Achieving a position on a board of directors is a milestone in the career of many professionals and C-suite executives.
For Dr Tina Janamian, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at The University of Queensland (UQ) was key to combining her public health research background with the leadership and strategy skills needed to navigate a boardroom or to lead an organisation.
Dr Janamian, who was a senior lecturer at UQ’s School of Medicine when she began the UQ MBA, is now Chief Executive Officer at Client Focused Evaluation Program (CFEP) Surveys Australia. Dr Janamian is also a director on two not-for-profit boards and a member of two international editorial boards.
She said board positions are a dynamic environment that enable professionals to directly influence the strategies and performance of a business.
Dr Janamian’s motivation to pivot from researcher to business executive and board member was based on her desire to “effectively embed strategies and frameworks into companies to implement health research”.
She said the UQ MBA was an important step towards feeling prepared for her board and executive roles.
“I always knew I wanted to mix my academic background with a practical business career and operate at an executive level,” Dr Janamian said.
“I am pleased to have been able to continue advancing my academic career by being engaged in various research and teaching initiatives while also pursuing board and executive roles.
“I had knowledge in primary healthcare, but I needed more business acumen in terms of strategy, governance, finance and leadership.
“It’s really satisfying to be able to work effectively with health services, care providers, peak body organisations and key stakeholders to use research and evidence to inform policy and practice – ultimately helping to improve healthcare and patient experience and outcomes.
“Having a fundamental understanding of governance and strategy – key skills you gain in an MBA – is really important to be able to achieve that.”
As CEO of CFEP Surveys, Dr Janamian’s role is to influence Australian healthcare reform through the implementation of patient experience and outcome measures. In her career, she has delivered large, complex primary care innovation programs and educational initiatives across different sectors and at state and federal levels.
Dr Janamian is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at UQ in the School of Business.
She said her MBA experience could serve as an example to other aspiring executives that it was possible to study and maintain other commitments.
“Like many professionals, I was working full time and raising a family as well,” she said.
“I wasn’t able to commit to studying every night or weekends. A key aspect of the UQ MBA was that I could do it intensively.
“I was able to take annual leave for one or two weeks at a time to finish courses and that was perfect.
“It really suits executives to be able to complete study like that. It was a really flexible study experience and other executives were completing it the same way I was,” Dr Janamian said.
Flexible courses at UQ allow students to ramp up their studies and complete an MBA in just one year or you can choose a streamlined option to complete your studies around work commitments in 24 months.
The UQ MBA also allows study pathways to be adjusted as priorities change.