In mid-2004, I finished my first lot of formal education completing my Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton. At the time I was like done and done, no more classrooms or lectures for me as it was all into the real world and workforce. Little did I know that exactly 10 years later in mid-2014, I would be sitting in a lecture theatre starting my next phase of formal study.
To take a step back, I started my journey with Bluefield in 2011 and since that time I have watched the company and its people grow and develop. Early on in my consulting career, someone mentioned the idea of completing an MBA and that it would help broaden more of my knowledge. However, at the time I dismissed this with the thought of lectures, study, and exams as not something I wanted to get back into. Nevertheless, the idea was in the back of my mind even if I didn’t realise it at the time. Since the beginning, Bluefield has always encouraged self-learning and initiating of one’s own personal development. It has been reinforced and highlighted that when I was ready, to bring forward and discuss what I want to do and how Bluefield can assist.
Working as an advisor to industry, we are constantly challenged to think about problems differently, something that does not come naturally to an engineer (engineers work in two colours – black and white, there is no in-between). It took a while but the seed that was planted a few years earlier finally took hold and I finally recognised the need to expand my horizons and knowledge. I started researching what having an MBA would entail and it appeared to be the right fit to grow my ability for the work we do at Bluefield. Then I searched which unis that offer the right course/s and found the University of QLD was a perfect fit as it catered for face-to-face lectures accommodating people who were working full-time. Once I had collated enough information – the place, courses offered and suitable lecture times, I took this plan to Bluefield who were immediately supportive of the program and thus saw me start my journey to complete an MBA.
Over the next few years, I worked through the program part time, picking up and applying different elements of the material to the work we do. While I still have a strong maintenance focus, the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture ensures proposed solutions are the right option for the respective projects. Finding an appropriate solution is only half the project therefore articulating it in a clear and concise manner, which is what delivers value to the client. I found writing assignments for the MBA helped improve communicating my points across for the projects I was working on.
Completing the MBA has been a real development opportunity for myself that has undoubtedly grown my ability to look at projects differently (and add a few extra colours / shades to my working pallet). Bluefield’s support enabled this which has sparked a journey in myself to constantly learn. It really highlighted and made me realise that learning doesn’t just happen or stop in the classroom. While the formal studies of the MBA have finished, I still apply and continue to learn through books, podcasts, and the occasional YouTube videos.
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