From Caring For Three Kids To Caring For 30,000 Employees: Mum’s Inspiring MBA Journey

After taking time away from the workforce to focus on her growing family, Ann-Marie Saini turned to a QUT MBA and hit the ‘Go’ button on her return to the corporate world.

The mum-of-three and current MBA student is now the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Lead for Westpac, and her responsibilities include the protection, support, and enrichment of more than 30,000 employees across Australia and abroad.  Her role involves researching, developing, and implementing health, safety and wellbeing policy and initiatives focused on current and emerging risks.

Ann-Marie, who has been announced as the new face of QUT’s MBA campaign, said it could be difficult to adjust to full-time employment again after being away from the corporate setting.

“It’s a confidence thing and you question whether you still have what it takes,” she said.

“You ask yourself whether you can do what you did before and how you can get back on the trajectory you were on.

“The MBA provided a much-needed confidence boost and skills injection to resecure senior leadership roles and consider my next steps.

“This kind of study helps you reaffirm what skillset you do have and build on it as well, so you can be more confident to take your next step.

“I’m able to press ‘go’ harder in my career than I would have been without an MBA.”

Ann-Marie began her career in the aviation and tourism industries after completing an ​​undergraduate degree in Business (Marketing) at QUT.

Having decided it was time to return to the workforce full time after starting a family, she said the leadership units of the QUT MBA were particularly beneficial.

“Throughout this journey, my confidence has increased with opportunities to experiment, learn, pivot and grow,” she said.

“This has allowed me to have greater impact, influence and has positively charged my career trajectory.

“I have personally found the three leadership subjects most beneficial as they offered an opportunity to look through different lenses and reflect upon current and desired states.

“These were pivotal moments to reshape and refocus, helping me to lean in to work challenges in new ways.

“The diversity of subjects and requirement to demonstrate applicability of concepts and learning in the ‘real world’ ensured that my studies continued to build transferable skills.”

Leadership Front And Centre In MBA

The QUT MBA program is made up four components that build on each other and aim to equip students to take on the challenges and opportunities of a complex business environment.

The MBA course structure at QUT also gives students the opportunity to choose a concentration in Leadership and Strategy, which is ideal learning for the world of consulting.

With the Leadership and Strategy elective pathway, students deep dive into units including Negotiation Skills and Strategies, Investment Strategies for Technology, Crisis Communication, Improving Business Operations, and Advanced Strategy for Global Business.

Seize Opportunities to Expand Horizons

Ann-Marie said the best experiences in the QUT MBA program included the international and interstate studies.

“I had an opportunity to study in Germany and through a Victorian university to broaden my elective studies and learnings,” she said.

“The personal and professional growth through extending myself in different environments, countries, languages and experiences added significant value to my MBA journey. Plus, it secured lifelong friendships and increased my appetite for more travel.”

Ann-Marie said her message to anyone considering MBA study was to “just do it”.

“You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain,” she said.

“The QUT program provides exceptional flexibility to navigate the challenges and create the right balance of your personal, family and work needs.”

The next QUT MBA program begins in September. Visit the QUT Business School website for more information.

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.