2018 MBAs To Watch: Patrick Murray, Melbourne Business School

Patrick Murray

Melbourne Business School

“An intellectually curious strategic thinker, able to turn insight into execution, and drive change.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Fun fact about yourself: I like to spend time on my family’s farm, helping to raise beef cattle and restore native flora and fauna to the property.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Melbourne; Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? ASC, a company I founded with my business partners, which has grown into one of Australia’s largest renewable energy retailers and wholesalers.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? N/A. In the summer of 2018, I will be interning at Social Ventures Australia. SVA is a social purpose consulting firm that works with business, government and philanthropic organisations to improve their impact in bettering the lives of the most vulnerable members of Australian society.

Where will you be working after graduation? I plan to work in the management consulting industry.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Attending MBS on an academic scholarship, I have served as a Student Representative, elected by my classmates, and as President and Case Lead of Melbourne Business School’s Consulting Club.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I have received the top result in almost half of my courses to date, and received Dean’s Commendations in every course so far. In my capacity as President of the Consulting Club, I have worked with alumni management consultants to increase industry engagement, and deliver more effective case training for MBS students.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my most recent role, I led a strategic transformation of ASC, growing revenue and improving profitability through capacity building, vertical integration of manufacturing and wholesaling, and process optimisation. This was my first opportunity to re-organise and improve an existing business, and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? A tie between Kannan Sethuraman, my Operations professor, and Sven Feldmann, my Managerial Economics professor. They are both dedicated, effective teachers, able to teach intellectually challenging subjects in ways that make theoretical insights relevant and exciting. Sven’s impish sense of humour was a highlight, and Kannan’s passion for operations is contagious.

What was your favorite MBA Course Managerial Economics. The course crystallised a lot of intuitive understandings about pricing and competition that I’d developed through my professional experience, and taught me a great deal more. Learning about Game Theory, in particular, changed my understanding of how businesses compete and collaborate.

Why did you choose this business school? Generally, MBS’ strong academic reputation, and the structure of its MBA program. I learned from school alumni that MBS emphasised small class sizes, high quality of teaching, and exposure to business in the Asian century through a residential program in Shanghai. These were decisive factors in choosing MBS.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Provide a sense of your personal and professional trajectory, and explain how the MBA program will help you achieve your goals. The MBA program is highly selective, but the school uses broad selection criteria. My classmates include some of the most interesting and inspiring people I’ve ever met, and academic achievement is not the only (or the most important) quality that MBS looks for in candidates.

What is the biggest myth about your school? There’s a myth that MBS, being an Australian school, has a parochial outlook. However, I was taught by faculty from more than a dozen different countries, joined a class made up of talented people from all around the world, and our curriculum drew on the best in global theory, practice and case.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not spending enough time with my classmates outside the school – we’re a tight-knit group, but the pace of the course and our extracurricular activities means that we lead a very scheduled life during the MBA program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Kate Eckersley, because she’s smart, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and her contrarian streak contributes to her originality of thought.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? In the course of my professional experience, I met a number of highly successful entrepreneurs and business people. Many of them were autodidacts, and earned their business nous through experimentation, and frequently, failure. I wanted to develop a coherent conceptual understanding of business fundamentals – and particularly, in finance and economics – to provide a foundation for future practical learning.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working with my business partners on growing our renewable energy business, and planning our next venture.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Place greater emphasis on entrepreneurship, startups and innovation, not least by fostering closer bonds between the school and local incubators.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Sailing around the Mediterranean, and completing my PhD.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Bright, committed, and capable, with a keen strategic mind, and the ability to sell ideas.

What is your favorite movie about business? Margin Call. It brought home the dangers of institutional inertia and the risks we run by indulging in groupthink.

What would your theme song be? “Back in Black” by ACDC – the hymn of turnaround specialists everywhere.

Favorite vacation spot: Vienna

Hobbies? Whisky, collecting antiquities, cooking, birdwatching, opera.

What made Patrick such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“I have had the privilege of teaching Patrick in one of my courses here at MBS and it would not be an exaggeration if I say that he is one of the best all-around talents that I have seen in my 15 years of teaching at MBS. Given his keen intellect and a highly disciplined approach to studies, it doesn’t surprise me that Patrick has consistently been placed as one of the top performing students in his cohort. Beyond his long list of accomplishments, it was his ability to motivate and help others to achieve their best that makes him stand out as a unique student in his cohort. During the term I taught his cohort, he was acting as the class representative and he always ensured that he put the interests of his peers ahead of his own interests and acted on their behalf at all times. In summary, Patrick was able to lead from the front, inspire others through his sharp intellect and his positive approach to learning made a big difference to our community. I am delighted that I had the opportunity to teach Patrick and I am confident he will continue to make us all proud through his accomplishments.”

Kannan Sethuraman

Associate Professor

Melbourne Business School

University of Melbourne





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