Coles strategy manager uses MBA experience to think differently

Ben Papps
Ben Papps

Strategy Manager at supermarket giant Coles, Ben Papps, looks back on his MBA experience at Melbourne Business School as some of the best times of his life.

Ben says that the opportunities that MBS afforded him went well beyond the typical experience. He participated in an exchange program to Ivy League School Cornell University, joined social clubs, and made life-long friendships.

“The class was more international than I expected and that was a great thing. They were a very energetic bunch of people who came from many different types of backgrounds – doctors, engineers, accountants and even a musician… it was clear that a lot of the learning was going to come from other stories.”

Before being admitted, Ben never believed that he would be accepted into an MBA program. However, after speaking to previous MBS alumni and taking his GMAT, he quickly set his sights on the MBS MBA program.

“They impressed upon me three things – quality, brand and network of the MBA. I thought of Australian schools vs brands of the US schools and I didn’t think I’d get into any school but I did my GMAT and found out I could. My deciding factors in choosing MBS were the quality of the teaching at MBS, the reputable brand of the school and most importantly the network of the school and its alumni.”

Previously a Management Consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Ben credits his MBA to opening up his eyes to greater perspectives across organisations, encouraging him to combine his creativity with the theory learned during the program.

“The theoretical things that you learn come into play. You get a better understanding of how decisions are made, how they are reported in the media, and where to go to find the answers if you don’t know them.”

Ben recognises how his MBA has effected his way of thinking, exposing him to new ideas and alternative ways of looking at problems.

“You get a broader understanding of the situation. The method of case studies exposes you to a lot of thinking and different ideas. Without a broad understanding, it’s hard to come up with ideas that can be turned into action and that can drive impact.”

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (