His 'leap of faith' sideswiped by pandemic, further study provides Peter the perfect landing

10 April 2023

He’ll cross the stage with two postgraduate degrees at CQUniversity’s Melbourne graduation, and training entrepreneur Peter Butko credits his career development, and pandemic survival, to the challenging studies.

Tackling his Master of Business Administration (Leadership) in 2020, and his Master of Educational Neuroscience across 2021-22, the passionate graduate said his studies changed how he saw the world, and how he helped others too.

“My husband Bryce (Jardine) and I left comfortable jobs in human resources and training in the pharmaceutical sector in January 2020, to finally take a chance to start a new business,” he explained.

“In March 2020, Melbourne experienced its first lockdown, as we entered the COVID-19 era that would last for two more years.

“So probably not the best timing in hindsight!”

Stuck at home with no clients and no income, Peter and Bryce – together Bryter Training – took to YouTube to share their experience and offerings, despite no background in filming or editing.

The popular posts captured their company culture expertise, personal stories, plus “fabulous out-of-the-closet thinking” and shoe obsession.

“It was funny in hindsight, and also terrible. But it did start the ball rolling on looking for ways to improve myself!” he laughed.

Both Peter and Bryce took on CQU’s MBA (Leadership), a hyperflexible online program that they could complete in their own time as Melbourne lockdowns rolled on. Peter’s passion for intelligent leadership prompted him to continue into the Master of Educational Neuroscience.

“While some luck and some new contracts kept the lights on, the study gave me what I needed to grow the business and adapt,” Peter said.

Peter will deliver the student response at the CQUniversity Melbourne Graduation on Thursday 20 April 2023 at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, and he and Bryce will cross the stage with their degrees, both graduating with distinction.

Since finishing his MBA(L), Peter was named a finalist in 2022’s MBA Australasia Graduate Management Awards, in the Outstanding Graduate of the Year category.

The resilient Southbank resident has also volunteered as a mentor in CQU’s MBA(L) program, and will graduate alongside some of his mentees.

As culture and performance specialist, Peter says he has a new focus on neurological and psychological needs of individuals and workplaces, inspired by his studies.

“Studying with CQU was one of the best decisions and experiences of my life,” he said.

“I blended the content from both degrees to create a neuroscientific approach to business leadership, and I met inspirational people from across the globe who taught me so much about different cultures, industries, and unique life experiences.”

Nearly 600 students will cross the stage at the CQU Melbourne graduation, across more than 40 disciplines including business, health, nursing and paramedicine, aviation, information technology, engineering and accounting.

Since its launch in 2019, the MBA(L) has attracted more than 1000  students, and Course Manager Noal Atkinson said Peter was among an inspiring cohort of graduates.

“As students have five years to complete the course, we are now seeing big groups at graduations too, and hearing so many stories of lives changed through the flexible study and inspiring content,” he said.

“We are so proud of Peter, and grateful for the inspiration he provides mentoring new students too.”

Priced at $18,360 with pay-as-you-go and FEE-Help options, CQUniversity is proud that the quality MBA is nothing like traditional MBAs.

Visit cqu.edu.au/mbaleadership for more information and to enrol and get started now.