Carly thrives on the flexibility and relevance of CQU's MBA

19 January 2023

The flexibility of CQUniversity's online Master of Business Administration (MBA) course has helped Carly Ferguson find the meaning of leadership while managing a recent ADHD diagnosis.

The 44-year-old' who lives in Perth' Western Australia and is a National Client Manager in the Defence Engineering space' has spoken highly of CQU's MBA.

"I have always wanted to complete a degree' but due to having undiagnosed (recently diagnosed at 44) ADHD' I struggled with the learning environment at school and did not achieve a TEE score suitable for entry to university at school leavers age'" she said.

"Upon reflection' this was a positive thing as I found my path in corporate from an early age and flourished in the workplace."

She said while researching the different MBAs on offer' CQU was the most attractive as it was wholly online and flexible.

"This enabled me to work within my strengths and my work/parenting schedule' and hyperfocus when it suited my energy levels to complete blocks of study'" she said.

Her background includes completing a structural drafting traineeship with her Dad' after leaving school' and then moving into management roles within Engineering companies.

Prior to her current role' Carly has been involved in delivery of large-scale projects' including the implementation of NBN' working in the Defence sector and volunteering for an Indigenous NFP organisation.

She said her varied roles in senior management have shaped her as a leader but CQU's MBA had shown her new aspects to develop.

"I am wrapped with what I have studied so far' it has been very relevant to my current role' and I have applied many learnings to my career and the teams I work with'" she said.

"The only real challenge I faced was a long break in the lead up to my ADHD diagnosis. I got through the first two units at a good pace as I had a high level of interest' however once this naturally waned' I did experience a lot of procrastination and almost a 'writers' block.

"I had great support from the course management staff and managed to jump back into study late last year and submit the assignment I was stuck on' only to receive a HD mark. This gave me confidence to continue and regain momentum."

"In addition' I have made great connections with my assessor Professor Kate Ames which will last well beyond the completion of this course."

She said great leadership came down to a manager's compassion and understanding of human traits.

"Great leaders take responsibility for growth in their organisations and their people and recognise where changes need to be implemented' and when to make change. They are agile in their approach and can apply varied leadership styles where situations demand it. They have a solid moral compass and a high propensity for service to others" she said.

"(The MBA) is a great course - a high level of detail and challenge for the student and is continuously thought-provoking. I feel that the course material is very current and relevant to contemporary issues facing business leaders.
"Course content aside' there is a fantastic opportunity to make new connections within the MBA-L community. Everyone is helpful' friendly and always willing to mentor on the course content. These connections' even with the course markers' will be long lasting and a very valuable part of the MBA experience.

"It's been a fantastic journey so far' particularly as this is my first university experience. Another attractive aspect to the CQU MBA is the low cost - it is very reasonable and affordable."