Engineer Aims For MBA To Develop Consultant Career

Nil Shah with a Taipan Gun Mount at the Avalon Air Show in 2019 – a project he worked on with Nova Systems providing testing and systems engineering elements.

As an MBA student, engineer and consultant for leading professional services provider Nova Systems, every day is wildly different for Nil Shah.

Nil is currently balancing his MBA studies at Melbourne Business School with his work commitments at Nova, a company planning to increase hiring in the next financial year and beyond. It specialises in the provision of engineering and management services.

Nova, which placed in the Top 20 for best places to work in Australia in 2020, has around 700 employees and delivers “complex projects” around the world including with the Australian Defence Force, United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Nova Group National Talent Acquisition Manager Jason Wright said the company had undertaken a Strategic Business Review in 2020.

“Out of this we have developed a world-class strategy built around three equally strong commitments to our people, clients and value generation,” Wright said.

“To deliver our new strategy, we expect to see an increase in hires next financial year and beyond.

“Having completed an MBA is not mandatory to be a leader in the Nova Group, however it is recognised as a relevant qualification that better equips and enables leaders.

“Our company has experienced year-on-year growth and we expect to continue this trend into the future.

“We will continue to hire smart people with the right skills and experience to meet our strategic intentions, culture and values.”

Nil said his role was focussed on resolving engineering issues related to the capability of projects in collaboration with stakeholders.

“It requires coordination and a deep understanding of the implications of various issues for all stakeholders involved,” he said.

“I am currently working on a project which often requires meetings with a team in Germany quite late in the day.

“It’s quite challenging to maintain a routine as every day is different. Generally, my day consists of working, studying for the MBA, dinner with family, and squeezing in a minimum one-hour bike ride around studies and work commitment.”

Nil said the highlight of his career so far had been getting into the MBA program.

“In a reasonably short amount of time, the MBA has already allowed me to further develop my skills and equipped me with various field-specific methodologies, tools, and techniques for application in practical contexts both as an engineering consultant and as a business transformation analyst,” he said.

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“In my role as a business transformation analyst… I actively draw on my learnings from areas such as leadership, ethics and managing people to understand people behaviours, manage stakeholders with conflicting needs, and more generally, maximise outputs through effective use of strengths and opportunities of various individuals.

“Further, areas such as data analysis have cultivated my ability to interpret and analyse large data sets and draw evidence-based conclusions for effective decision making.

‘Similarly, as an engineering consultant, supporting complex capability acquisition projects for the Australian Defence Force, I come across challenges that cannot be solely solved using technical skill and require a broader understanding and consideration of commercial or organisational implications.

“The MBA, through exposure to field-specific theory as well as engagement and discussions with peers from various industries and backgrounds, has allowed me to expand the way I think of, and approach, problems and produce well-rounded, robust solutions encompassing a variety of perspectives.”

Doug Estwick
Doug is an author for MBA News and Fixed Income News Australia. Doug has been a media and communications professional for more than 10 years, including working as an editor for News Corp's Quest Newspaper group.