UQ MBA Turns Jamie Oliver’s Marketing Manager Into An Australian Business Leader

In 2015, Camilla Roberts was working in London as a marketing mastermind with renowned chef Jamie Oliver on campaigns creating a remarkable impact on a global scale.

The organisation was influencing legislation in the UK and raising awareness by breaking Guinness World Records in Australia. Jamie’s message about eating better and living healthier lives was spreading around the world.

Camilla’s time with Jamie Oliver cemented her passion for working for purpose-driven organisations and set her on a path that would ultimately lead her to study an MBA.

“We were aiming to turn the tide on childhood obesity through a massive campaign that led to changing UK legislation so that cooking lessons in schools were compulsory for children,” Camilla said.

“We helped to break a Guinness World Record in Australia for the most children cooking at the same time, an initiative to teach children about healthy food.”

“Jamie also led a campaign to implement a sugar tax and persuade governments to take action on sugary drinks.

“It was amazing to see the impact we could have when we leveraged the scale of Jamie’s audience through digital technology.”

After more than two years working on ground-breaking campaigns, Camilla decided to study a UQ MBA to launch her career in a new direction.

UQ MBA Translates Business Theory Into Practice

Camilla wanted to use her marketing experience and combine it with an MBA to help purposeful scale-ups have global impact – just like Jamie Oliver’s campaigns did.

Camilla said the UQ MBA delivered valuable leadership skills, strategy knowledge and business fundamentals.

“I wanted to understand the different levers in business; what’s really important, what drives decisions, and how to organise a business better so it can be sustainable,  purpose-driven and grow exponentially,” she said.

“The MBA provided me with an understanding of the other disciplines in an organisation, including finance, governance, strategic planning and operations management.

“You also learn a lot from your peers who come from different industries and openly share the challenges they have faced. You can then apply the MBA theory to those challenges as case studies, and that gives you a broader perspective beyond your own company.”

As a UQ Women in Leadership Scholarship recipient, Camilla combined full-time work, a Board Director role and weekend consultancy work while studying. She graduated in 2020 as Valedictorian after receiving the UQ MBA Applied Mastery Prize.

MBA Develops Skills To Apply Across Agriculture Industry

Camilla is now the Chief Commercial Officer at Food Agility, a $150 million innovation hub that invests in leading agrifood research. Her role is to secure and invest and scale great Australian science and IP into commercialisation vehicles with impact.

She leads the Carbon and Natural Capital investment pillar working with Australia’s biggest Agri lender (NAB), insurers technology companies and Australia’s biggest agriculture and food businesses. She also leads commercialisation and data strategy for all the investments.

“There’s incredible potential in the agriculture industry to harness innovation around robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, remote sensors, predictive models and technology.

“All of these things have start-ups and scale-ups with a lot of different business models. The challenge is how we get the great technology in the hands of farmers and other people in the agriculture value chain so we have a more sustainable industry – financially, socially and environmentally.

Agriculture is unique because it is one of the few industries that can sequester carbon in its land assets – so it is the key to Australia meeting its global commitments on greenhouse gases and turning the tide on climate change.

“That’s what Food Agility is all about: investing in agtech solutions for a better future.”

“I chose the UQ MBA because of its credibility on a global scale”, Camilla said.

“The program opened my eyes to the spectrum of business and how strategic decisions are made and I met a lot of top-class friends and colleagues along the way”.

To find out more about the UQ MBA, register now for the UQ MBA Information Event on November 3. Applications close 30 November 2021.

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.