Flexible Study Enabled Me To Get To The Next Step In My Career

When considering professional development, the contemporary worker is looking for flexibility and pathways to higher levels of learning.  Through QUT’s Enterprise Leadership offering, Esther Murphy, a business manager at Brisbane City Council, was able to complete professional development modules in areas of most relevance to her as an aspiring senior leader. Having enjoyed this initial experience of professional learning, Esther made the choice to undertake the Graduate Certificate in Business, receiving full recognition for the professional development she had completed.

As Esther observes, the learning she gained from professional development gave her the confidence to speak out in meetings. Going on to earn the Graduate Certificate credential gave her career a boost by being able to demonstrate that she values continuous learning.

The learning pathway did not stop there. Esther built on her Graduate Certificate by enrolling in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) receiving credit for the learning she had already done. Along the way, Esther expanded her network and was able to learn through the experience of many others with similar work challenges.

Read about Esther’s journey in Enterprise Leadership below.

Who or what influenced/inspired you to apply? 

When I initially applied to commence studying with QUT, I had worked for Brisbane City Council for about six years. Brisbane City Council is Australia’s largest local government organisation, and I had enjoyed it so much that I felt that I needed to give more back to the community by pursuing a leadership role within the organisation.  

I chose to do further study that interested me and would assist with my professional development.

Initially, I commenced my study with QUT’s Leading Self and Others workshops as part of the Emerging Leaders Program (now called Enterprise Leadership Program) active module. I enjoyed it so much that once I completed the workshops, I applied to the Graduate Certificate of Business Administration program.  

I have since enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program as I feel the program will equip me for my careers and professional pursuits. 

How did this study transform you / or the organisation that you work for? 

Study has helped me understand concepts and given me the confidence to apply them in the workplace, helping to communicate effectively and motivate staff. 

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed Navigating Risk, Ethics and Politics which improved my awareness of myself and the organisation, along with developing my decision-making skills.

When senior leadership teams were talking at meetings, I was confident in offering ideas and concepts that I had learnt in the Graduate Certificate program. It gave me confidence to seek more challenging leadership roles within the organisation.  

This study has enabled me to get to the next step in my career and stand out from others when applying for new positions.”

While I was doing the course, I applied for a Business Operations Manager role at Brisbane City Council and I was successful as it showed my manager that I value continuous learning and self-development.

I’ve also had a number of acting opportunities that I don’t believe I would have had if it wasn’t for the valuable skills and knowledge I obtained through QUT’s Graduate Certificate of Business Administration program.

What was the highlight of your study experience? 

I really enjoyed the face-to-face interaction with other students which helped in my learning process. It made me realise that even though we work for different organisations, we’re generally dealing with the same type of challenges and opportunities.  

What advice would you give to someone looking at trying to do what you have done? 

    1. Give it a go. 
    2. I felt my ideas were validated. 
    3. I felt empowered.  
    4. To me it’s about future-proofing and investing in yourself.  
    5. It’ll give you confidence.  
    6. If you’re thinking of doing further study, this is a great opportunity. 

QUTeX short courses and professional development

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Dr Kate Joyner is the Interim Director, Corporate Programs and Learning Innovation in the Graduate School of Business, QUT. Kate provides academic leadership for the Public Sector Management Program and delivers executive education in the areas of leadership, systems thinking and strategy. Kate’s speciality is developing leaders and leadership groups for the challenges of the 21st century.

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