After 15 years working in the higher education sector in some of the biggest cities in the world, a combination of COVID lockdowns and maternity leave provided the perfect opportunity for Juna Ferrett to tackle an MBA and a new career direction.
Little did she know, the flexibility of the QUT MBA would allow her to pursue her personal and professional goals and take her career to a whole new level by helping her secure her dream job with a top-tier consulting firm and the opportunity to work on some of the most exciting projects of her career.
While a second baby arrived and two years have passed since she embarked on her “quickfire” MBA, Juna still can’t believe the impact it had on her life and is looking forward to completing her QUT MBA this year.
“Like a lot of people, I used the pandemic to take stock of my career and where I wanted to be in the longer term and how I could do something that had real impact from a social and personal perspective,” she told MBA News.
“The MBA has taken a bit longer than I thought, but has been absolutely transformational from both a personal and professional perspective. It has opened the door to an incredible job where I am inspired every day.”
One of Juna’s key motivations for taking a new career direction was demonstrating to herself, and the world, that women do not need to choose between a family and a purposeful career.
“It has become very important for me to have a role that prioritises positive social impacts and equality in all stages of life and an MBA seemed like the right tool to find that role.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (International Development) from University of Melbourne, Juna embarked on a career that took on roles in London, Shanghai and Vancouver before joining Southern Cross University in senior sales and marketing roles.
Following the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and the devastating impact it had on the higher education sector and international students, Juna decided it was time for a new career path that was more purposeful and rewarding.
“I think most people reach a stage where they need to take stock and reconsider what they want from their career and that is a good sign that you need a change,” she said. “Once you have decided to make the change the next question is ’how do I do that?’”.
“Having worked in higher education I had a good understanding of the power of an MBA and its ability re-tool your skillset to take on a new role in any industry.”
The desire to complete the degree quickly was one of the key factors in choosing QUT’s flexible program that allows students to undertake multiple units of study at the same time over a six-week teaching period.
The QUT MBA, offered through the triple-accredited (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA) QUT Business School, is made up of four components that build on each other to provide students with an integrated and multi-disciplinary curriculum that will allow them to take on the challenges and opportunities of a complex business environment.
Each MBA unit of 6 credit points is delivered in a six-week teaching period with one week of assessment. These units have a strong focus on giving students the opportunity to apply concepts and management techniques learned in class directly to their workplace.
The most surprising and valuable aspects of the MBA for Juna has been the chance to learn from other students in her cohort and study at her own pace.
“Every subject seems to have a very diverse group of students who all have something valuable to add in discussions and group projects,” she said. “We have engineers, physios, pilots; just about every type of profession you could imagine and they are all here for the common goal of growing and improving so it makes for a very rewarding experience.”
“The other great thing I love about the QUT MBA is the flexible delivery and the ability to stop and start the program depending on other priorities.
“Having a second child in the middle of the program was tough and then starting a new job; at some times the MBA has had to take a back seat to other things but it has been really easy to just slot back into the mindset when I was able to.”
All of Juna’s hard work and study paid off when she started a new role as a Strategy Manager at Monitor Deloitte where she helps a diverse range of clients to build their strategic capabilities.
“It is such an incredible role with new challenges every day,” she said. “There is no way I would have the knowledge to feel confident in the position without the MBA.”