year undergraduate finance subject, lecture theatres with often over 300 students. I've taught a finance subject and the BBA for the past two years, I really enjoyed the close connection that's possible with the small class sizes.
My name is Dean and my family is from Queensland and New South Wales. I've got people from Wooloowin and my family, but also from up in the Gumbaynggirr area up in the Far North Coast. I've been at the UTS now since 2010. I also did my Masters here. And then I did my PhD here as well at the Business School in the Management discipline group. I teach in a couple of modules, module two, and module four, which I'll talk a little bit more about later.
Now with the BBA, we have such a diverse cohort with the students from all over Australia, who are undertaking the degree, there's students from Torres Strait, WA, Victoria, and throughout New South Wales and Queensland country and regional centres. So what we've got is a couple of our students and alumni to chat to you about what they've found good about the program, the structure of the BBA and what works in their personal circumstances.
So my name is Koorinya Moreton. I'm a proud of Yuin and Bundjalung woman. I'm currently living on the south coast of New South Wales and in my first year of the BBA, I work at the Department of Education New South Wales as a Policy Officer.
My name is Terri, I'm a proud Wuthathi and Mariu woman residing on Yuggera country here in Brisbane. I currently work to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources in the Business Grants Hub. I've previously worked across communities in Arnhem Land and Cape York as well. I am in my first year of the BBA and so far, I'm enjoying it.
Hello, everyone. I'm Sara Hamilton. I'm a Gamilaraay woman. But I was born and raised on Gadigal country around Redfern, Waterloo and Alexandria. I'm currently working as a Senior Project Officer at Aboriginal Affairs working on Kimball Wiley, a project based in Whalan in Western Sydney to support young Aboriginal people to transition from school to further education, training and employment. I graduated in 2019. I started the course in 2015, with the initial cohort, and in the last two years, basically spread the last year of the course over two years and eventually graduated in 2019.
Now, Robynne, first up, why is the BBA such an important program.
The Bachelor of Business Administration is a great program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are working and want to increase the knowledge about business, you might take that knowledge into government, into corporations into community organizations or into running your own business. And you get a really good foundation and in depth understanding of finance, economics, accounting, marketing, and management covers the breadth of really important business knowledge. The wonderful thing about the Bachelor of Business Administration as well as that you come in over working full time, you come in six times a year for six days, working with other Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander colleagues. So you're working on the business knowledge, on gaining that knowledge, but also on projects that can be really tailored to the issues that affect us, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, that the business issues you want to think about, the social issues you want to think about, and working together with colleagues in a practical sense on that knowledge and applying it.
As we've discussed already, the BBA is a block mode program. Six one week blocks a year, run Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm. They give you an awesome opportunity to mix with your cohort of students, your lecturers and support staff, such as the support staff in Jumbunna. To talk more about what you're going to learn in the BBA, I'd like you to introduce, I'd like to introduce you to Scott Walker, who is the Director of the BBA and also lecturer on the program.
So block mode is great because it allows students to be 100% focused on their studies, while they're on campus. I'm sure that means that each of those one week blocks can be intense. But the advantage is that many of the assessment tasks are done while you're on campus, which minimize this amount of group work that you need to do once you're back home.
So thanks, Scott, for that. Look, the benefits of the block mode is, as Scott said, there's a number of things. But I really like the fact that you can, you know, the BBA, the way it's structured, understands your commitment outside of the, you know, outside of UTS, we understand that you have the family commitments, you have, you know, community commitment, you have your own personal commitments that you need to attend to, and the BBA can sort of slot in and around your life, if you're gonna let it, I think that's a real advantage that also allows you to continue to work. So I think that they're the key advantages of the BBA, and certainly something that is very inbuilt in the way it's delivered.
Working in the modules, and has been really beneficial to have I guess, a balanced work, life and study, sorry, balance works and study life. And I think even in the first block, when we were actually on campus, it really presented the opportunity to be totally switched off from work. I know, it's easy to sort of, you can sort of do the same studying online, but you're really physically away from work. So that's been beneficial. Um, I think I'll leave it at that.
And what kind of content do students learn in the BBA in blocks?
Yeah, so each of the six modules develop a specific management skill. For example, Robynne's already mentioned that Dean teaches in several modules, such as Managing People and Managing Operations. I'll teach you module three, that develops and manages financial and accounting skills. The final module, module six, which is also the most exciting, is all about managing a business's innovation and developing a new business opportunity.
And one of the subjects I teach is Understanding Organizations and the subject's, a theory based subject that looks at how organisations run, manage, and how organisational structures are put together, and we look at those organisational structures and organisational theory through, hopefully, through an Indigenous perspective. And so we then, and my subject is one of three or four subjects in managing organisations. And there's Understanding Organisations, there's Advocacy and Social Change. There's Sustainable Value Creation. And then there's the project subject. And the project subject is like a combination of those three other subjects where we come together with a single project and look at the, bringing all those learnings into that subject. And so, you will have other teachers for the other subjects, and we work together to deliver the whole module to you collectively.
Scott, can you tell us a little bit about the academics that teach on the BBA program?
The lecturing team are among the best teachers in the UTS Business School. While each lecturer is a subject matter expert, they have proven talent for explaining quite complex concepts in an understandable way. Lecturers also have a real passion for their subject, so much so that some of them have been involved from the very start, in the BBA, all of us thoroughly enjoy the interaction that's possible with this small class sizes, and get a real sense of satisfaction when a student, you know, gets a difficult concept. Lecturers are regularly monitoring each student's progress during the block, there's nowhere to hide in the classroom.
Now, prior tertiary study isn't a requirement for the admission into the course. Scott, from an academic perspective, how hard is the course for students coming into the program who haven't done any previous study?
Um, well, there's no denying that studying any university degree can be challenging, but UTS offers plenty of support for all students along the journey. So before admission, what you will do is complete a few tests just to confirm your level of literacy and numeracy skills. And then once you're enrolled, we found that BBA students learn really well from each other. So when you're on campus during block, the lecturers are really encouraging and give plenty of time for collaborative learning and opportunities to ask questions, Jumbunna also offers a range of student services, including their popular literacy support. Remember, though, if during the degree you do feel it's becoming too difficult, then don't forget that during second year, there are certain points where you can exit with a diploma rather than the full three year bachelor's degree. But, however, remember that many of our past students have overcome all sorts of life events, always remained completed, always remained committed to completing the full degree.
Pre-learning isn't essential, but you know, some experience is critical, I think, in my own experience, I did a block my degree and it was, you know, after many years of break from academic work, so, it took me a while to get into a rhythm of study, took me a while to start to get on top of the matter and the content that we were looking at learning and researching. So, it takes a little bit of time to adjust to a new way of thinking, sometimes you may consider it like a new language, but it really isn't. It's just a matter of acclimatising yourself, making sure that you get to know the content and do the readings and talk to classmates. You know, the process is a collaborative one. And I always say to my students, you know, I don't only teach in this subject, I also learn in this subject. And I learn from you as students because that is the exact experience that we're trying to bring to, not only to work to academia, and not the other way around. So I think that, yeah, there's some, you know, critical things that you need to know and you've done them, you'll do them through the exam process, but other than that, you know, your experience is fine.
What are some of the ways in which we support our students at UTS?
So look, the the best support we offer is a clear line of communication. We're very open to direct communication. Students are encouraged to contact their academic staff, or Tom or Scott or myself if they have any concerns. Outside of the Business School, UTS offers a range of services for students through the Student Services Unit, including financial assistance and advice, GP's and counselors. Jumbunna Institute offers academic assistance and tutoring under the ITAS program, and general assistance to do with your course administration. They also provide a student's space with computers and printing, a kitchen to make a snack or a cuppa, and some social activities. The university also has a gym, and sporting and social clubs with Activate UTS, if you want to do something outside of your studies. Plus, you'll be notified of any social justice discussions or activities happening at UTS. Thank you, that's all.
So I'm based down on the south coast of New South Wales. But I found that the BBA, and UTS more specifically, have been really supportive in terms of allowing students to be on campus six times a year for those one week blocks. We've got a really diverse cohort of students from you know, 19 to 50 year old people. And I think that adds a lot of value in terms of the conversations that take place throughout blocks. Obviously, Covid's had a big impact on us being face to face, but we're still having interactive sessions through online learning, which has also been really helpful. Yeah, I think, the flexibility, as well, has been a really important part for for me to be able to participate in this particular degree. And it's very supportive of, I guess, my personal circumstances.
I think the point that you made, and Koorinya, you made, about the diverse student cohort, what is a particular aspect of the program that I think supports students to also get, I guess, a range of different backgrounds and ideas and mingling with people from different areas of the country, and each bringing their own sort of life experience and being able to connect on similarities and differences. But I think in terms of support, I think, without the support provided by the Business School, and Jumbunna, and UTS as a university, personally, myself, I wouldn't have got through the program, being a single parent, who's also working full time and during the course at the same time, you know, the support provided by the UTS business school, by Jumbunna was, you know, was one of the things that got me through through the program. So and being you know, having the flexible, the flexibility to be able to, at the time when I was doing it, you know, coming on block mode and work at the same time, and to be able to connect with other students, whether it be through video conferencing and email in between block so that we could work together on different projects, I think in the way that it's run supports people like myself who may be working and juggling a whole different range of domains at the same time to be able to get through the program. And you know, the support mechanisms were a major aspect of what got me through it.
I've attempted to go to uni previously in a mainstream setting. And like Dean said, when you go into universities that are quite large, and it can be quite a daunting experience. So I found it really, really helpful, I guess, in this particular degree as Jumbunna taking us through and introducing us to all of the key staff and you feel like you've established relationships quite early on in the degree and that's really helpful because when you need to ask for help, you know who to go to straightaway.
Now, what are some of the resources that are available to our students to assist them in their learning?
There's a few different electronic resources and technical sort of resources that we use on the BBA program. One of them is Teams, obviously, we use Teams during class sessions. We use also Zoom as well, more so Zoom than Teams. We also electronically, we can access resources through the library, the library has a number of different resources. There's, you know, with even with your referencing, there's Refworks. There's EndNote, there's different ways that the library can help you manage your information that you use during your time at university. So, there's those technical resources that we can use, and they're available for students free of charge. Thanks.
For students who are travelling for the BBA, how are their travel and accommodation organised?
We cover the costs for all travel and accommodation needs for the students to attend blocks.
For those who want to apply for the BBA, what are their next steps?
If you're happy to go ahead, you can pop onto our website and submit an expression of interest form. Unfortunately, our office is running on a skeleton crew at the moment. But you can request a phone call and I'm happy to ring you up and have a chat at whatever time is convenient for you. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll get back to you. Please be assured we are definitely open for a further yarn so you can make the right decision.
What advice would you give to someone considering to do the BBA?
The BBA is very helpful, because you actually study full time, but in reality, part time. So I work full time and having the weeks off work to really commit to study has been very beneficial for me personally. It enables a healthy work life balance, and really gives me the time to dedicate and focus myself in studies.
I would encourage people to do the BBA, because, one thing, like I've mentioned before the practical aspect of it. And a lot of the subjects that we studied and a lot of the sort of assignments that we had were based on a lot of the work that we are already doing in community, or a lot of the things can be related to, I guess, community issues or community organizations or whatever it may be. So a lot of the assignments, and a lot of the subjects that we're learning about can be applied to, I guess, our everyday life experience. So and I guess, you know, the block mode aspect of it helps and helped me as a person, like I said before, who's working, has a child and I was playing sport at the time as well, to try and balance and do a university degree at the same time as juggling other work and family commitments and social commitments. But in saying that, I would say that, if you are going to commit yourself to doing this degree, you do have to commit time, to doing your assignments and to studying. It can be very easy to I guess, say, on a Friday or Saturday night, you know, I'll leave my assignment and I'll go out to the movies or I'll go to dinner or I'll go out with me mates, and think I'll do my assignment tomorrow. So I think, you know, it's three years of your life to try and commit the time to do the study and assignments that are needed to be done. But also, make sure you got that family support and the support of your work as well. I think that was an important aspect for me as well having a workplace that supported my study, and allowed me to build in study time during my work hours and gave me time away to complete assignments and to study. But I also had family members to support me, particularly my mum who would look after my daughter so that I could come home from work and do assignments and study. I would also say to people who are going to do the course, when you're in the course to absorb everything and take in as much information as you can and enjoy it while you're there. It goes quickly. And I think if I had my time again I would, I would have applied myself a lot better, even though I enjoyed and loved the experience and got a lot out of it and see some of the skills and knowledge that I learned through the program and I'm applying it in my day to day work place now. I still feel like I could have absorbed and taken more time and attention to some of the subjects. And so yeah, those are the, that's the advice that I'd give to prospective students who would come in, who are interested in studying at UTS, and studying the BBA.
I'm just gonna get it all out there. Um, I guess for first year students, it can just be an overwhelming experience in attending university. But speaking from my experience, it was comforting being in an environment where there were other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, but also public servants as well. So when learning the course content, it could be interpreted from a government lens. Plus the additional support from Jumbunna really helped and also ITAS, I found that setting appointments with my tutors really kept me accountable and, you know, enabled me to meet deadlines. And having really great lecturers as well, the course has excellent lecturers. They're very approachable. You know, if things are, you know, you've got sorry business or whatever, they're quite flexible with assessments and things like that.
Well, that brings us to the end of this webinar. I just want to take the time to thank the current students, the alumni and my colleagues in the program for taking the time to share their experiences with you, and hopefully you get the opportunity to come and share your knowledge with other students in the course.
The Bachelor of Business Administration is a new and exciting course designed for Indigenous Australian professionals wishing to gain a degree qualification and maximise their career options.
This premier course is specifically designed for leaders of the future, who aspire to move into senior or executive positions.
The Bachelor of Business Administration recognises and builds upon participants’ current workforce expertise and Indigenous community knowledge, and is ideal for those in business administration, management and leadership roles.
The course provides the skills to manage enterprises and organisations of the future effectively, taking into account Indigenous perspectives, cultural diversity and ethical standards for managing in today’s ever changing organisations. In addition, through its residential attendance mode of delivery, the Bachelor of Business Administration allows participants (with their employer’s support), the ability to maintain full-time employment while studying.
The Bachelor of Business Administration is designed to provide rigorous study in a professional cohort-based environment. Those admitted into the program will be involved in collaborative study with other Indigenous people who are business administrators, managers and leaders in their own right.
Christian H.: What I like about it is, is it takes from so many disciplines, almost like an undergraduate version of the MBA. You get so many skill sets, and then you also start to understand what you're good at. But that opportunity to develop yourself, and then also that opportunity then to give back to your community is what inspired me to come on.
Clarence S.: The fact that we get to be able to pitch ideas, and get practical experience around a lot of content.
Kaitlan Cuell: I've been able to define goals, and also I've found passions and interests that I never actually knew I'd even had.
Khaila-Rose P.: The fact that we are such a small group, it's been really helpful, because we can have those really robust discussions around things.
Christian H.: You meet different people, be it the lecturers, be it fellow students, or even some of the enterprises that the university engages with.
Clarence S.: Already I'm seeing benefits in my own life. It opened up a whole avenue of opportunity that I can see into the future.
Christian H.: I've gained in my understanding, in my knowledge of business.
Khaila-Rose P.: It has helped me look at things from a different perspective.
Christian H.: It's almost like you develop your own philosophy on life from this course, so I approach things in a different way, and I think that's what I've changed, whereas probably before I'd work for the manager for a long time, thought I probably knew it all.
Khaila-Rose P.: I've done about 1,001 presentations since I first started this course, so that has been a huge advantage for me.
Clarence S.: What appealed to me most was the block study. Work full time, study full time, and knock it over in three years as opposed to a six year part-time course. I won't lie to you, it's a heavy course load, and it's a very big juggling act.
Kaitlan Cuell: Creating a balance with uni and work and social life has been difficult, especially in the beginning, just such a massive change.
Khaila-Rose P.: But I know that I only have three years to complete it, and so it motivated me to keep going. It's been very intense, I'm a single mum.
Christian H.: Sometimes I'm not even quite sure, you get to the end of a semester and you think, "How did I actually get there?" Probably something I've also learned is how to manage my time a bit better.
Clarence S.: This course allows you to think differently, and allows you to bring new ideas to wherever it is that you work, so employers will see benefits from the knowledge and skills that students pick up throughout this course.
Khaila-Rose P.: It's not like you do this course, and then you go away and start a job. You're doing the course at the same time you're working, so you have a really good way to apply those skills at the same time.
Clarence S.: It sets a really solid platform to be able to move up into a particular area within an organisation, within a government department, or to kick off your own business, which for aboriginal people, hopefully we can certainly get people moving in that direction and we can change the status quo and the socioeconomics for a lot of communities.
Advice for prospective students would be just get into it. The knowledge that you can pick up through the BBA will only serve to better where you are now, or where you want to be in the future. I can't speak highly enough of it.
Kaitlan Cuell: Be prepared, and go in knowing that it's going to be a hard couple of years, but at the end of it, it's going to be completely worthwhile and change your life.
Who is this program for?
The Bachelor of Business Administration is designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders working in a range of organisations who wish to gain a degree qualification and maximise their career options.
Students selected to participate in the Bachelor of Business Administration will be those currently employed within a range of sectors including private, public and community based organisations from any part of Australia, or those with previous work or study experience with a demonstrated commitment to learning.
Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research
Located within UTS, the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research provides students with assistance across all aspects of university life. Staff are dedicated to supporting individual Indigenous students navigate any challenges – academic and personal.
Read first-hand accounts from our students about their experiences at UTS Business School, and why they chose to come here and study the Bachelor of Business Administration.
Student feedback about the BBA
Bachelor of Business Administration (Indigenous)
"I’ve always had in the back of my mind as an end result to get back to my own community."
Bachelor of Business Administration (Indigenous)
"My attitude is that if you’re going to commit to the three years of doing the course, you might as well fully commit."
Bachelor of Business Administration (Indigenous)
"What really appealed to me about this course was the fact that I could study and work at the same time."
Bachelor of Business Administration (Indigenous)
"I think the thing that I like the most is that it’s actually like an undergraduate version of an MBA."