Internationally diverse enrolments highlight “new style” full-time MBA Program

The University of Sydney Business School is now delivering its long-awaited industry oriented and leadership focused full-time MBA program with an international cohort which is both gender and culturally diverse.

The largest single group of participants in the program is from the United States (24 per cent of the cohort), followed by India, China and Australia. The level of interest from the US is highly unusual for an Australian based MBA program.

Christopher Alvord, who grew up within a day’s drive of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Princeton, says that Sydney offered “something unique in regards to experiential learning with a hands-on real-world approach”.

“This was vastly different from any other curriculum I had researched and it included geographical closeness to diverse economies such as China, Japan, Singapore, and India that US institutions could not provide,” said Christopher.

Kathryn Harris, who grew up in New York City, described Sydney’s MBA as “a world-class, future-driven program offering access to a diverse global network with a unique opportunity to live and study in one of the most dynamic and liveable cities in the world”.

“The University of Sydney's focus on future digital economies was the key differentiator for me,” added Kathryn. “Global Economies are evolving and demand new skillsets and mental frameworks that are not considered in traditional MBA programs but are at the forefront of Sydney's MBA curriculum.”

“The culturally diverse nature of the cohort, which also includes members from Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Barbados, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Zimbabwe, has totally exceeded our expectation,” said Jo Bishop, the School’s Associate Director MBA Programs.

The Dean of the School, Professor Greg Whitwell, has also welcomed the cultural mix saying that it would enrich the program and improve learning outcomes. “The Business School is totally committed to cultural diversity and I am delighted with the makeup of our first full-time MBA cohort,” he said.

The full-time program, which will run alongside the School’s top ranking part-time MBA, promises to prepare participants to “thrive in a world of ambiguity and uncertainty”.

“To do this, we will focus on developing skills around creativity, critical analysis and a systems approach to problem-solving,” said MBA Director, Professor Guy Ford, as he declared traditional programs “less relevant in an increasingly complex and volatile world”.

“Participants in our new style MBA can look forward to an individually tailored learning experience including a very high degree of experiential learning,” he said.

Professor Whitwell has described the program as symbolic of the School’s role in “an era of extraordinary changes in the scale, scope and complexity of forces such as digital technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, the peer-to-peer economy, and historically unprecedented demographic shifts”.

In keeping with its commitment to ‘inclusive leadership,’ in 2015 the Business School’s part-time MBA became the first program of its kind in Australia and one of the first in the world to attract as many women as it did men.

“I am delighted that our full-time MBA has also been able to achieve that goal with its very first cohort,” said Professor Whitwell.

“This is a unique industry oriented and leadership focused program and it will produce a new generation of creative business leaders with new skills, greater confidence, international experience and a capacity to deliver outstanding results,” he concluded.