How The QUT Training Ground Turned This Employee Into A CEO

QUT Executive MBA alumni and Videopro CEO Cameron Douglas.

“Buying a major chunk of an established business is like buying a ticket to one of the most exciting rides you’ll ever step onto.”

That’s how QUT Executive MBA alumni, Cameron Douglas, describes what followed his decision to purchase a stake in leading audio-visual technology provider, Videopro, in 2014; a company which had first hired him to sell equipment over the phone to schools in 2006.

Cameron’s rise to the top of the business was capped last month when he was appointed CEO of the company.

“People do postgraduate study for a number of reasons – be that to be a better leader or if they want a career change,” Cameron said.

“For me, I always felt like it was something that I had to do. When I signed up, business ownership wasn’t my goal, but it certainly helped me achieve it.

“I didn’t come from a family of business owners, so becoming one completely flipped the script of my life. It was not normal for me.

“All of a sudden you’re responsible for everything, all of a sudden your house, your friends’ jobs, your kids’ school fees, are all on the line. All of a sudden the stakes have gone through the roof.

“Business ownership removes the insulation afforded to you as an employee – when it’s cool, it’s cold, and when it’s warm, it’s hot.

“All that said, steering a 41-year-old ship is also equally rewarding. You’re not surfing Coolangatta, you’re paddling out to Pipe and if you’re up for it, it’s very exciting.”

Cameron said the ‘training ground’ provided by the QUT Executive MBA had helped develop an effective approach to management and leadership as a business owner and CEO in charge of a 100-strong workforce.

“The most important thing we can learn is to learn how to learn,” he said.

“Undertaking a QUT Executive MBA really activates this through its relevance to your day-to-day. Then it becomes the training ground to self-develop in a controlled environment.

“It’s important to take the time to understand how our own behaviours can impact those around us, and a QUT Executive MBA teaches you that.

“If you’re intending to learn everything through experience or ‘The School of Hard Knocks’, the reality is the hard knocks are being dealt to all the people around as you try to find your way to success.

“The QUT Executive MBA can soften that blow by giving you the environment to learn and test your leadership.

“A McKinsey study shows that internally promoted CEOs are half as likely to be successful than externally sourced – just knowing that is motivation enough to take the actions to be the best version of yourself.”

How The QUT Executive MBA Provides The Training Ground For Leaders 

The QUT Executive MBA is designed to facilitate the development of a deep understanding of personal goals and leadership traits.

On top of promoting self-realisation and leadership, the QUT Executive MBA program integrates fundamental units with more advanced elements that include organisational transformation, entrepreneurship, governance and corporate accountability.

The program culminates in an international study tour to one of the world’s best universities; MIT, or Europe. Students undertake a deep dive with some of the world’s largest companies, including Boeing and Amazon, and hone their abilities to meet the demands of a quickly changing globalised digital economy.

Cameron often uses an analogy to describe the value of a QUT Executive MBA and learning how to be an effective manager.

“A doctor has to study for years at a university to be able to work on someone’s body, but managers can play with people’s minds and have no qualifications whatsoever,” he said.

“Having a QUT Executive MBA degree certainly expedites the career journey, equipping you with the skills to lead and manage effectively.

“Leading a great team is the greatest privilege that can be afforded. Videopro is full of incredible people and it’s my responsibility to honour that by being the best leader I can be.”

For more information on the QUT Executive MBA including course dates, click here.

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.