I have a young family and a busy job -- here's how I got started with an MBA

CQU’s registration page. Source: Marc Ashton/Allure Media

Whatever the size and scope of your role in business, CQUniversity’s MBA (Leadership) will give you the practical leadership and management skills to be better at it. It’s a real MBA, and also nothing like other MBAs.

Learn More »

When Malcom Turnbull lost the leadership in August this year, it really highlighted the importance of working for a good leader and having a dedicated and loyal team surrounding you to make good decisions.

It also got me thinking about the scenario of my team consulting and in turn deciding they no longer believe in me. It’s an ever-present reality for politicians, but it gave me pause to reflect on my challenges in work.

What if that happened to me?

It’s to my advantage that I work for the world’s biggest business media brands in Business Insider. The job has helped me become fully engaged with the pace of change in local and global businesses. Keeping up and staying ahead is my goal as I navigate through the most important years of my career.

Like a lot of the Business Insider readers I’m pressed for time, and want to know how I can get ahead and drive for self-improvement. I have a growing family, a beautiful wife, and a daughter who turns three next month. I have an amazing network of friends, and a family I’m close to.

For my personal career development, I was seeking a distinct personality to match my values and career objectives, something with a community vibe to help drive and support my success.

It was clear that, between family and work commitments, I would need an online course.

I’m familiar with the MBA and decided my edge and career development would come from undertaking the program. My first step was to identify and write down the skills I wanted to gain from the course.

I needed:

  • Better strategic marketing knowledge and understanding
  • Something premium, with top tier learning to match my industry
  • Understanding local and global disruption and digital innovation across various markets
  • Communication skills for the future workforce
  • Contemporary leadership and a better understanding of working with millennials
  • A better understanding of global business, trade and economic impacts
  • Influence, including social influence

The MBA (Leadership) with CQUniversity was best suited to me.

The course is 100% online and is extremely cost-effective compared to other options in market. The course meets high quality standards and will allow me to self direct my learning experience over a five-year period without being locked into due dates for assessment submissions. From the orientation process forward, I felt like I was undertaking something unique, something different from other larger institutions.

Work / Life Balance Source: Supplied.

The next steps

The first step for entry into the CQUniversity MBA (Leadership) program takes you to the suitability quiz and then to complete the orientation. Here I reviewed the specific details of the program and completed the registration process. Unlike other MBAs, this course didn’t need me to write a whole essay about myself, but don’t be fooled into thinking the enrolment process can be done in your lunch break. It definitely requires a little time for critical thinking.

I haven’t studied for 15 years and was suddenly faced with a long tutorial on “Thinking Tools”, followed by a short quiz with questions like, “According to the speaker, what is the role of the intuition pump and what is the role of rhetorical questioning in the process of cognition?”

A complete rush of anxiety, doubt and self-questioning knocked me over at first. However, I watched the video, took notes in my “Portfolio” (individual collection of study notes) and completed the quiz.

It was rewarding and motivating. I discovered the first (of 11) units were “Disruption”, “Innovation” and “Entrepreneurship” – perfect tools to use in my day to day to work. My industry is digital media sales and management, so ongoing disruption is simply part of the landscape and the industry is forever launching new innovation and technology to learn and the selling and buying model is in constant review. High performers need to be constantly thinking like entrepreneurs.

Source: Allure Media

Being a few weeks in to study, my priority is to block out study time. At the moment I’m jumping into the dashboard infrequently without real structure.

Stay close to Business Insider for my update on progress. My strengths and weaknesses are already very clear.

As a manger, my goal is to guarantee ongoing support to our staff, be adaptable, articulate my direction and vision and get the best out of our people. Having worked in media for twelve years and managing teams across that time, I know the importance of ongoing training and education to develop myself and the team is vital to staying relevant and adjusting to an ever-changing landscape. Finding the best further education program for you can be timely, but it has been one worth addressing.



Marc Ashton is the Victorian Sales Director for Allure Media, the next generation media company that partners with opinion leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs. Look out for the next article from Marc as he works through his MBA.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.