For Melbourne businesswoman Amy Hickman juggling her workload around regular on-campus lectures was an investment with solid returns.
Now busy running one company, Serve It Up and a hospitality consulting business PHD Consulting, Amy says she remains very happy with her decision to study her MBA on campus.
“You get much more out of it, especially the interaction with lecturers and the life -long networks I have made with colleagues, lecturers and faculty personnel,” she said. “I loved it and have recommended to so many people that they go.”
“I loved it on campus. I studied two trimesters full-time and the rest part-time, conducting hospitality consulting and training work around the hours at uni,” she said.
Amy completed her Deakin University MBA in 2011 while she as setting up Serve It Up. Her MBA has helped her to accomplish the critical set-up phase.
“I have a much better understanding of the financial aspects of running a company. I also see running a company in a more holistic sense. Every decision you make affects every aspect of the business,” she said.
Despite already having a degree in hospitality management and an established career she chose to do an MBA because she wanted to ensure her new company reached its full potential.
In her business she works closely with owners to manage the opening of new restaurants, undertaking all business set-up activities including strategic planning, business plan development, recruitment and selection, forecasting and budgeting, menu development and supplier contract negotiations.
“The MBA has provided me with the skills and knowledge required to undertake these activities effectively,” she said.
She found the Deakin University MBA provided value for money and a flexible structure.
Amy said a highlight of her time at Deakin was the opportunity to base an assignment for Strategic Management on her company, which was still in the initial stage of registration.
Her assignment group reviewed her strategic plan and direction and provided this report back to Amy. She was able to use the strategic review completed by the Deakin students with the amended plan provided to the Victorian Registrations Authority (VRQA) as part of the pre-registration requirements for becoming a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
Amy also participated in a business practicum unit which consisted of a 12-week unpaid project at the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
“I worked for the ARA and redeveloped their RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) program. This experience extended my professional network and provided me with skills and knowledge that are transferrable to my company,” she said.
She is also hoping that in the near future other Deakin students will come and complete their business practicum in Serve It Up, providing them with practical experience that will directly benefit their careers.