LEARNING how to think outside the box was one of the highlights of undertaking an MBA, according to Craig Dent.
The CEO of State Trustees in Victoria, Craig Dent completed his MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) at Swinburne University in VIC between 2004-2007 in order to develop his career.
He said his MBA had strengthened his “confidence” in his abilities.
“You learn to think differently and trust your ideas and instincts because they have a solid foundation in knowledge,” he said.
“It really lifted my eyes up and out, and I now see things quite differently.”
“I see in my current role now when people apply for a position and they have an MBA you know you are going to get a particular type of person – they will generally be more worldly, motivated, hard-working and diligent than other prospects because they are the character traits that it takes to start and finish an MBA.”
Although the exams were “incredibly intense”, he enjoyed developing a “lasting network” of friends during his MBA studies.
“The network is still a hugely valuable asset to this day and I have made some genuine friends during the course.”
His advice for people considering an MBA at the early stages of their careers – wait.
“Don’t do it too early in your career. Spend some time in the workforce learning about the world. It will give you much greater appreciation of the knowledge and experience that an MBA has to offer.”
Craig joined State Trustees (Victoria, Australia) in early 2012 as the General Manager, Client Services; and set about optimising efficiencies, redesigning the client delivery model and introducing a new focus on commercial growth. In December 2013, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer.
Craig is a proud and active supporter of mental health, disability, ageing, homelessness and diversity initiatives. He is currently a Director and Board Member of Variety – the Children’s Charity, Co-Chair of the Financial Services Council Trustee Board Committee, Member and Treasurer of the Australian Guardianship and Administrative Council, as well as an official Ambassador to Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, SBS.
An alumnus of the esteemed Leadership Victoria Williamson Community Leadership Program, Craig has also received an International Exemplary Leader Award for Advances in Academic and Administrative Leadership from the Chair Academy, as well as being recognised by the Australian Institute of Management for his contribution to the Australian business community, receiving the highest endorsement that can be awarded; Fellow status.
Craig has lectured at universities and spoken by invitation internationally on leadership, transformation, management, operations, social entrepreneurship, strategy, innovation and engagement. Craig holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship at Swinburne University and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council.