As her organisation shifted around her, Jodie Cox found that her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from AIM Business School had given her the tools to tackle a new job that gave her jurisdiction over thousands of clients across A sweeping area in New South Wales.
Jodie’s work with Vision Australia has seen her provide services and support to the visually impaired, ensuring that those without sight can still live any life they choose to lead.
Despite years in the field and a wealth of experience and practical knowledge, Jodie decided it was best for her career to obtain an MBA.
“I had already completed a graduate certificate in public sector management and I moved from the public sector to the not-for-profit sector,” she said.
“I’ve always worked in and around human services and for me personally, in a point in my career, I needed something to cement my experiences together.
“I had lots of experience but … it became evident that I needed to do something to bring it all together.
“The MBA provided that – it’s given me the tools and the language [and the theories] around what I was doing and helped me identify where I could improve.”
During her studies an organisational shift saw Jodie take on the role of Regional Business Manager at Vision Australia, combining her operational responsibilities with more strategic ones, where she was put in charge of a 28-person team that supported over 2,000 clients across New South Wales.
It was a daunting new challenge, but her newfound knowledge and skills were enough to help her succeed and the ability to apply her assessments directly back into the workplace provided an immediate return to learning.
“The position shift happened while I’ve been studying my MBA, and all lined up perfectly from when I competed it to when I took on the new role,” Jodie said.
She said the biggest benefit from her MBA education was the ability to think more strategically, from being purely operational her MBA gave her a new heightened understanding of how strategic thinking provides a scaffolding for longer term benefits.
“I was able to understand why we were seeing client increases in one area and not in another, and how we’re delivering advocacy and education to the broader community.
“For me personally, it [MBA] has provided me with a greater insight into how I, as an individual, manage and lead people; it has given me a new network with my colleagues; it provides a learning through osmosis across the team, and it’s also provided me with a greater insight into some of the decisions that are made at a higher level,” she said.
Jodie’s MBA not only gave her a new mind for strategic thinking but renewed her strength in her current knowledge and provided her with a new deck of business skills.
“I really started to unpack marketing and communication, which has been hugely beneficial to some of the success I’ve experienced in my role,” she said.
“I also got a greater insight into individual personalities so when I’m leading people, I can delve a little bit deeper into different aspects of individuals and how they can come together to form a solid team.”
Jodie was drawn to the Australian Institute of Management’s MBA program because of the flexibility it gave her and her job.
“The AIM MBA provided the flexibility for learning that was best for me, and what was best for my work situation,” she said.
“Because an MBA is focused on the ‘business’ aspect of things, I struggled at times with connecting that with my background in the not-for-profit sector.
“But every facilitator was brilliant at helping me understand the nuances and correlations between for profit and non-profit business.
“Having the potential to network and hear from people at the same level as me or higher, with different or greater knowledge than me, was also hugely beneficial.”
Looking back at her MBA experience, Jodie’s one piece of advice for aspiring students is to never be afraid of seeking assistance throughout the journey.
“An MBA is not an easy thing to do, but it becomes so much more achievable if you have the right support.”