How A QUT MBA Catapults Careers Into Consulting World

The capability of an MBA to arm students with a deep knowledge of business dynamics and strategy is empowering career changes toward the diverse world of consulting.

Former army officer, Mike Swaby, used the QUT Executive MBA as a business bootcamp to equip him with the skills needed to forge a career in life after his service.

“The QUT EMBA was an opportunity to solidify business skills, including strategy implementation and deep financial analysis,” he said.

“The other major benefit for me to undertake the QUT EMBA was to build both a peer network and a network of executive contacts.

“You get incredible insight by meeting and learning from a variety of different QUT Business School alumni and executives.

“Engaging with executives who have been to business school as well as engaging with executives who haven’t gives you a broad spectrum of approaches and frameworks to take forward.”

Mike is now in management consulting at Monitor Deloitte and also works with business owners and executive managers to design and implement strategies to target growth opportunities. He has also launched his own website where he provides insight on leadership.

“My MBA has helped me get to this point and move towards projects and programs more related to business strategy,” he said.

“It’s really rewarding when you can help customers reposition their business or rethink what they are doing to achieve more growth and success.

“As a former army officer, I’m proof that an MBA can really propel you to
wherever you want to go in your career and for me that was consulting.”

MBA Lays Foundation For Consulting Career

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.

Units including Strategic Management, Communicating to Influence, Economics in Business, and Personal Leadership and Change, provide a foundation for the program.

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.

Variety – The Spice Of MBA Life

For former marketing and communications manager, Jane Couchman, her QUT MBA turbocharged progression in consulting when she started a role at global professional services firm, PwC.

“I started my QUT MBA and consulting role at the same time, so the two journeys happened simultaneously,” Jane said.

“It worked out so well for me because the consulting experience gave me a playground to understand more and apply the models, theories, and frameworks I was learning in the MBA.

“My study of MBA topics mirrored what I was experiencing with my clients, and it gives you a 360-degree appreciation of business and market dynamics.

“Variety is the spice of life and both an MBA and consulting creates so much variety.

“One of the reasons I was drawn to a career in consulting is how it throws you into exciting, new situations and new challenges that require new ideas and new solutions.”

Still in professional services, Jane now holds a national role as the Chief Strategy Officer at global accounting and advisory firm, BDO, in Australia.

“As our world continues to change, we have to make sure we have the right skills, capabilities, and processes in our businesses to react,” she said.

“We also have to ensure we provide outstanding service and advice to our clients as they go through that changing environment as well.

“In my role, I work with the business, clients, our people, and the community to define and execute a growth strategy.

“The QUT MBA provided me with a really contemporary understanding of business and strategy I draw on every day.

“The other aspect I am grateful for is that I will always be part of the QUT family. I will always be able to rely on QUT and draw on the network of alumni or academics to get the most contemporary thinking and ideas.”

The next QUT MBA program begins in September and the next EMBA starts in January. 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.