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CPA Australia backs next generation of business leaders with University of Sydney Business School Global Executive MBA Scholarship

22 Feb 2013

With the support of CPA Australia, talented business leader Kate Watson is taking her career to a new level.

Kate Watson has already achieved much in her career. She has a wealth of international financial management experience spanning technology, retail and financial services sectors, including six years working in Japan. Currently working as General Manager, Group Support Services Finance, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, she is a member of the senior management team in one of Australia's leading financial institutions.

Now, as the winner of a coveted scholarship awarded by CPA Australia, Kate has joined the University of Sydney Business School's Global Executive MBA program which will see her study in Australia, the United States, India and France and will equip her with the skills to become a truly global business leader. "The Business School's Global Executive MBA Program is about consolidating my experience to date and putting in place the building blocks for the next phase in my career," Kate says. "It will help me to develop further my leadership skills within the finance profession, and ultimately to transition towards general management."

Kate is the first Global Executive MBA student to win the support of Australia's leading accounting institution. CPA Australia's involvement in the Business School's prestigious program has been warmly welcomed by its Global Executive MBA Director, Associate Professor Nick Wailes. "CPA Australia and the University of Sydney Business School share a passion for leadership and we understand the importance of providing educational opportunities that focus on the development of leadership skills," he said.

Over the past three years the University of Sydney's Global Executive MBA Program has set the standard in leadership education in Australia. "Beyond a range of new technical skills, our Global Executive MBA delivers leadership, critical thinking, communications and relationship building capabilities that will last a lifetime," said Associate Professor Wailes. "Ultimately, we set out to deliver the skills that will help our students to succeed in a dynamic and ever changing corporate environment."

Associate Professor Wailes described the number and quality of applications for the CPA Scholarship as "overwhelming". As a result, he says that the shortlist of candidates was long and the judging was difficult. "Kate was the successful applicant because she had a clear understanding of the strategic role played by a CFO," he said. "She understands that a CFO can empower businesses by providing information that ultimately drives the right decisions and, therefore, business value."

Associate Professor Wailes went on to say that Kate's international experience and global perspective is certain to greatly enhance the value she will gain from the Global Executive MBA. "This program will develop Kate's leadership capability and open up career opportunities by preparing her to take on some very senior roles," he said.

The 18 month Global Executive MBA program, which reflects the Business School's strong commitment to experiential learning, consists of five, two week modules two of which are undertaken here in Australia. The others are delivered in California's Silicon Valley, in the Indian city of Bangalore and in southern France. The Global Executive MBA, says Associate Professor Wailes, "is about learning by doing and problem solving in a complex real world business environment".

Kate describes the focus on experiential learning as "exciting" and believes that the Global Executive MBA opportunity has come at an ideal time in her career. "I am very grateful to CPA Australia for the scholarship," she concludes. "It is an honour to have been selected to represent the accounting profession in this way and was a deciding factor in my participation in the Global Executive MBA program."