James Herbertson is one Master of Business Administration student who is using his new knowledge and skills to make practical changes to his workplace. As Senior Manager in Community Businesses for mental health charity Flourish Australia, James has made real change in the functioning of his organisation through the confidence and tools he is gaining at AIM Business School.
Here James talks about how his AIM MBA is making a real difference.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Sydney. Since 1991, most of my working life has been in the not for profit sector where I have managed and developed programs on the North Coast of New South Wales, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, regional Victoria and now, NSW. I have been involved in the disability employment sector since 2010, specialising in employment supports with a lived experience of a mental health issue.
What was your background and role before you took on your MBA?
My background has been in training, public speaking and management, and my role on commencing my MBA was as senior manager of our organisation’s Community Businesses. These businesses provide employment opportunities for around 300 people annually with a psychosocial disability. I have now taken on extra duties handling our Disability Employment Services and executive head office functions as well.
Why did you choose the MBA at AIM Business School over other providers?
I chose AIM Business School primarily based on reputation and the course design. After looking at several training providers, I was impressed by the structure of AIM’s MBA and the practical nature of the course which has real world potential application to my current role. The flexibility of taking units either face to face, or online was also very appealing as I felt I was able to take on units at a pace that suited my work load and other life commitments.
What units did you do at AIM Business School and how have they specifically helped you in your career?
I am currently completing the first phase of my MBA through the Graduate Certificate level of the course. The unit Managing Financial Resources was particularly useful, giving me a much better handling on the budgeting processes needed to create a sustainable business. Previously, our division had made significant losses due to the difficulty we had in creating and managing budgets under a previous budget structure. My study gave me the confidence and tools to drill more deeply into elements of the budget, and to negotiate with the finance department in a complete budget restructure. This has supported our business into becoming a more financially sustainable business which is showing a good surplus to budget in this financial year.
What is one piece of advice that you would offer to students who are thinking about studying an MBA?
My advice would be to ensure you have adequate time and motivation to tackle an MBA. The balancing of work/life with study is something that needs to be considered and planned for. Locking in serious study time to read texts, research and prepare assignments is crucial to making this a worthwhile exercise. I chose to undertake the AIM MBA to increase my knowledge and performance at work rather than just to gain the qualification. I figured that I would only tackle units when I could give it the attention they needed, which has helped me get the most out of my study.
What would you say to someone weighing up studying at AIM Business School?
I have found AIM Business School to be a very supportive environment, with excellent content and delivery. I have undertaken all units online so far but have found the facilitators and support staff readily available and supportive. Each unit I have undertaken was filled with people like me, experienced managers and leaders who were seeking to improve their own knowledge and performance. This fostered a lot of great conversations and a collegial environment where knowledge was shared. I would recommend the AIM MBA as a great learning environment where a person will learn practical skills as well as theoretical background knowledge.
What has the AIM MBA given you and how has it changed your career so far?
Undertaking the MBA through AIM Business School has given me greater confidence in my management and business decision making process. While I had a good understanding of management principals through my previous experience, undertaking the MBA has given me greater insight into how to measure and deliver business performance. You never know the things you don’t know unless you are given the opportunity to discover them. That’s what my MBA journey has delivered so far.
To find out more about how an AIM MBA could elevate your career, download your free MBA guide.