The University of Queensland Business School in Brisbane, on Australia’s Gold Coast, has been making waves for years now. Ranked the top MBA program in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region for four straight years by The Economist, Queensland is the only regional entity in that publication’s global top 25 — rubbing shoulders with Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, London Business School, and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, among others. UQ has also been ranked number one in Australia in the Financial Review‘s BOSS MBA ranking, and in 2015 it was awarded the highest possible rating by the Graduate Management Association Australia for the 11th consecutive year.
All of which understandably makes its students, faculty, and staff very proud. But not satisfied.
BUSINESS LEADERSHIP MORE THAN MANAGEMENT THEORY
Queensland MBA Program Director Sarah Kelly says becoming a business leader is not just about learning management theory, but also about developing the wisdom to apply that knowledge to resolve problems, inspire and motivate others, and bring about systemic change.
“Our MBA balances academic rigor with practical experience,” she says.
“For example, our MBA students have opportunities to work alongside CEOs to resolve real business issues, collaborate with other leading business schools to help companies enter international markets, work on community projects, or gain insight into emerging economies through immersion tours.
“By participating in the program, you have the opportunity to meet local representatives from industry, government and the not-for profit sector, learn about the country’s economy and what is driving growth, understand the political system and its impact upon business, develop appreciation of culturally dissimilar business and social environments, and develop your own networks within the country and career opportunities.”
ONE-YEAR MBA PROGRAM
The University of Queensland is situated in city with a modern and diversified economy that is underpinned by the agriculture, mining, construction, tourism, manufacturing, and professional services industries. Its MBA is a strategic leadership and management program that equips graduates “with the knowledge and practical experience to adapt to any business situation or industry at senior levels,” says Janardan Kewin, senior marketing and communications coordinator.
The full-time MBA can be completed in 12 months. UQ’s MBA students and recent alumni may take part in an immersion program that features a variety of immersions to different countries each year. They also may take advantage of a Career Resource Centre that is responsible for the delivery of specialized events, programs, and workshops; a Social Economic Engagement Program that offers them an opportunity to give something back to the community and learn about the challenges facing the not-for-profit sector; and a pair of consulting opportunities: the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum and the UQ-Fudan MBA iLab Consulting Program.
The program culminates in the Integrated Strategic Analysis Capstone course, in which students integrate key concepts learned in previous courses in a consultancy project for one of UQ’s partner companies.
NO ELECTIVES, MAJORS, CONCENTRATIONS
UQ requires four years of full-time work experience post-graduation for entry into its MBA program, as well as score of at least 6.5 overall with no sub-score less than 6.0 in the IELTS test (or equivalent test). International applicants must complete the GMAT and score a minimum of 550. Applicants also may be required to attend an interview.
The program, by design, has set 12 courses with no electives, majors, or specializations. The academic component of the MBA is structured so that a foundation course is followed by five pairs of courses delivered in intensive 6 week teaching blocks, and culminating in the Capstone course.
Most of UQ’s 12 MBA courses offer micro-consulting opportunities or assessments where students can use their own business contexts, Kewin says.
‘HAVING AN EDGE … IS INTEGRAL TO CAREER SUCCESS’
Through its MBA Career Resource Centre, UQ “recognizes the diversity of the MBA student cohort and provides customized career solutions that match individual circumstances and career aspirations,” Kewin says.
He says the MBA careers team adopts a “fresh approach,” with specialist career consultants working with MBAs to assist them in gaining greater self-knowledge and identifying their value proposition to businesses, a key step in career advancement and transition.
“We believe the MBA is a powerful differential in a growing, competitive employment market,” Kewin says. “Having an edge during the employment process and connecting with business is integral to career success.”