Danish Yaqub is a current international student at the Adelaide Business School, and a free-lance consultant in the technology sector. Danish also blogs at The Age of Transformation, and can be reached through Linked In.
Not long ago, I pondered over my options for pursuing an MBA in Australia. From the sunny and sandy city of Dubai, I chose the Adelaide MBA never having set foot on Australian soil before.
It doesn’t mean I took the decision lightly though – 3 years of research, some false starts, and many options later, I finally began in the Spring of 2013 at the Adelaide Business School and 3 months in I can tell you that it was absolutely the best decision I could make.
MBA programmes have become so standardised that its hard to tell them apart, which is exactly why anyone considering one, should look for what distinguishes one from the other. Here are a few distinguishing features that I’ve found in the MBA programme at Adelaide:
Extremely Smart, Very Motivated
The Adelaide MBA attracts the best and brightest management talent from across Australia; professionals with many years of knowledge and experience, across diverse industries, which provides an excellent opportunity to build new relationships and networks, that last far beyond the MBA programme. The business school arranges several events throughout the term to help the students network with each other and with faculty at welcome dinners, orientation meetings, quarterly breakfast meetings (for all alumni) and end-of-term drinks. The course assessments too place significant weightage on group research projects that give you an opportunity to work with different people in different courses, intensively throughout the term.
Not too Big, Not too Small
Bigger is better, right? Not in my experience, when it comes to the class size of MBA programmes. Even in a class of 50, you may only get a chance to discuss and share your experiences once during the seminar; there’s just too much for the lecturer to cover, and too many students that can and want to contribute. The Adelaide MBA class sizes range from 20 – 35 students per course, which means that not only do the lecturers get to know you personally, and to challenge you intellectually, but you get the opportunity to apply your experience to the learning immediately in the moment.
Research and Teaching Excellence
As a management professional, I never really appreciated the linkage between high quality research outcomes and an MBA programme until I started here. Now it’s clear to me that the MBA programme is a product of an integrated, inter-disciplinary approach to research and by consequence to teaching. The best MBA programmes are the ones hosted in Universities with a tradition of research and development, as at the University of Adelaide, which has a long, and distinguished history in R&D across science, engineering & business. In the final equation, whether it’s the academic credentials of the faculty, or the cross-pollination of ideas between different research centres, it enables the business school to provide range and depth in the MBA curriculum to its students.
While tuition fees and rankings are important, discerning international professionals should increasingly rely on factors beyond to identify and select graduate business schools for their MBA in Australia; distinguishing features of the programme along with liveability and affordability, have ultimately shaped my MBA experience so far.