Leverage Your MBA Network to Land Your Next Career Step

UQ MBA graduates Chris Hurn and Matt McCabe.

There’s a trend on the rise for reaching your next career step: the hidden job market. In fact, in Australia it’s estimated 60 to 85 per cent of jobs are now secured through means such as networking.

For UQ MBA alumnus Chris Hurn, the opportunity to connect with a vast network of MBA students and alumni meant he knew exactly where to look when his company needed a new consultant.

Chris, General Manager of IT service company Envisage Technology, first met Matt McCabe through an entrepreneurial social club while they were both studying a Master of Business Administration at The University of Queensland (UQ).

Chris says it’s crucial to put effort into making connections and expanding your network to step up the career ladder during your MBA.

“Some people view an MBA as a means to open a few doors in their career,” Chris said.

“Through the UQ MBA, you meet a large and diverse mix of students and alumni who are all driven and fascinating professionals – they present thousands of doors to go through.

Matt agrees, “A key value of the UQ MBA is the network effect not only of the individual classmates you get to know, but you also have access to alumni who have a very strong presence across all professional fields.”

“This network is going to fuel your career, so think of how you can grow it and also who you can help, and you will reap the benefits,” Chris said.

Vast Opportunities to Network and Make Connections

Through UQ Business School, Chris and Matt were able to access a suite of MBA networking events to help build industry connections. The School invites both current students and more than 4000 MBA alumni to actively participate in social clubs, MBA Industry Breakfasts, Careers Weeks or Thought Leadership Series events.

Chris said he continued to draw on his UQ MBA network when opportunities emerged at his company.

“I recruited Matt because it was a low risk move. I knew him as part of my network, I knew his capability, his skill set, personality and the high calibre of strategic thinking the UQ MBA had instilled in him,” said Chris.

“The steps involved of me recruiting him was far lower compared to going to the employment market, where you have to make a judgement on a phone call, interview and reference check.

“He’s come on board, integrated really well with the team, and we’re doing great things together to grow the company”.

An MBA Network Lasts A Lifetime

Prior to his role as a Senior Consultant at Envisage Technology, Matt worked in the property industry and was also involved in hospital strategy and planning.

But his ambition was to contribute at a board level and also work in an innovation environment.

Not only has Matt found an ideal role at Envisage Technology, but he secured a voluntary board role for a not-for-profit organisation through a connection he made during his MBA.

“I’ve benefited from the UQ MBA network in a really organic way,” he said.

“The reason I have this job is because of the connections I made during my MBA.

“The alumni network is expanded every single year as more and more graduates come through the program and you get to network with them through various events, activities and initiatives.

“I now have an MBA and a network that I can leverage for the rest of my career.”

Matt said the connections he made during his MBA also helped him in his studies.

“One thing I was pleasantly surprised to find about the UQ MBA program was that it was challenging and everyone wanted to do their best, but it was not competitive.

“Everyone was very supportive, and that mindset was established from the very beginning.”

Now as an alumnus, Matt continues to mentor current students in the UQ MBA program himself to empower others to transform their career.

“Starting a UQ MBA is the first step to not only expanding your learning, but rapidly growing your professional network to include high performing executives eager to leverage their MBA talent pool.”

Visit the UQ MBA website for more information and to apply.

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.