Discover the diverse career paths our MBA alumni have taken
Published 9 Feb, 2024 · 5-minute read
“The sky’s the limit.” Sure, it’s an overused cliché, but it’s undeniably apt for graduates of the Master of Business Administration (MBA). This program really can open a world of doors – it’s just up to you which doors you step through.
This makes the question “what can you do with an MBA?” tricky to answer, because the options are limited only by your goals.
What we can do, though, is highlight some of the popular positions occupied by MBA graduates and introduce you to some of our alumni. From doctors to board directors, you’ll quickly see that a wide range of professionals can benefit from studying an MBA.
What jobs can you get with an MBA?
For many, the MBA represents a stepping stone into executive roles or a gateway towards entrepreneurship. For others, studying an MBA is the catalyst for a complete career change, which often means switching to an industry they’re truly passionate about.
As a generalist degree, the MBA is useful for supplementing the specialist skills you already have. This means students graduate with a more holistic understanding of business, which empowers them to take on senior leadership roles or start their own company.
Some of the common job opportunities after an MBA include:
chief executive officer (CEO)
chief financial officer (CFO)
chief operations officer (COO)
director of operations
national sales manager.
But this list is far from exhaustive, and no two MBA stories are the same. Each alum’s path is unique – and yours will be too.
What can you do with an MBA?
Jan went from engineer to entrepreneur
Jan Bodnaruk, a civil engineer with 15 years of construction experience, leveraged his MBA to transition from engineering to entrepreneurship. Recognising the gaps in his skill set, Jan embarked on the UQ MBA journey to gain a comprehensive understanding of finance, marketing, leadership and strategy. Just 2 weeks after completing the program, he founded BB Civil, a thriving residential subdivision construction company.
Jan’s journey demonstrates the transformative power of the MBA. For alumni like him, it’s not just a degree – it’s the key to a brand-new career path. His study not only equipped him with the skills needed to start and run a successful business, but it also connected him with a diverse network of professionals who continue to support him in his endeavours today.
"The UQ MBA has had a massive impact on my career. Without it, I wouldn't have had the skills nor the confidence to build my own company."
Camilla is helping startups create positive change
Camilla Roberts always had a passion for impacting positive change, and returning to university gave her the confidence and skills to help others do the same. She is now the founder and CEO of Scale Impact, a consultancy that assists innovative companies in scaling their impact. Tailoring her MBA studies meant she could focus on startups and venture capital, which aligned perfectly with her ambitions and her company’s goals.
Camilla’s MBA journey wasn’t a walk in the park – she had to juggle her studies alongside full-time work, a board director role and becoming a mother. But she was supported along the way, and the fulfilling career she has now made all the effort well worth it.
"The confidence I've gained from understanding business is one of the most valuable things I gained from the MBA. I feel like now I have all the pieces of the puzzle to make magic things happen. And that's a real gift."
Alex found an innovative way to improve health services
Dr Alex Chaudhuri was already an experienced clinician when he enrolled in the MBA. But he recognised the program would unlock new opportunities for him to pursue his passions within the healthcare space. Using the learnings from his MBA, he was able to launch SureText, a secure messaging app for health professionals.
Alex’s story is just one example of how the MBA can benefit professionals working in a wide variety of industries. The skills and experience he gained helped Alex design and implement a ‘hospital in the home’ model of care for his patients and led him to become a more nurturing clinician and effective healthcare leader.
"I wanted to broaden my perspective and opportunities, and I knew the MBA would do that. It improved my knowledge and made me more insightful, which was empowering."
Siobhan is working with CSIRO to improve global access to nutrition
Siobhan Coster went from running an ecommerce business to working with CSIRO to address the world’s growing nutrition challenges. Her work is focused on developing sustainable and scalable ways to produce nutrients that are in short supply – and this all began with a capstone project Siobhan completed as part of her MBA.
During her studies, Siobhan was particularly grateful for the supportive community she found at UQ. And she gave back to the community in many ways too, including being one of the 8 founding members of the UQ MBA Women’s Network.
"The impact the UQ MBA has had on my career has been incredible. It has literally changed the course of my career direction for the better."
Matthew is working to close the gap in business leadership
Matthew Jones, a Torres Strait Islander man whose family is from Darnley Island, has become a business owner and board member since completing his MBA. He’s deeply passionate about using his skills and experience to give back to the community.
Matthew’s journey showcases just how much the MBA can transform you, both professionally andpersonally. By the end of his studies, his mindset had changed – he wasn’t only studying to learn new skills anymore, but to become the best version of himself.
"The MBA gave me the capabilities and confidence to pursue my dreams."
Suzanne Wood had established a distinguished career as a registered nurse when she felt herself arrive at a crossroads. Wanting to explore more options for career progression led her to the MBA.
Despite initially struggling with imposter syndrome, Suzanne quickly discovered her unique background wasn’t the disadvantage she thought it might be. Quite the opposite. And collaborating with other MBA students on their own diverse career paths empowered her to excel in the program – all while being a single mother.
Now, Suzanne works in a management consulting firm, which perfectly blends her prior career experience with the skills acquired during her MBA.
"The MBA gave me new skills and greater self-awareness to design and craft the rest of my life."
We hope these inspiring alumni stories have encouraged you to stop wondering what you can do with an MBA and instead ask yourself the much more exciting question: What will I do with my MBA? We can’t wait to see.