“Studying an MBA provides a skillset that compliments technical ability in almost any profession at the management level. I would emphasise, however, that it is the richness of the MBA experience driving personal and professional growth that provides the sustained benefit to any individual”. Interview to Joseph Bryant, Director Aeromech Pty Ltd and MBA The University of Queensland, Australia.
Why did you study an MBA? What motivated you?
From a young age I have always sought to understand the world around me, how we can make it better and the processes that can be used to achieve this. Whilst working as an aerospace engineer I would often ask why businesses made certain decisions, and why leaders and managers acted the way they did. I wanted to understand how these elements work together and if I could fine tune certain skills to make a positive contribution to society. My key motivation for studying an MBA was to equip myself with the knowledge and tools to lead change and make the tough decisions that make a positive difference to people.
From the MBA program, what had the most impact on your life?
The University of Queensland’s MBA program offers students the option to complement their skills and experience with an international exchange opportunity. I applied to Harvard and was accepted into their exchange program for Strategic Management. Having the opportunity to learn alongside my fellow UQ MBA students in this setting allowed me to reinforce the already exceptional academic learnings I had received from the UQ Business School in Brisbane. My fellow students and I are already taking the opportunity to support the UQ Business School by providing support and guidance regarding this exchange programs to future students.
What role did your family play in this decision? (You talk about your wife’s support to study the MBA)
My wife, Deanna, has always been a great supporter of my ambition to grow personally and professionally. Deanna initially suggested that I look at studying an MBA to meet my growing ambitions and motivation to increase my business acumen and give back to the community. Deanna’s commitment to supporting our family and household whilst working professionally has always been the key success factor that enabled me to start and complete my MBA. I am forever grateful for her love, support and guidance.
Now your wife will study the MBA, what does this mean for you? What will be your role as husband and father?
Deanna began her MBA at the University of Queensland while I was completing mine. She is currently three quarters of the way through her degree and anticipates completion in 2021.
My role both as a husband and a father will continue to evolve and develop as Deanna continues to complete her remaining subjects, be an engaged mother to our two young children, and grow in her professional career simultaneously.
As a husband my primary objective is to support Deanna both emotionally and academically where possible. The MBA can be a demanding program at times and can take its toll when trying to juggle the demands of parenthood and a career. Being there for Deanna to discuss ideas, assignments, theories and concepts and ways in which we can apply the skills we’ve developed through completing our MBAs has helped us both remain motivated to achieve our end goals.
As a father, I will continue to support our family by taking the lead on all household responsibilities including looking after our two children, Ava and Julien, whom are 7 and 4 respectively. Having a family in addition to a professional career that requires significant commitment can be challenging at the best of times. Add in the complexities of an MBA, and the need for some serious time management and strategic goal setting becomes crucial. I will ensure Deanna has as much free time to think, strategise, plan and complete her remaining subjects as possible. This means getting the children ready for school in the morning, making lunches, cooking dinner, paying bills and cleaning the house. I need to balance this carefully to ensure our beautiful children still feel the love and support that they need from Deanna without negatively impact their need for love and Deanna’s MBA schedule.
You say “Giving back has always been the key driver behind our motivation and ambition to complete our MBA programs”, what does this mean?
Yes, giving back to the community was always a key driver to my starting the MBA. Prior to that time, Deanna and I felt we didn’t have the business acumen, knowledge or network to positively contribute to and support our community in the way we wanted to – whether that was through providing professional services, supporting charities, or setting up our own scholarships for various educational institutes. The MBA has given me the confidence and knowledge to better understand key drivers within the world of leadership, management and business and to discuss these with other more experienced professionals to fine tune ideas and provide solutions to complex issues. Through combining the networks, we have gained at the University and Queensland and Harvard University through the exchange program, Deanna and I have a powerful platform to bring our ideas to and through which we can support other ideas together, to make meaningful contributions.
To finish; Many professionals study an MBA to have a management position, earn more money, better “position”, what do you think of this?
The number of professionals completing MBAs today continues to climb. Studying an MBA provides a skillset that compliments technical ability in almost any profession at the management level. I would emphasise, however, that it is the richness of the MBA experience driving personal and professional growth that provides the sustained benefit to any individual. Obtaining an MBA can provide the “foot in the door” to a more senior or better paying position, however it’s the application of the MBA skillset to make a positive impact and deliver change that leads to bigger and better opportunities in the long term. That is why it is so important to choose a high-quality MBA and to devote yourself to gaining deeper understanding from the experience. It’s this commitment and focus on the endgame that carries people through the more challenging parts of an MBA, and it’s why I chose to complete by MBA with UQ.