MBA helps high flying career take off

150305 mymba david mann careflightAs a senior manager at CareFlight Australia David Mann dealt with high flyers on a daily basis. But when he wanted his own career to take-off he turned to an MBA at the Australian Institute of Business (AIB).

After many years of doing basic business courses to improve his skills David realised that to give his qualifications the leap he needed to take on a more senior role an MBA would be the best option.

“I have been in my current role for a number of years, but didn’t have the academic qualifications to take it to the next level. So for myself, having aspirations of becoming a CEO of a company, I felt that I needed those formal credentials to make that next step,” he said.

Though he had undertaken some previous training at a variety of levels, David felt the MBA provided a new layer of credibility.

As the General Manager of Aviation Services at CareFlight Australia, a non-for-profit aeromedical organisation providing rapid response medical care to communities across Australia, David faces many challenges in his role.

“Careflight is a diverse company – besides operating aircraft, it operates and employs doctors and nurses, pilots, helicopters and so forth. There are a lot of basic management skills that are needed in those situations.”

In addition to people management, his portfolio of Aviation Services brings another level of management challenges.

“We get heavily involved in helicopter and aircraft procurement, so learning about offshore acquisitions and budgets is extremely important in a big company like Careflight. As a not-for- profit, there are slim margins – so understanding and protecting budgets is incredibly important.”

David believes that the practical nature of the AIB MBA was hugely beneficial in his role.

“Each of the subjects in the MBA linked to my work well – it really was both practical and applied, as promised. Every subject I could easily link back to something that I was doing currently within my role. For me, the assignments were great because more often than not, I was dealing with the issue we were covering in the subject at my work.”

Whilst completing his MBA, David was based in Darwin – and made the decision to fly to Adelaide one weekend a month in order to complete the MBA through face-to-face learning.

“For me, internal study was a lot easier – because of my work load, it was easier to dedicate time internally rather than try to set aside time for distance learning. I hadn’t studied for many years, so I thought it was best to get the face-to-face tuition.”

He also thought that the flexible and accelerated format was both attractive and achievable.

“The 12 month MBA was the most attractive to me because it seemed achievable, in terms of being present one weekend a month and completing an assignment and exam per subject. I couldn’t see myself being dedicated to my studies for three years.”

David’s main piece of advice for students looking into completing an MBA is to simply take the leap.

“Really, just go ahead and do it. If you can afford it, and you have got the time, then do it because it is a fantastic experience, and not as time-intensive as some people think. The benefits are enormous.”

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (