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After graduating with a Master of Business Administration, Mark Mathers opened ‘Munch at Mine’. Read his story on starting a business while protecting the downside.

Mark Mathers – Munch at Mine

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The Adelaide Business School believes that in order to give our MBA students the Adelaide Advantage, it is essential that they have the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills through self-development; that they are networked and connected with industry and that they interact with business leaders to build capability through mentoring.

As a result, The Business School in conjunction with the Business School Advisory Board, have created a mentoring program with inspirational leaders across Adelaide, including David Michell of Michell Wool, Malcolm Jackman, Chief Executive of Defence SA and Jim Whalley, CEO of Nova Group.  Mentors are volunteers, motivated by an interest in giving back to their profession.

Created by Christine Locher, Jim Whalley, Paul Crawford and Natalie Thompson in the Business School, the program was launched to students in the Leadership Lab and to Mentors in Skydeck. The program will run from April to December.

Mentors will help influence and shape student leadership capability through:

•    Providing critical feedback in key areas such interpersonal style and leadership skills
•    Providing insights on what is needed to grow professionally
•    Challenging their self-limiting beliefs
•    Providing a confidential, objective sounding board with whom they can share challenges as well as successes

This is an exciting new program for the MBA students in the Business School.

View photos from the program launch and information session.

Mentoring Program Launch

Students together with Christine Locher, Jim Whalley, and Natalie Thompson at the program launch

Mentor information session

Participating mentors at the program information session at Skydeck in Pirie St, Adelaide

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by Ryan Kris

This winter I was lucky to migrate north of the border, spending three weeks in Denmark studying for my final MBA elective during an abnormally warm Nordic summer. I attended Aarhus University for their Summer University program, undertaking a subject called Using Digital Technologies for Competitive Advantage.

We got a free AU Summer Uni beach towel too.












As a techie at heart with a passion for business, this subject delivered. Over a two-week period, we started with an overview of IT concepts and systems thinking. From here we delved into how digital technologies are transforming the business landscape.

A tech subject taught low-tech: No powerpoint slides - chalk and blackboard the preferred written communications method for Prof Varun Grover









Digital and strategic thinking were the core of the course. We explored a number of frameworks used to assess a company’s digital capabilities (or lack there of) and how these could be used to capture market opportunities and establish competitive advantage.

These concepts were tied back to fundamental economics. We studied different business models currently used by market leaders (Amazon, Netflix, Motley Fool) and looked at why many digital businesses failed during the dot com crash in the early 2000s – and the lessons learnt since.

Our contact time for the course was 9am-noon daily. The assessment for the subject consisted of two case studies, an online tech quiz and the final exam. The exam was three hours and conducted online. It was scheduled one week after the course was finished and all students take it at the same time. I completed the exam when I was in Stockholm as I had travelled there from Aarhus after the in-class work was over. The online exam was a first for me, but I managed to stay focused and got the job done.








Before and after. My online exam which I completed in my friend’s kitchen in Stockholm

Living in Aarhus
In Aarhus I had my first Airbnb experience. Airbnb lets everyday folk rent out their personal homes or spare rooms online for anyone to book from around the world. Rooms are generally cheaper than a hotel but a step up from student and hostel accommodation.

I booked a private room in a three-bedroom apartment which turned out to be right on the main strip in town along the river – the Åboulevarden. In my apartment I lived with two local Danes who become my hosts and city guides. I even got some Danish language lessons. With three extra vowels in the Danish alphabet – å, ä, ø – I needed help if I was to pronounce the street names around me.










Tough life. My balcony in Aarhus over the Åboulevarden

Getting around town was easy. Everyone bikes, so I was quick to hire one to get me from home to university each day. The town was safe and living was easy. Cafes and bars were a plenty, and night times were electric as the World Cup streamed on outdoor TVs and bars across town. We even had a jazz festival on during my stay, so there was live music on corners and streets throughout town.

That’s so hygge
In Denmark, the world’s happiest country, I encountered the concept of ‘hygge’. There is no real direct translation for this in English, but it is a cosy feeling with a social aspect. According to this definition, “Hygge has more to do with people’s behavior towards each other. It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality and contentment rolled into one”.

It is generally applied to many situations or experiences. Lunch with friends at the park or a nice dinner at home with family. It usually involves, food, drink and friends coupled with games or music or both. I was lucky to experience much hygge with my fellow students thanks to the great social program that Aarhus University put on and the people I subsequently met.

Our first event was a city walking tour where we learnt more about Aarhus and its history. On the tour, I met people from all the continents. A group of us soon formed as we downed our first beers at the closest pub after the walk. Our group came from all corners, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, America, Canada and France.

Our student crew enjoying some drinks on the balcony – so hygge

In addition to the many BBQs, World Cup matches, picnics and beer drinking we went canoeing along the Gudenåen river in the Silkeborg lakes and took a car trip to Skagen, where the Baltic sea meets the North sea. Between study we certainly had a full itinerary.

Planning our trip to Skagen where the two seas meet









My time in Denmark was an experience I won’t forget. The study was intense but complemented what I had learnt through my MBA studies in Adelaide. After the study period I was lucky to head off to Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands for a well earned break.

Being able to combine study and doing some overseas travel is something I’d certainly recommend to anyone else going through their MBA studies here in Adelaide. If you’re considering Aarhus, Denmark as your study destination, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll share all the insights.

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The Business School will hold an Adelaide MBA Pre-Application Briefing Session on Wednesday 22 October 2014, at 6.00 pm. This session will be held at the Adelaide Central Markets, Level 1 Private Kitchen/Dining Room. Entrance via Lifts or stairwell next to Zuma’s cafe (look out for MBA Banner on ground floor). Attend to learn more […]

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by Anthony Roddam Monday, 23 June – Week 1 Before commencing the European Summer School of Advanced Management (ESSAM), I spent a week travelling to a couple of cities in Europe; making the most out of the long flight across from Adelaide. I was glad that I arrived in Europe several days before the course […]

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By Paula Michelle The 6 weeks from 01 June to mid July 2014 ranks among the highlights of my life so far; no mean call for a ‘mature’ student with more than a few life experiences under my belt.  Fortified by the wisdom of 11 MBA subjects, I landed in France on the last Sunday […]

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by Suzana Bogosavljevic I’ve wanted to study overseas for a long time and when I realised it was possible within the MBA degree I was determined to take up the option. Then finding out that I had a chance to study in the UK, going from Loughborough to London to Glasgow as part of ESSAM, […]

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By Roger Sexton I attended ESSAM in the UK  in June 2014 to complete the final two subjects of my Adelaide MBA. It was an excellent experience and probably the most interesting and enjoyable 2 weeks I have spent in a long time. The initial days of the course offered a range of big picture […]

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By Mark Mathers Half way through my MBA I had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel and study abroad at EBS University in Wiesbaden, Germany. Located a short train ride from Frankfurt, Wiesbaden is a wonderful city and is located in Western Germany. Known for Riesling Wines, Schnitzel, and Castles overlooking the Rhine River, […]

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The University of Adelaide Business School’s Family Business Education & Research Group (FBERG) is hosting a Family Business Australia event on ‘Adapting to Change’ on Tuesday the 17th of June @ 6pm. Chaired by Dr. Jill Thomas (Research Fellow of FBERG), this session provides a great opportunity to learn from Toby Bensimon of Shiels Jewellers […]

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