MyMBA – From New Delhi to a new life in Australia

Embrace your city and make the most of all your opportunities is the simple advice from an international MBA student now enjoying a new life and a new job in a new country.

New Delhi-born and raised Nitin Singhal is typical of the new wave of ambitious young executives looking to Australia to accelerate their career with an internationally recognised MBA.

But Nitin readily admits his MBA, by itself, is no passport to instant career success.

“In a highly competitive employment market like Australia you need to do something extra to stand out from the crowd,” he said.

Nitin Singhal
Nitin Singhal

Just a few years ago the idea of having a great job and an MBA from a leading Australian university would never have occurred to Nitin.

After completing an Engineering degree in his home country and moving into the workforce for a couple of years, he quickly realised he wanted something a little extra to fast track his career.

After quickly deciding an MBA was the best way to climb the corporate ladder the next big decision was where?

“The US and UK schools have a tremendous reputation in India, particularly the Ivy League schools, while Australia is considered in the second tier of business schools,” he said. “But with the great reputation of the Ivy League schools also comes incredible barriers to entry.”

“After doing a bit of research it quickly dawned on me that I could come to Australia and study an MBA at any number of internationally ranked university’s and get a degree that was globally recognised,” he said.

After applying to a range of courses in Australia he was eventually accepted into a leading university in Western Australia and quickly packed his bags.

“I was about to apply for my Student Visa when I got another offer; from QUT in Brisbane,” he said. “After a bit of investigating I quickly switched to QUT and have been very happy with the decision.”

Rankings, job opportunities, cost of living and safety were the key factors underpinning his decision. Add to that Brisbane’s excellent weather, relaxed manner and minimal competition (compared to other global cities), and Brisbane fitted the bill.

After commencing the MBA in mid-June 2009 he quickly threw himself into the course, as well as a range of other activities.

Nitin was selected as one of the 2010 Brisbane International Student Ambassadors to promote Brisbane as an international student destination to their home countries.

As part of his studies he secured a role working in an information technology start-up which was organised as part of CEED program that links students with companies to gain practical knowledge by working for a semester or two. After completing this ”internship” , he was offered a part-time role with the company.

QUT's Gardens Point campus is just minutes from the Brisbane CBD
QUT’s Gardens Point campus is just minutes from the Brisbane CBD

“The project was a great opportunity to gain industry experience and cultural awareness, with the added bonus of shaving some time off my degree,” he said.

He said participating in a CEED project gave his resume an extra boost, which was attractive to future employers.

Nitin now enjoys a position within the Programme Management Office at QGC working towards developing the Curtis LNG (liquefied natural gas) project in Central Queensland. Prior to this, he served as a Technology Advisory Consultant at Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms.

When he applied as an international student to firms such as Deloitte and the likes, Nitin says he needed to have “something in hand already”, something to show his initiative – his CEED project demonstrated this.

“When I did my CEED project, little did I realise it’s value, because when I stepped into it my main intention was ‘yes, let’s get some industry experience’, but when I stepped out into the market looking for graduate jobs, that’s when I really realised how valuable it turned out to be.”

Nitin explains that when employing international graduates, “companies are looking for Australian exposure – even working at McDonald’s – so that you understand the people and culture here. Having worked with CEED, it was much more than just the Australian culture because they had knowledge of the industry as well, which was looked upon very favourably when I applied to Deloitte.”

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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 (rgcmm.com.au).