The QUT Business School MBA Duo Fighting For Human Rights One Hiking Step At A Time

UN Womens Hike
The Overland Trail in Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

Leaving behind their work, life and study to hike through the wilderness is part of two women’s mission to make a global difference through their MBA.

QUT Business School MBA students, Kaitlyn Rafter and Anne-Marie Cheney, have been selected to represent the university in the 2021 United Nations Women’s Trek for Rights.

The trek through Tasmania’s world heritage listed landscape raises funds to support the work of the UN, to help refugee women and girls in Bangladesh. The trek also forms part of the students’ QUT MBA experience, where they will swap workshops and textbooks for glacial valleys and ancient rainforests.

QUT is also linked to the international humanitarian organisation through its Women in Leadership Excellence Scholarship, which is supported by UN Women Australia.

The scholarship is valued at more than $70,000 and encourages diversity, gender equality and women in leadership roles.

QUT MBA student Kaitlyn Rafter is preparing for the 2021 United Nations Women’s Trek for Rights.

Kaitlyn said she expected the five-day trek to be a physical and emotional challenge.

“I am excited to learn and grow from sharing this experience and its purpose with our trekking group,” Kaitlyn said.

“UN Women is an incredible organisation, advocating and taking action to progress women’s leadership and participation from the local to the global level.”

Anne-Marie, who is studying a QUT Executive MBA, said she was passionate about women’s issues and had worked with leading women’s brands, including Marie Claire and digital media social enterprise, Primer.

“I thought that this opportunity would be life-changing – both physically and mentally,” Anne-Marie said.

“I am really excited to meet (virtually) some of the women we are raising money for and hear more about their life.”

The QUT MBA experience 

Of course, the QUT MBA program isn’t all about adventuring through pristine landscapes.

The program is made up of four components that build on each other to provide students with an integrated and multi-disciplinary curriculum, to equip them to take on the challenges and opportunities of a complex business environment.

For Kaitlyn, the QUT MBA empowered her to transform her career as a solicitor into management consulting and helped her land a role at BHP.

“The personal development I gained through this course, from both self-reflection and connection with others, has helped me to find my voice along with the confidence to use it,” Kaitlyn said.

“While I still have days plagued by ‘imposter syndrome’ where my voice may waiver, I have gained the strength to be my own advocate and recognise in myself the value that I bring to the table.”

QUT Executive MBA Takes It Further

The QUT Executive MBA program integrates fundamental business administration units with more advanced elements that include organisational transformation, entrepreneurship, governance and corporate accountability.

Anne-Marie, a mum of two young girls and Senior Manager of Partnerships at eBay Australia, said she felt a surge of self-confidence since she began the QUT Executive MBA in January last year.

“I have expanded my knowledge on a large range of areas of business, and I have gained confidence from learning completely new skills, such as data analysis, economics, and financial management,” Anne Marie said.

“The course work is hard but rewarding, and really makes you think differently about yourself, business, and the world.

“I’ve really enjoyed the mix of online and face-to-face workshops as well as the wide range of resources, readings, and videos we are sent by our lecturers.”

QUT’s Women in Leadership Excellence Scholarship

The scholarship is part of the QUT’s commitment to support the development of aspiring female leaders.

It’s designed for women whose demonstrated academic, personal and business acumen would be enhanced by postgraduate study.

The scholarship is supported by UN Women Australia, to encourage diversity, and promote gender equality and women in leadership roles.

Applications for the scholarship close September 24, 2021. Click here for more information on the scholarship.

Click here for more information on the QUT MBA and course start dates.

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.