Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices.” Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA with Human Resources Concentration
PLEASE SHARE MORE ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE AND RESPONSIBLITIES.:
I have two different roles. I am the CEO of Rivers International Management Services with clients throughout Australia, the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) region, the UK, and Asia. I work in strategic planning and consulting for large-scale healthcare, energy, and ICT start-up projects, as well as implementation and operations of digital healthcare transformation and health informatics. These projects typically include change management, P&L management, best practice policies and guidelines, accreditation, hiring, leading and managing teams, marketing, business development, and dealings with governments, insurers, and investors.
I am also a licensed and practicing Consultant Physician in Australia and Dubai, with over 26 years of direct clinical experience in the high-quality clinical care of patients. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine UK, a Fellow of the RACGP, and a member of the Healthcare Advisory Council for the Australian Consulate in Dubai.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?:
I have been working in healthcare and IT management for quite some time. I have gained a lot of skills and knowledge from on-the-job experience, but it seemed that many of the lessons were learned the hard way. I was keen to improve my understanding of myself as a leader and learn better ways to manage people, implement business strategy, and run operations. JWMI allowed me to learn these lessons from one of the most outstanding CEOs and a passionate and highly experienced academic team.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
In addition to the vast array of practical tools I have been able to access on my MBA journey at JWMI, I was also able to benefit from the self-assessment and self-reflection about leadership styles and conflict. It was beneficial in understanding past events that went well, particularly the ones that went badly. I now understand my strengths and weaknesses far more thoroughly and in my conscious mind. I have prevented a few more recent mistakes by having this awareness. My executive presence has also greatly improved. Candid, authentic communication, integrity, and empathy have been strengths of my leadership. However, being candid in a world where fake is the new normal has been a struggle. I think our culture has changed, and being candid is not seen as a strength by many people these days as political ‘double-speak’ seems to be the norm. This program was a great relief in reinforcing that my approach is still valid, relevant, and appreciated by some in the business community.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:
There have been numerous practical tools that I have implemented immediately in my work practices and throughout my company. Hiring practices have been standardized with a formal hiring rubric and standardized questions. This has helped in terms of consistency and comparison when evaluating candidates. The Welch 5 slide strategy tool has been inspirational as it greatly clarified the development and implementation of my company and customer strategy. My marketing approach, especially digital marketing and strategic communication, have become much more quantitative and structured, and I can better measure the results of different marketing strategies. My understanding of financial metrics and excel skills have also improved.
LOOKING BACK AT WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT AN ONLINE PROGRAM WHEN YOU FIRST EMBARKED, WHAT WAS YOUR OVERALL IMPRESSION NOW? DID IT MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS VIA DQ BOARDS, EOP VIDEOS, FACULTY ETC?:
The most important takeaways of the program have been the teachings and wise words of Jack Welch himself, in his books, and especially the Experts Of Practice videos on each subject. I gained much insight into the practical application and implementation of Welch’s ideas in each issue. The helpful and immensely experienced teachings of Jack Welch and other global business leaders such as Warren Buffett are a key differentiating factor and a competitive advantage of the Jack Welch MBA compared to other MBA programs available. All of the learning material exceeded my expectations. It was very relevant, contemporary, and practical, focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on business in all aspects. I also gained a lot from regular discussion and interaction with my fellow students, who represented diverse backgrounds in employment, career stage, and thinking.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?:
It was not always easy to balance my job, family, and MBA coursework. My employment workload increased throughout my MBA journey due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made things more complicated, especially managing fatigue. The best strategies overall were:
- Block 3 hours on my schedule for coursework every Wednesday and Sunday, and additional time for assignments
- Send my family to the movies, go shopping, see friends and relatives, etc., and reduce interruptions and distractions.
- Contact the Professor ahead of time if I need an extension for 24-48 hours. JWMI academic staff were always incredibly supportive and understanding.
PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.:
It is essential to enjoy the MBA journey as a unique learning experience and be exposed to the diversity of thinking offered by the JWMI MBA program. There are many opportunities for personal growth and professional development along the way. The change and practical tools that this program offers are far more critical than having the three letters ‘MBA’ after your name when you finish.
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