New leadership-focused MBA to mould next generation of executives

30 July 2012

Our new MBA takes a student-oriented approach, focusing on the development of personal and professional skills.
Our new MBA takes a student-oriented approach, focusing on the development of personal and professional skills.

The University of Sydney Business School has launched an ambitious and innovative Master of Business Administration (MBA) as part of its drive to enter the upper ranks of global business education.

The industry-oriented MBA program will begin in February 2013 in a groundbreaking and exclusive partnership with the international executive recruitment and talent management firm Korn/Ferry International.

"Launching our world-class MBA is a core element of our strategy for becoming a global top 50 business school within five years," said Professor Geoffrey Garrett who was appointed Dean of the Business School earlier this year.

"We started with a clean slate which gave us the freedom to rethink the MBA from the ground up, helping students develop the personal and professional skills to realise their greatest ambitions in a global environment full of both challenges and opportunities," Professor Garrett said.

"Our MBA reflects a new approach to leadership which doesn't myopically focus on examples of heroic, flamboyant and charismatic leaders but rather one that will give our graduates the critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills needed to turn each of them into leaders in their chosen professions," Professor Garrett said.

Professor Garrett went on to say that the new MBA program also recognised the looming challenge to "face-to-face higher education" posed by cheaper online competitors. "In the future, academics will have to rethink their roles less as fonts of received knowledge and more as facilitators of knowledge creation," he said. "We have responded to this challenge with what is best described as 'the MBA Re-imagined'."

"The University of Sydney Business School's MBA has been re-imagined in a really exciting way," added Stephen Johnston, Korn/Ferry's Sydney-based Senior Partner, Leadership and Talent Consulting. "It's put leadership front and centre into a management program and that's tremendously exciting for participants and it is right for the times."

The Business School's MBA Director, Associate Professor Nick Wailes, predicts that the new MBA program will have a significant impact on management and corporate leadership in Australia.

"Business will work with us to shape the way people learn in our program," said Associate Professor Wailes. "Our MBA program will produce a new generation of creative business leaders who are equipped with cutting edge knowledge, the practical ability to apply that knowledge and the personal skills to motivate and influence others."

"Above all, the hallmark of our MBA graduates will be their ability to quickly and effectively adapt to our rapidly changing business world," he said.

The design of the new MBA draws heavily on the Business School's highly successful Global Executive MBA which, according to Associate Professor Wailes, "is about learning by doing and problem solving in a complex real world business environment".

The MBA program will consist of 12 subjects including staples such as strategy, accounting and finance, data analytics, marketing, HR and organisational behaviour, as well as core classes in leadership development and practice, critical analysis and thought leadership.

"These subjects focus directly on the personal and professional skills that are so important to management and leadership success," said Associate Professor Wailes.

Up to nine elective units will be available with some delivered in association with other University of Sydney faculties. "A key elective unit will be an intensive two week module giving students hands on experience studying and working in an emerging economy in the region," Associate Professor Wailes said.

The MBA program will end with a unique 'Capstone' project focused on meeting a specific industry challenge.

Initially the MBA program will be offered on a part-time basis (in the evenings and weekends) to 50 students with at least three years business experience. Class will held in the University of Sydney Business School's new CBD campus at 133 Castlereagh Street which will be purpose fitted to enhance the learning outcomes. 

"Our MBA will offer students the opportunity to accelerate down their chosen career path with an industry-oriented learning program coupled with practical business experience," said Associate Professor Wailes.

"The Business School's exclusive relationship with Korn/Ferry International will give our MBA students access to the same cutting edge assessment tools used to assess and select the senior executives of the world's leading companies," Associate Professor Wailes explained.

Benchmarking students using Korn/Ferry's exclusive proprietary tools will help to ensure that each student acquires the key competencies that the company believes are essential to career success.

"We are expecting students to gain some great development insights through this assessment process," said Korn/Ferry's Stephen Johnston.

The Business School's new generation MBA will be launched with an intensive marketing campaign built around the idea, 'Me, First' which views the program from the student's perspective.

"Me, First recognises that an MBA involves a considerable investment in time and money," said Associate Professor Wailes. "Me, First also highlights our student-oriented approach and our determination to equip them with the personal skills necessary for success."

"Our MBA program will be offered internationally in 2015 to students who want to study at a leading global business school headquartered in Sydney," Professor Garrett concluded.

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