Overcome Imposter Syndrome And Take Your Next Career Step with UQ MBA

imposter syndrome mba

Saving lives and responding to critical health emergencies is what Suzanne Wood had been trained to do.

So, when the registered nurse walked into her first Master of Business Administration (MBA) class at The University of Queensland surrounded by students with years of corporate executive experience behind them, it hit her.

Imposter syndrome: the belief that she was not as competent as others and those around her grossly overestimated her ability.

“I felt like at any moment someone would turn around and tell me they had made an admissions mistake and I didn’t belong there,” Suzanne said.

“Much of this fear was because I came from an industry that was not a standard path toward an MBA.

“There were some students in the program who were CEOs, and I wasn’t coming from that standard business background.

Suzanne Wood (second from left) was a registered nurse when she began her MBA journey.

“I didn’t have the business acumen I assumed other people did.”

Suzanne said there were two things that helped her overcome the sense of imposter syndrome she felt when starting her MBA.

1: Embrace The Cohort Experience

“There’s something very special about the UQ MBA program. I was able to tame my imposter syndrome by completely embracing the MBA experience,” Suzanne said.

“Be 100 per cent present and immersed in the program and everything it offers.

“A big part of the MBA is teamwork, and a reason for that is to share the learning experience with other students.

“There’s enormous professional and personal value in learning from the people you’re studying with.

“Once I embraced this experience, I knew I belonged and was equal to my peers because I had something to offer them too.”

Suzanne said she was surprised to learn that even peers in more traditional business careers weren’t immune to imposter syndrome starting the program.

“It was great to grow our confidence together and know how to articulate our value.”

2: Opportunity To Apply MBA Learnings

“The UQ MBA gave me a chance to critically analyse my values, personal drivers, strengths and weaknesses, and use them to craft my future path,” Suzanne said.

“It’s an opportunity most people never get in their lives.

“I found this to be a really valuable experience that helped me overcome imposter syndrome, because I became more aware of my strengths and ways to add value.”

Harnessing the UQ MBA To Take Her Next Career Step

Suzanne Wood received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Whether a student’s goal is to accelerate their career, switch industries or launch their own business, the specialist UQ MBA Careers and Professional Development Teamwork with them one-on-one to strategically position them for success.

Graduates also benefit from lifetime access to this service.

For Suzanne, the UQ MBA enabled her to transform her career from a registered nurse in the aged care sector to a business transformation consultant for the Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland.

“The UQ MBA was an amazing opportunity to take my health background and apply it in a new way.

“There are very limited pathways in nursing with how far you can go in terms of progression and becoming an influential decision-maker. I really wanted to at least contribute my opinion to decision making in a way that affected and improved patient outcomes.

“That’s why I chose to study the UQ MBA.”


Suzanne chose to study an accelerated 12-month MBA program at UQ while raising a young daughter.

She excelled in her studies and was recognised by UQ with the Personal Transformation Award and the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.

She said she would reap the UQ MBA benefits for a lifetime.

“I don’t believe UQ can be beaten,” Suzanne said.

“UQ delivers world class education and is renowned for it.

“UQ is a badge I would be proud to talk about for the rest of my career. I would encourage anyone to enrol in an MBA and get the incredible value out of it.

“It’s much more than professional advancement – it provides so much personal development and understanding of yourself as well.”

To find out more about the UQ MBA, register now for a UQ MBA Information Event on April 21 or 6 May. Applications close 31 May 2021.


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.