CQU shares in the spotlight at MBA Australasia awards

11 October 2022

CQUniversity was well represented at this year's MBA Australasia (MBAus) Graduate Management Awards (GMA) with Master of Business (Leadership) graduate Peter Butko and Course Manager Noal Atkinson celebrated for their outstanding professional practice' innovation' and leadership.

Hosted at a Brisbane awards ceremony on 30 September' Mr Atkinson was named the Most Inspirational MBA Lecturer and Peter Butko was a successful finalist for the Most Outstanding MBA Graduate Award.

The national award recognised Mr Atkison for the crucial role he plays in his students success' supporting hundreds of emerging and aspiring leaders through the CQU's MBA (Leadership) since its inception in 2019.

"CQUniversity had the largest representation at the ceremony with a significant number of MBA (Leadership) students in attendance - there was a feeling of team CQU in the air and I was proud to represent the university'" Mr Atkinson said.

"Even to be shortlisted was such an honour and to be acknowledged by your own community is a joy.

"It is one thing to be confident in your abilities' but it is another to have your industry peers recognise it."

Mr Atkinson's said he has always been determined to provide the highest level of support to his students' driving him to explore innovative teaching methods and create a positive online experience.

"The MBA (Leadership) is designed to be hyperflexible and for students to progress through the course at their own pace. As a result' it can be difficult for students to interact with each other'" he explained.

"It has always been my goal to facilitate a strong online community where students can mentor their peers and support each other.

"Every new student to the course is matched with a graduate from their unit to guide them through the process. This creates strong links between students and their graduate mentors."

While Mr Atkison's job as a lecturer is to be the general font of expert knowledge' the dedicated teacher goes above and beyond to inspire the next generation of business professionals.

"Studying an MBA is hard and full of challenges' so I often end up being the group cheerleader. I get to know each of the students and there is a strong source of pride as I watch them become something amazing'" Mr Atkinson explained.

"I get to see into their homes' watch their kids grow up' check over the assignments that contain personal reflections and celebrate them when they get that promotion.

"My job is to manage this entire process which creates an emotional connection with the students.

Director of MBA Australasia Chris Jacko congratulated Mr Atkinson for his award' highlighting the CQU Lecturer's commitment and dedication to his students.

"A core tenant of MBAus is to build the community of MBAs across the region. It is clear that Noal sees the same value in this' having worked tirelessly to deliver this to his students to achieve higher levels of engagement' as well as with alumni – not just finishing when the course does.

"From testimonial videos to engagement statistics' and teacher survey results' it is clear Noal is an exceptional and inspirational lecturer in the MBA community' Mr Jacko said.

"The passion Noal carries for his students is quite infectious. It comes across clearly that Noal derives motivation through the success of his students. Noal successfully' and repeatedly' inspires his students to re-engage with the course and to continue on their MBA journey."

Fellow GMA finalist Peter Butko is one such CQU alumnus that has achieved great success since completing his MBA (Leadership) in 2021.

Mr Butko was nominated for the Most Outstanding MBA Graduate Award which recognised the passionate entrepreneur's business management skills in building his organisational development company called Bryter Training.

"While I didn't end up winning the category' I received some great feedback' and it was great to see CQU's MBA program receive recognition for its quality'" Mr Butko said.

"My studies have had a tremendously positive impact on my life – personally and professionally. On a professional level' it has added a degree of validity to the work that I do.

"But beyond the perception' the actual content has allowed me to enter client workplaces and have in-depth discussions on all aspects of business development including marketing' strategic planning' and product lifecycle and growth.

"When my husband and I launched Bryter Training' we started out focusing on Human Resources (HR) and commercial development across the pharmaceutical industry.

"However' over time' and in response to the exposure to new ideas through my studies and changing market needs' we now focus on researching and creating bespoke training solutions for organisations."

He credited CQU and the University's staff for helping him to achieve these business leadership goals.

"The flexible approach and the program design provided by CQU are unique and works! The content is highly relevant to contemporary business'" Mr Butko said.

"Importantly' the faculty and program leaders were incredibly supportive - Noal always provided templates and videos which clearly explained how to approach the different writing tasks which ensured that I had a solid foundation to build on."

Excited to further advance his education' Mr Butko enrolled in CQU's Master of Educational Neuroscience (MEdNeuro) while also volunteering his time as a graduate mentor in the MBA (Leadership) program.

"The MEdNeuro degree is specifically related to my role in corporate training and adult learning. It allowed me to combine the leadership concepts of the MBA (Leadership) with a deeper understanding of ways to support and impact it on a neurological level'" he explained.

"I also enjoy utilising these skills through my mentoring role. Mentoring is a two-way street where I also learn from the people I mentor.

"I get to explore different approaches and applications of the content' and of course mentoring means I remain up to date with the course content' which then assists my own learning integration.

"The people I've met along the way have made the experience unforgettable. Being an online course' you get to meet people from around the world who want to grow as students and professionals alongside you.

"The friends and connections I have made along the way are more priceless than any award."

The GMAs provide recognition to outstanding members of the MBA community' and shine a spotlight on them' their career' and their actions.

The awards create an opportunity for outstanding business and management graduates to be recognised' and bring together the most talented alumni' universities' and colleges from around the Australasia region.

Full details about the MBA award categories' eligibility' and submission requirements can be found at mbaus.com.au/gma