2018 MBAs To Watch: Stuart Saare, Melbourne Business School

Stuart Saare

Melbourne Business School

A keen and ambitious learner that loves to consume information and join the dots together.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Perth, Western Australia

Fun fact about yourself: I lived in France for two and a half years, and to meet people outside of work I found an Australian Rules football team in Paris that played in the French national league. I played ruck for the Paris Cockerels and we went on to win the premiership of French Australian Football Championship for two consecutive years.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), University of Western Australia (1st Class Honours)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Technip France

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Not applicable – our internship season starts in April 2018 and interviews are ongoing.

Where will you be working after graduation? Hopefully top-tier consulting – recruiting season starts in May 2018 and I have my heart and mind set on the classic post-MBA destinations of MBB.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I volunteered to be co-President of MBS Finance Club and to re-invigorate the club I introduced the ASX Sharemarket Game. We now have 45 members competing over 15 weeks to grow their hypothetical portfolio, which should be an entertaining and competitive learning experience! I’m also a member of the Consulting Club to prepare for consulting case interviews and the Data Analytics Club – Melbourne Business School has a great business analytics capability, so it makes sense to absorb as much about analytics as I can during my time at the school. To try and keep fit outside the classroom I played in the MBS Men’s Touch Rugby team at the 2018 Corporate Games in Melbourne where we finished 2nd. During the 2017 International Cup for Australian Rules football, I reunited with mates from the French footy scene and volunteered as Assistant Coach for the French Men’s Australian football team.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The Dean’s Commendation Awards I received for all-round excellence (academic performance and classroom participation in all subjects of the core modules General Management 1 and General Management 2), because they highlight my engagement in class and ability to meaningfully contribute to my cohort’s learning.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? At a previous employer, I created an innovative pipeline analysis model from the ground-up, which has now been used as the foundation of an award-winning software package and an entirely new business approach. When the company deployed this model for a client, it saved the client 75% of annual pipeline inspection costs, so it was deeply rewarding for me to see the lasting, real-world impact of a lot of hard work and head-scratching.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Geoff Martin, for his down-to-earth demeanor and the fascinating real-world experiences that he introduces into his teachings. These provide tangible examples of how frameworks can be used in practice to analyze and understand companies’ strategies and really engaged the class with many fruitful discussions.

What was your favorite MBA Course Marketing, unexpectedly! As an engineer used to working on the details, a focus on customer experience is not usually a major consideration. It was eye-opening to learn how identifying a unique segment of customers and delivering them a compelling value proposition is vital. It was an ‘aha!’ moment to see how this tied in with strategy and the importance of the customer value proposition in defining a business’ overall competitive advantage.

Why did you choose this business school? Melbourne Business School is the top-ranked Australian business school in one of the world’s most livable cities with a great alumni network and teaching staff so it was a pretty easy decision. Staying within Australia ensures my wife can continue to develop her engineering career without the restrictions of international visas.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? I’d encourage them to reach out to current students and recent alumni to have a chat over coffee – MBS alumni are nearly always more than willing to meet prospective students and help them out however they can.

What is the biggest myth about your school? When people heard that I was going back to university to study for an MBA, they assumed it would be similar to an undergraduate university experience. The reality is very different – it is far more intense with full-time contact hours in class and lots of studying and syndicate work outside the classroom. It’s also a lot more collaborative and rewarding since everyone is here to learn as much as they can with a mature attitude towards study.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Probably not keeping up with an exercise program as much as I would have liked. Our cohort is very friendly and social so our free time is spent hanging out together. This doesn’t leave much spare time to fit in solitary exercise activities.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Mid Chawla, for her work ethic. She is so organized and conscientious, it puts the rest of us to shame! She always manages to start every assignment or reading and then share her notes summary notes with her syndicate members before others have even realized there is work to be done.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Once I realized I was interested in the business side of engineering projects and companies, I started speaking to as many people with MBAs as possible to get their perspective. There was one ex-engineer, in particular, who had a similar early career journey to me – he pursued an MBA at MBS’s main rival (AGSM in Sydney) and then was lucky enough to secure an investment banking role in Wall Street for a number of years. He was super encouraging about the scope of opportunities available to an engineer who diversifies their skill set with an MBA and really convinced me that it was a great choice.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…riding my bike with my mates on the weekend and during the week, designing tools for remotely-operated vehicles to decommission subsea oil and gas extraction equipment hundreds of metres below the sea surface.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Lengthen the program! The 1-year intensive is great to minimize how long we spend out of the workforce. With so much to learn and so many enticing elective options. a few more months of classes would allow us to explore even more fascinating topics. I think that more time to mingle and generate ideas with classmates outside of a rigourous classroom schedule could potentially create some great businesses.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Drive a Porsche 911 around the Nürburgring in Germany; visit South America to see Machu Pichu and Christ the Redeemer.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Switched-on and able to extract order from ambiguity, willing to dig deep into an analysis to find the insight, but then social and easy-going to switch-off and enjoy a beer with everyone at the pub after class.

What is your favorite movie about business? The Big Short – It gave such an interesting recount of the Global Financial Crisis, but also highlighted how hubris and group-think can take over even the brightest minds. I liked how the small groups of contrarian thinkers willing to dig into the details were able to uncover the real truth, and then had the tenacity to follow their insights against the constant challenges of their peers.

What would your theme song be?Freak on a Leash” by Korn. Growing up in the 90s meant that what’s now called “nu-metal” was a big part of young adulthood. This song really resonated with me for a number of years and I have to nominate it for its nostalgic value.

Favorite vacation spot: Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy in summer; skiing at Courchevel in France in winter.

Hobbies? Australian rules football (watching, not playing, for the moment), running, reading, cycling and triathlons.

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

“Stuart is a fantastic ambassador for Melbourne Business School; he is articulate, intelligent and personable. It was no surprise that Stuart was selected to interview MBS Alumnus Aaron Yeak when Aaron returned to Melbourne Business School to launch his book in November last year.

Stuart brings these same traits to the classroom, where he is quick to grasp new concepts and advances the classroom discussion through his insightful comments and questions, often drawing on his own experiences. Stuart’s name is amongst the first mentioned by faculty members when reviewing the cohort’s performance and he has twice been awarded the Dean’s Commendation for All Round Excellence.

Stuart also contributes to the student experience outside of the classroom. When Stuart learned that the MBS Finance Club had no leadership team and was in a state of decline, he formed a new leadership team with some of his fellow students and organized a range of activities to revive the club. Since the new team took control, it has transformed into one of the more active clubs on campus.”

Gerard Costello

Program Manager – Full time MBA





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