Justin MacDonald is currently over halfway through his MBA and is a great asset to the QUT program. As part of his studies, Justin chose to be part of the QUT exchange program with Hochschule Kempten. While enrolled, Justin has also established a social enterprise called One Volunteer. This is Justin’s experience in his own words…
As I exited the main doors at the airport, I knew I was not in Brisbane anymore as the temperature had dropped from a nice 32C and sunny, down to a lowly -3C and snowing, I had arrived in Munich and was ready for my international 2-week exchange program in with Hochschule Kempten. Arriving a couple of days before settled the jet lag and gave me a chance to explore this quaint little town that dates back to Roman times.
The program began the night before with a chance for everyone to get together informally, sample the local Bavarian hospitality and run through the program over the next two weeks with Dr Gobl and the Kempten team.
Being in the heart of Europe, Kempten is able to draw some amazing facilitators with real-world experience across the three study streams they offer, Logistics, Sales management and the program I selected Organisational transformational change.
The foundational program led by Dr Katrin Winkler set the scene and her real-world experience working across some of Europe’s largest transformational projects was incredibly rewarding. While I have worked in change environments for some years, the chance to experience a new worldview was extremely valuable for my career.
Harley Lovegrove, a consultant extraordinaire then led us on an intense journey that involved countless workshops and group discussions, 12 mini-projects to deliver, multiple presentations to take our imaginary organisation through a complete organisational transformation in just 3 days. Harley’s depth of knowledge and experience with some of the biggest brands in the world added more tools to our tool belts.
The program finished in style with a chance to visit three of Germany’s multi-national powerhouses. It is a rare opportunity to look ‘under the hood’ in organisations and the chance to visit Bosch, Liebherr and Natec (a division of Hochland) was one I relished.
Each organisation presented the group with an individual project of a real-world problem they were facing as an organisation. Our job was then to conduct research and provide full written business recommendations, backed up by a full presentation to the CEO and senior leadership team on how to navigate these changes.
As a group, we accepted a project to provide a framework and recommendations for a global transformational restructure of Natec, to an agile matrix style organisation with product groups, a massive undertaking.
With the hard work and program complete, we had a chance to unwind with a couple of days skiing in the Austrian Alps, a great way to finish the program. Our German friends looked after us every step of the way, with fun local nights out and drinks, the occasional pork-knuckle and so many great memories.
While the program was all about exposing ourselves to new learning environments and opportunities, the chance to build genuine connections with everyone in the program has opened new doors, forged new friendships and added incredible value to both my professional career and me personally.
For anyone considering the program and a chance to study abroad in the real world as part of the QUT MBA program, I suggest you grab the opportunity with open arms and get onboard.
– Justin MacDonald
Justin’s learning journey took him to the heart of Europe for an amazing experience. Where could a QUT E/MBA take you?