How These Small Business Leaders Are Using An MBA To Inspire Success

QUT MBA student Amy Wallin pictured in the Executive Centre, Gardens Point campus.

From small start-ups to global corporate giants, every business shares the ambition to grow and succeed.

While business growth strategies vary greatly between companies, the QUT MBA is empowering students to grow their own business or lead a company, no matter how big or small.

The QUT MBA is offered through the triple-accredited (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA) QUT Business School. The MBA is backed by real world learning and industry leading professionals to support students reach their business and leadership goals.

For physiotherapist and small business owner Chris Purcell, the MBA is shining an important light on his industry from a business perspective. New ways of thinking are providing avenues for growth and change in his business, Out of the Box Physio, which he founded in 2015.

“What I am learning about in the QUT MBA is contemporary and exciting; I can use the knowledge to grow my business and scale it,” Mr Purcell said.

“One of the units I found most inspiring focussed on people management and the integration of leadership and HR.

“We explored effective systems and people strategies and I came away from the unit feeling really confident about what makes teams work effectively and how to lead people through change.

“By applying these great business principles from the MBA to the physiotherapy industry, I’m building the capacity to grow my business in new ways.”

Digital MBA (DMBA) student Chris Purcell at his business Out of the Box Physiotherapy.

For QUT Digital MBA student Chris Raleigh, being able to network with an elite cohort of like-minded peers is proving invaluable in the lead up to the launch of his activewear company Earthletica.

“QUT has an outstanding entrepreneurship hub called the Foundry and it provides an excellent support network of business minds,” Mr Raleigh said.

“When you combine the QUT MBA with the network of the Foundry, you have a great foundation to support the development of your business.”

Mr Raleigh said the MBA was already paying off as he prepared for the launch for Earthletica later this year.

“I knew that I needed to future proof my skills, which is why I chose to study a Digital MBA,” he said.

“As Earthletica launches and grows, I need to also grow my skill base to ensure that as the leader of this company I am the best person for this role.

“I have greatly developed my leadership skills while studying the Digital MBA. This degree has made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.

“I am regularly out of my comfort zone, but that is exactly what I am looking for, because this results in personal growth.”

QUT’s collaboration with MIT in Boston was also “an unbeatable value proposition” for Mr Raleigh.

QUT Digital MBA student Christopher Raleigh who is starting his own Athletic wear business.

The collaboration provides the opportunity to undertake a two-week Immersion Program at MIT in Boston, developing skills and capabilities around entrepreneurship and digital transformation.

Further complementing the QUT MBA course content is a strong emphasis on mentorship. QUT delivers individual coaching across the digital, executive and flagship MBA programs to help students achieve their business goals.

Meanwhile, QUT MBA networking opportunities also place students in front of industry-leading companies including Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and the Bank of Queensland.

Amy Wallin believes the QUT MBA program has made her a better leader.

“I was promoted to the position of Chief Operations Officer at The Influencer Project Group a month before I turned 28,” she said.

“That was also the year I enrolled in QUT’s MBA program. While I had worked hard to earn my position, I wanted to be able to excel at it and recognised that the only way to do it was to surround myself with brilliant people and teachers who knew more than I did. That’s what I found at QUT.

“The assessment at QUT is designed so you focus on practical, real-world examples. That meant that nearly every assessment piece I did added value to the business.

“I was lucky enough to be in an executive position at my company which meant I could implement the things I learned while I was still undertaking the subject. I wanted the business to grow as I did.

“Together with key members of the group we created new companies, new revenue streams, re-did processes, and optimised the business like never before. After only a year, the business size had tripled – and it’s still growing with me.

“The subjects, teachers, and students all helped me become the leader I always envisioned and helped me grow the company to where it is now – and where I know it will be in the future.”

Visit QUT Business School or QUT MBA for more information about the program and the next intake in September 2022.

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 (