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source 2016 / TERM 3

p05 We are the cham pions! M B S wi n s th e M BA Cu p

p08 B r e xit: Th e Macro eco n o m ic Fallo ut

table of contents From the Editors and From the SRC President


Message from The Dean




Inside Clubs – Getting to Know the Digital Club


Mental Health – Seeking support in the workplace


Brexit: The Macroeconomic Fallout


Outgoing Student Exchanges


Inspiring Journeys – Student Profiles FT and PT


EMBA and MBusA Student Profiles


Alumni Spotlight: Mark Alexander


Visit Victoria Case Competition


MBS Student Representative Council 200 Leicester Street Carlton VIC 3053 Australia t f email website


+61 3 9349 8400 +61 3 9349 8404 src @

From the editors Welcome to the Term 3, 2016 edition of The SouRCe. In this edition, three of our economics lecturers – Associate Professor Andrew John, Associate Professor Catherine de Fontenay and Associate Professor Mark Crosby – provide their expert opinions on Brexit and how it will impact Australia. We get an insight into the Digital Club as its leaders tell us what it’s all about and its very interesting story.

As always, we will also get to know some of our current full-time, part-time, EMBA, MBusA and outgoing exchange students. Special thank you to all faculty members and students who contributed to this edition. If you are interested in contributing to the next edition of The SouRCe, please email us at <>.

you find this edition reSouRCeful and entertaining. Smit Dave Full Time MBA Student 2016 Chelsia Tanoto MBA Part Time January 2015 Emma Young MBA Part Time July 2015

As your editors, we are excited to bring you an edition that encapsulates many facets of the MBS community. We hope

From the SRC President I will ever know. I trust we can all relate to that.

Phil neckers My fellow students: I am all too aware that this edition of The SouRCe will reach its audience as over 300 people are saying their goodbyes to Melbourne Business School. Of course, I am talking about the graduating class of 2016. And of course, these are not goodbyes forever, or even truly goodbyes. The MBS community is one that we will all carry with us for the rest of our lives. Personally, I am so proud to be a part of this community, and lucky to have met so many great, interesting, and intelligent people who have impacted me in more ways than

This community is stronger than ever. The Term 2 SRC Ball hosted nearly 400 people at the National Gallery of Victoria and was truly a great night. Planning for 2017 is already underway, as is planning for many of the other key events we have for the remainder of this year, including the 3rd Quarter Drinks, Flemington, Halloween and of course many students’ favourite annual event: the Christmas Party. I look forward to getting to know many of the new members of our community at these events, including a new cohort of part-time students, and 52 new full-time students who have joined us for the annual full-time intake in July. It was a privilege to welcome you all to MBS on behalf of our student community and I hope you are all settling in well. August 2016 also saw a club leadership workshop to spark engagement and set expectations for club leadership as we establish club pages on MyMBS and look

to draw Alumni into our student club community to make our clubs stronger than ever. A key message the SRC was keen to deliver to all prospective leaders was: don’t let a title (or lack thereof) stop you from doing something great for our community. If you have ideas and the motivation and vision to implement these ideas to strengthen our community, please get involved. Speaking of getting involved, the SRC will be running elections for all positions in Term 4 of the part-time calendar for 2017. I have truly enjoyed the honour and experience of serving as SRC President in 2016 and look forward to working with our team to position the SRC to be stronger in 2017. There are many opportunities ahead for the SRC and our student community to have a stronger voice within, and better ties to, the broader MBS community. We cannot rest in our pursuit of these opportunities. Phil Neckers SRC President | MBS SRC MBA Part Time September 2014


Message from the dean were victorious and brought the revered MBA Debate Cup back home – where it rightfully belongs – to Melbourne, the sporting and knowledge capital of Australia. To our new students, this is what I mean about big shoes to fill! Congratulations to all our students who competed and those who supported on the sidelines. You have certainly done the School proud during an incredibly exciting time in MBS’ history as we invest significantly in our Carlton campus and reveal our new brand campaign to the market. The unique and honest insights from our students who participated in workshops and surveys have been instrumental to the development of the brand and I look forward to hearing your feedback on the campaign.

Zeger Degraeve First and foremost I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new classes that started recently, who are now settling into life at MBS and adjusting to the rigours of full and part-time study. Our full-time intake has increased from 32 to 52 students, all of whom bring with them the academic ability and personality to be successful during their time at MBS but in their chosen fields. Our part-time students are equally impressive coming from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds. Our new full-time cohort will certainly have big shoes to fill now that the class of 2016 are almost reaching the end of their time at MBS and landing their dream jobs at PwC,


Strategy&, Culture Amp, McKinsey, Bain, CSIRO, Jetstar and more. The hard work and determination that is required to not only apply for and complete an MBA full or part time, Master of Marketing or Master of Business Analytics at MBS, but land a job at the most reputable organisations globally, cannot be underestimated. It is a credit to you, our talented students, along with the support of our world-class faculty and Career Management Centre, who have been with you every step of the way. What also can’t be underestimated is the valiant win against our Sydney rival, AGSM. After three long and torturous years of consecutive defeat, MBS

Finally, I would like to share an exciting change to my message in the next edition of The SouRCe and beyond. One of the greatest parts about my role as Dean is meeting and answering questions from our students at events and in the corridors of MBS. That’s why I’m asking you to submit your questions for me on Slack in the coming months. From here you can vote for your favourite questions and I’ll answer the top three with the highest votes in my messages. Knowing you as I do, I anticipate some sharp and insightful questions from the best and brightest students in Australia! Until next time. Zeger Degraeve Dean

MBS defeats AGSM in the 2016 MBA Cup As Phil Neckers reports, the competition in all events at the 17th annual Australian MBA Cup was fierce but MBS sent AGSM home empty handed. MBS played host to the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) on a typically wintry Melbourne weekend in June. The competition, an annual debate and sports tournament between the two schools, had a lot of pride on the line. Rumour has it, AGSM came well prepared and were taking the competition very seriously. AGSM booked an all-day practice session in an MBS syndicate room for their debate team, and sought out practice sessions for their athletes in the lead-up to the matches on Saturday.

“The MBA Cup brings together fiercely competitive people – at the end of the day, we are all MBA students. What is important is the networking. Students from these top two programs will be crossing paths again in business” – MBS SRC President Phil Neckers After a heartbreaking defeat in 2015 to penalty kicks in the deciding soccer match for the overall cup, and a close

debate which the independent judge failed to rule in our favour, MBS were hungry for revenge. As veterans from last year will tell you, AGSM were ruthless in their sportsmanship, blurring the lines of what constitutes a friendly competition.

Olympian William Henzell, and took a near clean sweep of the best of five matches. William chose to sit out the male doubles as the series was in control – which led to our only match defeat.

The debate kicked off this year along similar lines, with questionable crowd antics and often line-crossing comments by the debaters. The topic, that ‘the government should set a maximum wage’, had MBS take the affirmative. AGSM tried and failed to argue that MBS were only in favour as our graduates would never approach the maximum wage. In the end, the insults to MBS could not hide the fact that AGSM’s argument wasn’t up to scratch, with MBS taking home the Debate Trophy.

“At the centre of a long history of the MBA Cup has been competition and friendship. This year was no exception, with MBS hosting AGSM. I look forward to AGSM bringing the Cup back to Sydney next year”

Saturday began with MBS knowing we needed to secure one victory in sports to take home the overall cup due to the heavy weighting of the debate in the scoring system. Winning two out of three would see MBS take a clean sweep. The AGSM soccer team, hungry to avenge the defeat from the previous night, were too much to handle as they trounced MBS 4–0.

With the overall cup now in hand, MBS took to the basketball court hoping to repeat Sydney’s dominant performance in the same sport and walk away with the MBA Sports Cup. A strong 12–2 start by MBS set the tone, however AGSM settled and spent most of the first half and the start of the third quarter chipping away at the lead until they came within three points and looked poised to make it a close finish. MBS got the boost we were looking for, with three back-to-back-toback three-pointers from Fungai Nzenza and Phil Neckers to give us a doubledigit lead, which we would not give up. The Sports Cup was won, and MBS took a clean sweep. It felt good, the community rejoiced and, perhaps most importantly of all, AGSM had a long flight home with no trophies in hand.

Bruised but not beaten, MBS rallied around our table tennis captain,

– AGSM President Susan Overall


Inside Clubs: Get ting to know the Digital Club The Digital Club is for students who are keen to learn about the digital market, network with digital experts and find out about career opportunities in the industry.

What is the Digital Club all about? The Digital Club is a group of MBS students who are passionate about all things digital. Our aim is to educate students and alumni about digital trends, provide networking opportunities with prominent industry leaders and highlight career opportunities for MBS students. Career opportunities We attract speakers who are in a position to hire – for example, those at partner, general manager and CEO level. Speakers are asked by club leadership to discuss career opportunities. Networking with industry leaders Our speakers are often introduced to MBS Careers. For example, John Rizzo (Bupa) who presented at a Digital Club event recently, is currently discussing a strategy intern program with MBS. Industry insights All speakers are vetted by the club leadership to ensure solid experience


and expertise. We want to make sure our members can learn from the presenters’ experience.

What’s next for the Digital Club? The Digital Club is looking to organise and develop workshops to help students develop digital capabilities that are not currently covered in the MBS curriculum. Examples may include User Experience workshops and training sessions for commonly used digital tools.

How can you get involved? Get in touch by emailing <> or join our Facebook group at < mbsdigitalclub/>

Seeking support: Mental health in the workplace leave through to flexible work arrangements. But for those workers who have a mental health condition, there is a stigma attached to even discussing their condition,” notes Professor Williamson. In 2014, SEEK Ltd, Australia’s largest online recruitment site, approached the Asia-Pacific Social Impact Centre at Melbourne Business School to design a research and training program. The training was delivered to over 150 SEEK employees and managers to raise their awareness of mental health conditions, to de-stigmatise the issue, and to identify how key workplace attributes impact overall mental well-being in employees. The research program measured the effectiveness of that training and how HR systems and processes can contribute to a supportive work environment. That research was launched at a Melbourne Business School forum on 22 August.

ian o. williamson Professor Ian O. Williamson, Associate Dean, International Relations, talks to The SouRCe about mental health in the workplace. With an annual cost of $10.9bn to productivity, mental health would appear to be an obvious area for workplace reform. And yet, the issue remains hidden in most workplaces. “If a person takes time off from work because of a physical condition, such as a broken leg, most organisations will have HR systems that support his recovery – from sick

“For those workers who have a mental health condition, there is a stigma attached to even discussing their condition.” “Our project found that with a welldesigned training program, not only did we increase the awareness and understanding for mental health issues but there was also a significant increase

in the capability of managers to manage these issues in their workforce,” says Professor Williamson.

“In the wider community, one in five employees experiences a mental health condition each year.” “There was a corresponding increase in the likelihood of employees who were more likely to disclose their condition and seek support. And there were many measures which organisations can take to provide that support – simple, low-cost measures that would ultimately contribute to higher productivity and lower turnover of staff. In the wider community, one in five employees experiences a mental health condition each year. Organisations that put in place measures to support their workers during that time are not only doing the ‘right’ thing, they are also doing the ‘smart’ thing because research shows that for every one-dollar investment that you make, your return is more than doubled. And you know, smart organisations recognise that without their people, without skilled staff, innovation and growth are impossible to achieve.”


brexit: The Macroeconomic Fallout Three of our Global Business Economics lecturers share their thoughts on the macroeconomic implications of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. European country. At the other extreme, there is a tiny chance the referendum may be run again, this time with a vote for ‘Stay’! [Many commentators think that the UK may be able to negotiate a Norwegianstyle deal with free movement of goods and people. Personally, I think this very unlikely, for two reasons. First, it is incompatible with the central plank of the ‘Leave’ campaign, which was to restrict immigration to the UK from other parts of Europe. Second, and more seriously, the UK vote to leave is likely to trigger votes in other countries; political groups in France and other countries have begun serious lobbying. It is in the EU’s interest to make leaving extremely painful for the UK, in order to deter other departures.]

Associate Professor Catherine de Fontenay It is still difficult to believe that the UK voted for ‘Leave’ – including for some of those who voted to leave. As many US commentators have been quick to point out, voters should beware of voting in anger or protest! Analysts are breaking down the impact into two broad categories: uncertainty and restrictions on trade and migration. Uncertainty will impose the largest costs on the UK in the short term. At the moment, almost any outcome is possible. At one extreme, the UK could find itself completely outside the EU, facing the same tariffs and immigration restrictions as any non-


Faced with this huge level of uncertainty, many firms will opt to postpone investment until there is more certainty. Why build a new bank building, until you know whether it should be in London or Frankfurt? That is a huge cost to the construction companies and other businesses that implement investment. Reduced investment is the main reason that forecasts that GDP growth will be one per cent lower over the next year, and building companies have seen their share prices fall by 30 per cent. In the long term, the economy will suffer from any new restrictions on migration and trade. The financial sector will be one of the hardest hit, as many banks and insurers are based in London in order to operate across the EU. Currently they can ‘passport’, that is, transact in any EU country

without being subject to country-bycountry regulation. The loss of this right will cause a number of financial institutions to move: will this benefit other English-speaking financial centres such as Sydney? It is more likely to benefit Ireland a little, and Frankfurt and Brussels to a greater extent. The free movement of people has also allowed high-tech firms in the UK to recruit skilled workers from around Europe; that sector is voicing its protests. If trade is restricted, then UK exports to the EU will face tariffs and find competition substantially harder; currently 44 per cent of UK exports go to the EU. Some firms will already be suffering, as their customers may turn to other sources of supply that are securely in the tariff-free zone. The North of England voted ‘Leave’ in response to the steady decline of manufacturing since the 1970s, and to some pressure from immigration. And it must be acknowledged that the future is difficult for that region. Unfortunately, I think it’s unlikely that manufacturing jobs will return to the North of England as a result of ‘Leave’; those jobs have been lost to Asia rather than to other parts of the EU. And there may be more loss of manufacturing jobs due to Brexit: The Economist reports that carmakers will suffer from reduced demand at home (as GDP falls) and possibly reduced access to European markets. Catherine de Fontenay Associate Professor | MBS

Associate Professor andrew john As I write, it has been just over a month since the shock result in the United Kingdom referendum on exit from the European Union. There is still so much uncertainty surrounding the details of the UK exit from the EU that serious forecasting is probably a foolish enterprise. We don’t know if the UK will back away from the results of the referendum; we don’t know when they will invoke Article 50; we don’t know what kind of deal they will strike with the EU post-exit; and we don’t know what trade deals they will succeed in forging with other countries or how long that will take. About the only thing that is certain right now is that the prospect of the UK’s departure has increased economic uncertainty in economies around the globe. But we can ask about the likely consequences of the UK departure in more general terms. I’ll very briefly talk about possible implications for growth, trade, capital flows, and confidence in the United Kingdom itself, in Europe, and in the world. Most informed commentators agree that the UK exit is likely to be very damaging to the UK economy, at least in the short run. A few days ago, the International Monetary Fund released an update of their World Economic Outlook, discussing the implications as they see them. They predict that 2017 GDP growth in

the UK will be almost a full percentage point lower than previously forecast. Remember that this is, of course, before any exit will take place. So this is simply due to changes in demand in anticipation of exit. In particular, domestic and foreign investment in the UK economy is likely to drop substantially, partly as a direct result of uncertainty (domestic and foreign firms will wait and see before committing to more investment in the UK) and partly because foreign firms will start investing in other countries instead. Falls in business confidence may further depress investment, while declining consumer confidence will probably lead to reductions in consumption. The extent to which these effects can and will be offset by monetary and fiscal policy is an open question. If exit does take place, the UK economy is likely to take a further hit. At this point substantial changes in UK trade patterns – both exports and imports – are likely to take place. At least to begin with, it seems likely that both exports and imports will fall substantially, with the overall effect on net exports being unclear. The UK will look significantly less attractive to foreign investors, so investment spending is likely to remain depressed, while it remains probable that consumer and business sentiment will remain low.

“The risks for the European Union as a whole are political as much as economic.” The risks for the European Union as a whole are political as much as economic. Compared to its previous projections, the IMF expects euro area growth to be 0.2 percentage points lower in 2017. From a purely economic point of view, the effects of UK exit on the EU need not be that substantial. The eventual result is likely to be significant ‘trade diversion’, meaning that EU countries will find other trading partners within (and to a certain extent outside) the EU to

replace exports to and imports from the UK. Such adjustment takes time, of course, so there will be shortrun costs – but within a few years it is possible that the EU will have adjusted fairly easily to the departure of the UK. There will almost certainly be some diversion of foreign investment from the UK to other EU countries, and it would not surprise me if Ireland, as an Englishspeaking country within the EU, were a significant beneficiary. But this sanguine outlook depends on there being limited political fallout from the UK’s departure. If, as is certainly possible, the UK exit leads to calls for similar referenda in other countries, and if some other countries actually voted to follow the UK’s path, then the entire EU project starts to look fragile. (This is particularly true if the countries in question are in the euro area.) Uncertainty would rise, confidence would fall, and consumption and investment spending would suffer throughout the union. Financial markets would become jittery, and capital might well flow to safe haven sites such as the United States. At that point, all bets are off in terms of the implications for the EU economy. Finally, what about the global economy? The IMF’s projection for global growth in 2017 was reduced by 0.1 percentage points for 2017. While the UK economy is not trivial, it accounts for less than four per cent of global GDP, meaning that the projected lost GDP in the UK in 2017 amounts to only about 0.03 percent of global GDP. So while the effects of UK exit on the UK itself will surely be substantial, the long-term effects on the world economy need not be. Indeed, the IMF’s projections for the world outside Europe are almost unchanged. There will be changes in the patterns of trade and the flows of financial capital, but these need not translate into substantial deleterious effects on the world economy. At least in this benign scenario, the UK may have shot continued on page 10


continued from page 9 itself in the foot, but the world economy may end up largely unscathed. Again, however, this assumes that the longterm political consequences of UK exit are contained. If, instead, the result is increased political uncertainty and volatility for a sustained period of time, the implications for the global economy could yet be profound. The IMF recognised this in its update to the World Economic Outlook by outlining two more pessimistic scenarios. In their ‘severe scenario’, confidence is more negatively affected, and financial markets in Europe

experience greater stress, with the bottom-line conclusion being a more serious slowdown in global growth in 2017 (about 0.2 percentage points lower than in the baseline forecast), with advanced economies being most severely affected (experiencing a projected additional 0.5 percentage point drop in their growth rate). Finally, the longer the United Kingdom delays in invoking Article 50, and the more drawn out are the negotiations, the greater the risks for the world in general and the European Union in

next? In my view Brexit creates many new opportunities for the UK, and it is not at all clear that the economic consequences will be dire. In fact, the EU has made so many economic policy errors in recent years it is understandable that other countries are now likely to question their continued existence within the EU.

associate professor mark crosby Britain’s June referendum result seemed to surprise many, despite polls in the lead-up showing a close result. The assumption seemed to be that with the economic costs of an exit from the EU being high, the British people would come to their senses on the day and vote for the status quo. So, what


The main arguments made prior to the referendum in favour of the status quo were that the economic costs of an exit would be very high. Britain would lose out in trade with Europe and would have to negotiate new trade deals with the EU and with multiple other trade partners. For London, the question is how much financial sector activity would move to European financial centres. But the main cost for the UK economy was the uncertainty created by the Brexit. Uncertainty kills investment and reduces private consumption. Managing this uncertainty should have been a key priority of policymakers whatever the outcome of the referendum. The British political class have scored a zero on their management of the post referendum situation. A strong leader would have stood up and said “we the British people have voted to leave the European Union, but we are not turning

particular. At this point, naturally enough, the EU has a strong interest in encouraging the exit process to take place sooner rather than later, and to offer no concessions that might make exit look more attractive to other member states. But, as I said at the start, any forecasts at this point are subject to huge amounts of uncertainty. And that is even before we factor in the impact of President Trump. Andrew John Associate Professor | MBS

our backs on Europe. We will continue to engage with Europe in trade, foreign affairs and in other domains. This is a chance for Britain to rethink our future on the edge of Europe but with our sights on emerging markets in Asia, Africa and South America. We will re-engage with our traditional commonwealth markets and we will make the British economy strong again.” Instead what was said was basically “this is too hard, I’m outta here.” There is no doubt that this political weakness will lead to a much weaker British economy than should have been the case in the next 12 to 18 months. The bigger issue is what happens beyond that. Much has been written about how Britain will be hurt by leaving the EU because of the loss in trade. I doubt that. The EU needs the UK more than vice versa. The UK has a huge trade deficit with the EU. There are many winemakers in France, automakers in Germany, tourist operators in Spain and Italy and so on who rely on Britain. It makes no sense for the EU to negotiate a penal trade deal with the UK. Negotiating trade deals takes time, but this should be a first priority for the UK government. As well as Europe,

trade deals ought to start with the US, Australia, China, etc. Britain is not Luxembourg – other countries will come to the table because the UK is a large and important economy (something that autocrats in the EU seem to think will not be the case). Aside from trade, the questions about the future of the city of London are more difficult to assess. No doubt some financial activity will relocate to Europe, but for the most part there are good reasons to continue to locate in London. And for the UK the economy needs to be less reliant on finance. It is too large a share of GDP and the question should be about what kind of reforms can encourage rejuvenation in other areas of the economy.

The implications of Brexit for Australia and the region are a zero. We will now have an opportunity to negotiate a separate trade deal with the UK. With the UK and Australia generally being more pro free trade than other areas this is likely to lead to a better outcome than negotiations with Europe that are always complicated by the Europeans’ focus on protecting a weak agricultural sector. The EU has been a success in terms of binding together diverse and historically hostile countries. But its plans for the future of European economies are in many cases wrong (fiscal centralisation is crazy for example), or in the cases where the vision has been sound (the Lisbon Agenda to raise productivity and

competitiveness) very little has been achieved. This should be an opportunity for the EU also to rethink its future, and to strengthen the political ties while allowing more autonomy in terms of economic decision making at the country level. We should wish Britain luck outside the EU, and we should also wish the best for the EU and hope that they can also chart a new direction. In the EU and in the UK the greatest weakness so far has been a complete inability to imagine what this new world might look like. Mark Crosby Associate Professor | MBS

outgoing student exchange I moved into in-house strategy and now work in the financial services industry. It’s been a busy 2.5 years since starting my MBA – getting married and becoming a father during the same period has been a huge juggling act. Outside of work and school, I like to play golf, basketball and soccer, but these days, watching it on TV is a more realistic option!

MBS Part Time student Simon Do tells us about his exchange experience at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Tell us a bit about yourself I am a Melbourne boy, born and raised. I grew up in the Carlton and Parkville area. After my undergraduate studies, I became a strategy consultant and spent a lot of time travelling around the country for various engagements in a range of industries, which was a lot of fun. Having had enough of the travel,

Why did you choose UCLA? I chose UCLA because it is one of the best business schools, it is in the great city of Los Angeles (in Beverly Hills) and the short, one-week duration was the most plausible option for me as I have a young family. How was your time at UCLA? I really loved it, and wished it had been longer. There was so much to like about UCLA. Firstly, the campus is absolutely stunning and is quite the tourist attraction in itself. Secondly, the local UCLA Anderson students were very friendly and there

just weren’t enough nights to go out with them for after-class drinks. Thirdly, students in the US are highly interactive so I found class discussions to be very engaging. Tell us a bit about your exchange experience The program coincides with the summer school, so the class has a high proportion of exchange students from all over the world. You really feel the diversity. If you have the ability to do it, a longer two-to-four-month exchange program will always yield a more rewarding experience. One-week exchange programs are far too short to build relationships with peers in another city. With that said, one-week exchange programs are better than nothing. With my wife and daughter also in LA, it was a very enjoyable experience to finish my last MBA subject at another business school, and then to enjoy a family holiday to celebrate afterwards.


inspiring journeys Two current MBA students – one Full Time, the other Part Time – share the challenges and rewards of their MBS journey.

Vanessa Whatmough (Full-Time MBA)

This past year has been one of adventure and discovery for me. To be honest, when I applied to the full-time MBA program at MBS, I wasn’t sure if the School would consider me a good ‘fit’. I didn’t know any

DR Nicholas opie (Part-Time MBA)

So when I was accepted, I was delighted to hear that my classmates were pharmacists, architects, engineers, film producers, financial analysts and military officers … from every corner of the globe. It has been this diversity that I’ve appreciated most over the past year.

Once I knew I wanted to create a start-up in this space, I was really able to tailor the MBA program to me. I worked with a food app start-up and a venture capital firm for Entrepreneurial Mindset, I collaborated with a not-for-profit youth catering company for Social Ventures, I went on exchange to Smurfit Business School in Ireland to complete a fantastic executive MBA course titled The Future of Food, and I’ve reconnected with the CEO of the VC firm from Entrepreneurial Mindset, who has been mentoring me as I develop a business model for the start-up I hope to establish post-studies.

Like many of my classmates, I undertook the MBA to broaden my career horizons. I kept my mind open to just about all sectors and organisational functions. I’m excited to have settled on the food industry, for which I’ve always had a passion.

I think the biggest challenge of doing an MBA is working out what comes next. Once I realised I didn’t need to fit into a mould, and that the MBA skills I’d developed were enormously transferable, suddenly the possibilities became limitless. I can’t wait to explore.

I am a biomedical engineer with experience in neural prostheses. I completed my BE (Hons) and BSc undergraduate degrees at Monash University in 2007 and was awarded my PhD in 2012 (Melbourne University) for research developing a bionic eye.

This research is aimed at conducting preclinical safety and efficacy trials on the Stentrode™, a device capable of recording neural information from within a blood vessel, which may enable direct brain control of wheelchairs, exoskeletons and computers to people with paralysis as early as 2018.

corporate communications professionals (I was Manager of Media Strategy at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne) who had considered an MBA. I’d also made assumptions about the industries top MBA schools liked to have representation from in their classes.

In 2012, I was awarded a $1.33M grant from US defence organisation DARPA to develop a minimally invasive brain machine interface. This funding, and subsequent funding totalling more than $5.5M, has enabled me to establish and co-lead the Vascular Bionics Laboratory within the Department of Medicine at The University of Melbourne.


I am also the founding CTO of SmartStent, a company incorporated to translate endovascular bionic technology into clinical application. I chose to pursue an MBA at MBS to enhance my business knowledge and ensure this paradigm-shifting technology would be realised and available to those who need it.

Naveed Khan (EMBA student, 2016)

Naveed Khan, EMBA candidate and Business Innovation Manager – Health at Griffith University, talks to us about his time at MBS. Why an MBS EMBA? There were three key reasons. Firstly, I was attracted by the quality of the School’s brand. The second reason was the strength and quality of the faculty’s ties to corporate Australia. And finally, the modular structure and duration of the program was a key selling point relative to other programs.

Diana Yang (MBusA, 2016)

Diana Yang, Master of Business Analytics candidate, tells us about her time at MBS. Why the Master of Business Analytics program and why MBS? In my previous study, I was fortunate to gain exposure of how data allows

us to reasonably predict stock markets. This developed my interests in getting to the process of obtaining data, manipulating data and deriving meaningful interpretation and applications of data. The MBusA program is structured to emphasise the importance to be proficient in Business, Statistics and Programming in order to maximise the economic value of data. The Industry Practicum offered as part of the MBusA program was a key factor in enrolling in MBusA. Education, coupled with an opportunity to apply concepts and skills in real settings, is particularly attractive as it would also provide guidance on career paths. Being a part of a world-renowned business school also simplified my decision!

What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced during your program? Transitioning from being a problemsolver and jumping straight into solution mode (being a ‘manager’), to understanding other people’s strengths and influencing group dynamics, to shaping the best outcomes (being a ‘leader’). How will you use your EMBA? By becoming a more effective leader and ultimately shaping an enterprise that would create value by helping others live better and healthier lives in an increasingly resource-constrained world.

As such, there are certain fields/topics that I have struggled with. I have learnt that efficient time management is extremely important in order to make time for revision due to various assignments and quizzes that we are constantly assessed on. What do you want to do after MBusA? After graduating, I would like to seek positions that allow me to apply the various business and technical skills that I have learnt in the program. In my opinion, the demand for analytics will continue to grow in the foreseeable future and my experience from the MBusA program puts me in good stead for future career developmental goals.

What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced during your program? The MBusA program is a holistic program that provides exposure on the different forms of data that we might encounter and how data of different formats are utilised and employed.


Alumni Spotlight: mark alexander Melbourne Business School alumnus Mark Alexander tells us about his fascinating journey from physiotherapist with the Australian Olympic triathlon team to Executive Director of MBS’ Centre for Business Analytics.

senior lecturer of La Trobe University’s post-graduate Master of Sports Physiotherapy program. In both roles, I was doing a lot of marketing and sales for the course, growing it significantly in student numbers, and building my physio practice, but I had no idea of best practice and was operating purely on instinct. During my Masters of Sports Physio at the University of Queensland, I had a business/product idea so I founded BakPhysio Pty Ltd and invented and patented BakBalls (and recently the NeckRest and Backrest), self-management devices for back and neck pain. I was making loads of mistakes in negotiations and I really had no idea what I was doing from a business perspective.

Tell us about yourself and why you chose to do an MBA. I am a proud Queenslander (although born in Papua New Guinea), with an amazing wife, Lauren, and two awesome kids, Lachlan (4) and Sammy (18 months). I love all things sport, fitness, health, travel, reading, movies, performance arts, and I am not happy unless my intellectual curiosity is being stimulated. I also love all things ‘data’ and am passionate about data-driven decision making, which is why I have just taken the position of Executive Director of the MBS Centre for Business Analytics. I chose to do an MBA as I was making too many mistakes in my businesses and knew there was a world of knowledge that I needed in order to go to the next level. In a previous life, I was the sports physiotherapist to the Australian Olympic triathlon team at two Olympics and two Commonwealth Games, supporting the team to win a total of three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. I also held the position of director and


I also have a property development business where, again, I was making loads of mistakes. So I did an MBA subject (Entrepreneurship) at UQ while doing my Masters in Sports Physio in 2003. I thought, after I finish up in Physio I definitely need to do an MBA. I was introduced to UQ’s $100,000 Enterprise Business Plan competition and decided to pitch my invention. I ended up winning in 2004, which was awesome and allowed me to commercialise my products. I finished up in Physiotherapy in 2008, after the Beijing Olympics, and started my MBA at MBS part time in 2009, completing the MBA full time in 2010. I loved the course and got so much out of it due to the quality of the lecturers in the program. Consequently, with a little hard work, I won the John Clemenger Medal as Dux of School with the highest GPA. While studying my MBA I also won the 2009 Melbourne University Entrepreneurial Challenge (first prize of $23,000) which was again a proof point of how much value the MBA had added to my thinking and my businesses.

What part of the MBS journey do you miss?

I really miss the interactions with great students and friends both in class and also in syndicate groups. I miss the constant intellectual strain of learning something new every day through great case studies. I also miss the lecturers challenging your thinking and elevating you to a higher order of analysis. How are you using the MBA knowledge and MBS connections to reach out to people in the community? I attend a lot of alumni events, so I stay connected to MBS and the alumni, and my cohort are all still very close and catch up a few times a year. Commercially, I use frameworks learnt at MBS for negotiations and stakeholder engagement when out in the business community. What advice do you have for current students and readers on how to capitalise on opportunities at MBS? Set your goals and vision for what you want out of your MBA before starting. When you are putting in big hours, and are sick and tired of the study and want to give up, think about why you are at MBS and why you chose to do the MBA. Without a personal vision, I would have found it hard to get through some busy and stressful times. These were my reasons for doing the MBA: 1. To get access to what I didn’t know I didn’t know 2. To make better business decisions (and not destroy value like I was) 3. To build a super network of similarly minded high performers and friends. I succeeded in all of those things because MBS is the best business school in the country. It transformed my life, enabling me to get a great job with The Boston Consulting Group straight out of the MBA.

Visit Victoria Case Competition Contestants in the 2016 MBS Visit Victoria Case Competition demonstrated a wealth of talent and vision with their ideas for attracting cashed-up tourists to visit our state.

idea to give ‘cultural purists’ access to out-of-the-way places in Melbourne and Victoria that only locals know about.

“He was convincing, took us on a journey and did some great research into what has and hasn’t worked overseas.”

“Dylan nailed it,” said Invest Victoria’s Nigel Aldons, who was one of five members of the judging panel.

This year’s Melbourne Business School Visit Victoria Case Competition was won by Dylan Wissell (MBA Part Time), whose idea for a ‘Live Like Locals’ app nailed the brief and wowed the judges. Competitors were asked to come up with smart ways to attract the growing number of independent travellers – especially wealthy Chinese and Indonesians – to Victoria’s sights. There were some impressive pitches, including package deals for luxury events like Fashion Week and the Food & Wine Festival, and an online platform that connects tourists with local Chinese students keen to work as tour guides. It was Dylan’s app, however, that won the $5,000 first prize, with its clever

Visit Victoria Case Competition finalists and judges

Contestants give their final presentations


Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2016 p16

The SouRCe Term 3 2016  

In this edition, three of our economics lecturers – Associate Professor Andrew John, Associate Professor Catherine de Fontenay and Associate...

The SouRCe Term 3 2016  

In this edition, three of our economics lecturers – Associate Professor Andrew John, Associate Professor Catherine de Fontenay and Associate...