Australian Institute of Business (AIB) graduate Cullen Haynes since graduating from the dedicated business school’s MBA program has progressed into a leadership position within Macquarie Group and is using his MBA skills for the benefit of his team and customers by looking at some of the processes in the bank.
Here, Cullen discusses his interesting career progression and the benefits his MBA has brought him and offers some advice to those considering studying an MBA at AIB. He also has a message for those students just commencing their MBA journey.
What was your background and role before you took on your MBA?
I was originally in the medical world. I graduated in radiography and I moved to the hospitality arena, working as a concierge and the manager of a hotel. When I started my MBA, this was something I wanted to contribute to my career because I found my niche in hospitality and I thought this will really help with my journey and my career development.
Tell us about your current role
The MBA definitely helped me get into a great organisation like Macquarie. They were interested in my MBA studies and final project which was related to reinvigoration through service – how you can take an existing product and make it different in the eyes of the consumer.
I’m now a senior sales associate in corporate leasing in the bank’s asset finance division. We are dealing with a wide introducer network of accountants, financial planners and dealerships and also their customers.
I thought I would keep progressing in the hospitality industry in a finance or sales capacity but the opportunity at Macquarie presented itself which was a great opportunity to continue in a customer-centric role.
Why did you choose the MBA at AIB over other MBA providers?
I think AIB represents flexibility; you can work while you’re studying. AIB gives you that flexibility so you can commit to just one subject at a time. Coming from a previous degree where you have to do four things at once, in a world where there are so many things going on, with AIB you can commit to just one subject, and once that’s done you move onto the next subject.
What is one piece of advice that you would offer to students who are starting the MBA?
I would say one big piece of advice from me is to have a clear goal as to what you want to use your MBA for. I know some people go in thinking that they’ll get it and that everything will magically happen. I think a good person realises that an MBA is a great tool if the person is willing to utilise it and open doors for themselves.
The very fact that you have an MBA is great, but I think you need to know where you want to go with it. What I hope to get from my MBA is to show people that I am willing to take on challenges and I’m willing to grab life by the palm trees and shake it, and move on through that way.
What would you say to someone weighing up studying at AIB?
What I would tell someone who is considering to study at AIB, is if you’re afraid or apprehensive about the time factor, about what you’re going to have to put in, I’d say just jump in.
The analogy I like to use is, “How old will you be in a year’s time if you don’t do the MBA?” and then think about that answer. “How old will you be if you do, do the MBA?” The time is going to pass nonetheless. And if you really want something, you’re going to make it happen; if you don’t, you’re going to make an excuse.
I honestly feel that for people who have really thought about it and have a genuine interest in their self-growth and actualisation in business and whatever they want to do, their own goals – go for it because the opportunity is there. Human beings are great procrastinators. I do it from time to time; we all do it. However, you really need to catch yourself in those moments and say, “This is for yourself; this is something you can really do for yourself to help you grow.”