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MBA becoming a pre-requisite for career advancement

La Trobe alumnus Marcus Guthrie completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in late 2015, studying night classes while working full-time. He’s now the CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital, where he oversees 130 staff, three theatres, 29 in-patients beds, a day procedure unit and an oncology unit. Guthrie shares his insights on why you need an MBA to progress your career, and the benefits of studying at a regional Victorian campus.

 

La Trobe alumnus Marcus Guthrie, CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital

From the hotel business to CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital

I’ve been in management roles since 2000, albeit in a different career, as a director in luxury hotels around the world. My career path was from the Whitsundays, through the Caribbean, to the Seychelles and in the Maldives. There I was tasked with converting two islands from three star to five star. We mobilised 750 multinational staff and the project was quite successful. Along the way I had a family developing, so we decided to come home to Mildura. Initially, I was appointed General Manager of the Mildura Golf Resort. Then, I was awarded a position as Business Manager at the Mildura Base Hospital. That progressed to Patient Services Manager, looking after four departments and around 100 staff. And then Medical Administration Manager, taking care of all the senior specialists in the hospital, as well as Ramsay Healthcare Specialist clinic. In late 2017, I became the CEO of Mildura Health Private Hospital. As I was progressing in the healthcare industry, I realised I needed an MBA for three reasons. The first was the learning and growth opportunity; the second reason was that it’s really becoming a prerequisite to have an MBA on your file; and thirdly, largely, for career advancement. An MBA is fast becoming a prerequisite for career advancement.

 

Doing an MBA

Starting an MBA offers a fantastic learning and growth opportunity and a network of professional friendships. A lot of businesses require their middle to upper management cohort to have an MBA, for the value it brings to an organisation.

First, it cements the management fundamentals that you already know. What I found interesting was that management fundamentals haven’t really changed since the 1700 and 1800s, so it’s about learning to apply those theories to your everyday practice. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on those management fundamentals and prune them to suit the current business landscape. Second, there’s a large focus on sustainability and responsible, ethical leadership. I really enjoyed that aspect of the MBA – it ensured that I was on the right path within the work environment.

What I enjoyed the most was the networking. When I started my MBA there were 66 people in my cohort, many of whom I still keep in contact with – they’re from all different industries around Victoria and Australia. I learnt about their careers, about their professional challenges and professional opportunities, and the ideas they are trying to implement in their own careers. That was a really rich learning experience for me. Marcus was also drawn to the La Trobe MBA’s flexibility: “I could spend time with my family, handle my work commitments, but also have class time.”

 

La Trobe’s Mildura campus

La Trobe’s campus in Mildura was a significant factor for me starting my MBA, because I could complete the MBA from my home base. My job was really busy, but so was my personal life. We have three very young children, so I needed to support to my wife and children at home. At the time I spoke at length with the MBA Director and it was quite clear that the La Trobe MBA was a great opportunity for me. I could spend time with my family, handle my work commitments, but also have class time. There was great flexibility.

I was able to complete work, race home to see the family and then go to La Trobe to study one or two nights a week, from 6–9pm. I really enjoyed the night classes because they suited my lifestyle – they didn’t affect my work schedule. As well as that, there was the option of intensives from Fridays through to Mondays. You could pick various intensives on your calendar throughout the year and take off a significant amount of study time by doing that. And if I wanted to travel to Melbourne or the other regional campuses to complete my studies, I could.

 

Clear vision

My vision was to become CEO of this hospital one day. It still feels quite strange to have achieved my goal, although I’ve had a really clear vision for five or six years now. I remember saying to one of the Board members five years ago that, ‘Ultimately this is where I see myself and this is where I’d like to be’. It’s good to have a clear vision, but there’s a lot of hard work and also an element of luck involved – quite easily I could have gone in another direction. So that’s been a bizarre realisation, that I’ve actually got here – all the while knowing that the hard work has only just started.

There are many service moments in a patient’s journey that can have a positive effect on their overall care, says Mildura Health Private Hospital CEO Marcus Guthrie. You can draw a lot of parallels between hospitality and hospitals. Patient treatment should be viewed holistically, inclusive of all interactions a patient has throughout their journey of care. We look at a patient’s journey through a hospital as opportunities to care, and our interactions with family and friends of the patient are important contributions in the journey of care. It’s not just about treating the patient and the patient gets better, it’s also about the other contributions along the way: the quality of food and the friendliness of staff that deliver the food, the cleanliness of the hospital, or saying hello to a family member as you pass in the corridor. There are a significant amount of service moments in a patient’s journey that can have a positive effect on the overall care of the patient.

My vision for Mildura Private Hospital has always been to provide safe, quality healthcare. If the management team and I continue to have that goal, then I’m sure we’ll be very successful. The hospital’s a fantastic resource for Mildura. We service 70 per cent of Mildura Health Fund members and we also service a catchment area of Broken Hill, Renmark and Robinvale. It’s a really important hospital for the local community, especially because we’re co-located with the Mildura Base Hospital. There’s plans for expansion in the future, which will benefit the local community and members. Hopefully in the future, both hospitals can work together even further to improve service to the community.

 

Marcus Guthrie graduating from his MBA at La Trobe in 2015

 

I talk to people about La Trobe’s MBA all the time because I really believe in it. Don’t be worried about the workload. You should treat it similar to a sport, where you have to train two nights a week and then you generally have one day on the weekend that you’re committing to that sport. If you can commit that as the bare minimum, you should be able to navigate through an MBA quite easily.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

Top tips for women in leadership

Today is International Women’s Day and four of La Trobe University’s experts were asked to give their own top tips for a career as a leader. Three of them are currently connected to the La Trobe Business School.

 

Hone your emotional intelligence

Professor Suzanne Young, Head of the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at the La Trobe Business School, gives these tips for women in business:

  • Continually work on improving your emotional intelligence. This is not a static characteristic, but can be learnt and improved upon.
  • Think strategically in terms of work priorities and activities you put your hand up for. Be proactive rather than reactive and move away from focusing on the details as you move up the career ladder.
  • Expand your circle of influence through external and internal networks.

Professor Suzanne Young advises women striving for leadership roles to hone their EI.

 

Lead by doing what you love

Dr Susan Inglis is a Professor of Practice in Management and Director of Executive Education at La Trobe Business School, where she teaches leadership. Her career spans more than 20 years as a management consultant, coupled with 10 years of postgraduate study in organisational learning, leadership and management.

Susan offers the following tips for women in leadership roles:

  • Don’t be afraid to take up space – you have a unique range of gifts to offer the world, so share those gifts!
  • Surround yourself with people who believe and support you and remind you of your strengths.
  • It’s easier to lead when doing what you love. Reflect on what brings you joy and then go for it – create an opportunity to inspire others!

‘Surround yourself with people who remind you of your strengths,’ says La Trobe’s Dr Susan Inglis.

 

Make complacency your enemy

Former CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), Dr Geraldine Kennett, applies her business and collaboration skills to manage La Trobe Business School’s MBA Program. Her tips for women in leadership are:

  • Play to your strengths – empower yourself by understanding your strengths and using them to overcome your weaknesses.
  • Engage others – seek advice from those senior to you, motivate your peers and coach your staff for success.
  • Make complacency your enemy – apply passion, performance and persistence instead.

Dr Geraldine Kennett encourages passion, performance and persistence.

 

Develop your self-confidence

La Trobe’s Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of Academic Partnerships and co-author of Women and Money in Australia: Across the generations, Professor Amalia Di Iorio gives her own advice trifecta:

  • Believe in yourself and have confidencein your abilities.
  • Actively seek opportunities to continuously improve your skills, knowledge and visibility in the organisation.
  • Get to know your team and their capabilities, and provide team members with opportunities to maximise their potential.

Professor Amalia Di Iorio recommends confidence, self-belief and a team focus.

 

Perhaps these points can be distilled into three:

  1. Know and trust in your knowledge and abilities.
  2. Look for opportunities to build your self-knowledge, skills and networks.
  3. Support and motivate your team to reach their potential.

As a woman in leadership, you don’t have to change the world single-handedly – but you can be part of the change. With passion, awareness and a drive to bring your team with you on the journey, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

Online MBA is Australia’s best

La Trobe University’s online Master of Business Administration has been rated the best in Australia by the United Kingdom’s CEO Magazine.

La Trobe’s online MBA was ranked number nine in the world in the widely-respected magazine’s 2017 Global MBA Rankings.

“We are delighted to see La Trobe’s Online MBA program getting the recognition that it rightly deserves,” said Dr Andrew O’Loughlin, the MBA Director at La Trobe University. “The MBA team have worked extremely hard and it is testament to their commitment and hard work that such a new program has been recognised.”

CEO Magazine uses a ranking system entirely geared and weighted to fact-based criteria which, it says, ‘cuts through the noise and provides potential students with a performance benchmark’.

La Trobe’s online MBA can be completed within 12 months from anywhere in the world.

“Our subjects are carefully and specifically designed to facilitate online learning,” said Dr Susan Keller, the MBA Deputy Director at La Trobe. “We do recognise that online learning requires a different style of engagement.

“We have excellent facilitators with industry experience. Live interactive sessions each week add to the richness of the educational experience.”

The recognition for the online MBA from the magazine follows hot on the heels of it featuring in the QS World University Rankings for the first time.

Further to these rankings, La Trobe’s online MBA offers two additional educational experiences. “Our Capstone Boardroom Simulation provides an opportunity for students to illustrate learning in a ‘real-life’ boardroom situation. It is designed to challenge, stretch and validate the students’ learning experience,” said Dr Keller. “While our MBA Career Development Portfolio, facilitated by an industry career consultant, helps students develop and profile their career and leadership skills.”

Details of La Trobe’s top-ranked online MBA are available here.

How our expanded City Campus helps you succeed

By Kelly Griffin

Our expanded City Campus offers you greater learning opportunities and access to our premium concierge and Career-Ready Advantage services.

Located in the heart of Melbourne’s Central Business District, our updated state-of-the-art facilities and services are tailored to help you accelerate your career.

Location, location & flexible study options

Our City Campus is conveniently located on Collins Street to meet the needs of busy, working professionals. As many of our City Campus courses offer study options outside regular working hours, you can fit your study around full-time or part-time work without having to leave the CBD.

Flexible study options in the city centre are just one way our City Campus helps you succeed.

New teaching and learning spaces

In addition to occupying level 20 of the prestigious 360 Collins Street building, our City Campus now extends over levels 2 and 3 to offer you a variety of new and innovative teaching and collaborative learning spaces.

Premium Concierge & support services

At our City Campus, our dedicated Concierge team will be your first touchpoint for all postgraduate student enquiries.

Our Ask La Trobe team will now be available at the City Campus to answer questions about study and student life face to face.

These dedicated support services reflect the University’s commitment to ensuring our students receive the assistance they need in a timely manner.

city-campus-latrobe

Greater course options

We’ve increased our City Campus postgraduate program offerings to meet the demands of business professionals. Choose from our comprehensive suite of Master’s programs including the award-winning La Trobe MBA.

Many courses are available for intensive ‘block mode’ study as well as options for study outside normal working hours.

Career Ready Advantage

As part of Career Ready Advantage, there will be support opportunities and workshops at the city campus for all students during the year. Career Ready Advantage is a program that helps you build your skills, manage your career, track and assess your progress, unlock rewards and build your portfolio, so that when you complete your course, you’re ready to hit the ground running.

To find out more about how our City Campus can off you the flexibility you need to accelerate your career, register for a one-on-one consultation and speak with one of our postgraduate course specialists.

This post was orginally published on the La Trobe University Knowledge Blog.

 

MBA student Travis Lovett wins the Institute of Public Administration Australian (Victoria Division) Young Indigenous Leader Scholarship.

By Geraldine Kennett

Travis Lovett completed his Graduate Diploma in Management (Public Sector) in 2016 and is currently undertaking an MBA with La Trobe Business School (LBS).
Travis joined the Victorian Public Service in 2008, following experience working with Aboriginal community organisations including the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

His first public service role was with the Department of Justice in the Koori Justice Unit where he was instrumental in boosting the Aboriginal workforce of the justice department. In 2012, he was appointed Manager of the Koori Courts in Court Services Victoria where he had policy leadership and oversight of the operation of the Koori Courts.

Travis’s attainment of his LBS Graduate Diploma in Management (Public Sector) supported his appointment to a senior executive role in 2016 with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning where he assists in developing Water for Victoria, the government’s new long-term direction for managing Victoria’s precious water resources. The Water Plan recognises the values that water has for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, and commits the water sector to support Aboriginal participation in Victorian water planning and management frameworks through consultative structures that address the rights and interests of Victoria’s Traditional Owners. Travis is playing a key role in ensuring that the department’s engagement with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities supports the water plan’s objectives.

As Manager, Koori Courts, Travis demonstrated his ability to work collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders to address a challenging set of issues. Travis’ ability to work with each stakeholder group ensures they have input into the design and operation of the initiative was a key part of the initiative’s success. An independent evaluation found that the Koori Court has better engagement within the justice system for Aboriginal Victorians, helping offenders to address the causes of their offending and helping prevent re-offending.

Travis has actively participated in a mentoring relationship with a senior executive, and provided strong professional and cultural support to other Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff. He has been identified as having strong executive potential in the Victorian Public Service. His personal and professional qualities demonstrate a willingness and potential to take full advantage of the professional development opportunities offered by the scholarship. Travis shows initiative in his work, and extends himself above and beyond his ‘position description’ to contribute to the organisations he works with – offering constructive ideas and following through. His ambition is matched by his potential. Travis’ further studies (Masters of Business Administration at La Trobe University, 2014-2017) demonstrate his intellectual capability, his curiosity, and his commitment to professional development.

How our MBA graduates are giving back

By Kelly Griffin

An MBA can advance your career, increase your earning potential and strengthen your network with fellow business leaders.

The professional advantages of pursuing an MBA are widely reported, but what’s less highlighted is the remarkable way our MBA graduates are using their acquired knowledge and networks to give back to their communities.

Here’s how three MBA graduates are giving back.

bernie-squire

Bernie Squire

Bus Manager Wodonga Chamber of Commerce, MBA Grad 2016, Board Member AW Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund

Why did you decide to study an MBA? 

I was made redundant from a senior management role in the finance industry and I was having difficulty finding another suitable role. After talking with a careers adviser I decided to do an MBA for a couple of reasons; to gain academic credibility and also a better chance of employment at the senior executive/director level. The La Trobe MBA really appealed to me because of the flexible delivery blend of ‘face to face’, ‘block intensive’, and ‘video conference’ unit delivery.

What was one of your greatest learnings or takeaways from your MBA? 

I really benefitted from the cohort network that you develop, including the in-class discussion and debate. I guess for me, however, the biggest takeaways were: a greater appreciation of diversity; the ability to research and reflect on critical issues; and, a heightened awareness of corporate responsibility and sustainability issues.

How did doing your MBA help you give back? 

As the manager of the local Chamber of Commerce, I’ve used my new sustainability knowledge to connect with organisations like ‘The Benefits Corporation’ and ‘Blabs Australia and New Zealand’.  We have run a number of Chamber events focussed around being a Conscious Business and increasing our local businesses awareness of their impact in a global economy.

Angela Kelly angela-kelly

Proposal Manager, Veolia Water. MBA Grad 2016

Why did you decide to study an MBA?

I’ve always really enjoyed learning and was looking for a way to expand my knowledge in a formal way. At the same time, I was looking to progress my career to a higher level.

While I felt that my engineering degree had given me a great technical base, I wanted to develop my business skills and improve my ability to work with others.

What was one of your greatest learnings or takeaways from your MBA?

My greatest learning of the MBA is the understanding that working with people who are different to me is not a problem but is actually a benefit.

Having a diverse team that is open to new ideas provides you with a competitive advantage in the market place. Part of this learning is that constructive conflict can actually be beneficial as it is a sign that people are engaged in their work and that they care about the outcomes.

How did doing your MBA help you give back?

The things I learned during the MBA provided me with the courage to provide support and guidance to less experienced colleagues to improve their outcomes. The MBA also raised my awareness of how important equality is for our community.  Women’s education is the best way to improve the lifestyles of communities and their future generations.

Knowing that in Australia the Indigenous community is the most disadvantaged, I used my MBA skills to organise a fundraiser to raise over $3,000 for Indigenous literacy.

Hodi Beauliv low resHodi Beauliv

Executive Management Business Development Sunraysia Community Health, MBA Grad 2015, on Board of Mallee Track Health and Community Services

Why did you decide to study an MBA?

It’d been over 15 years since I’d completed my first degree at La Trobe, so I knew I needed to do something to bring my skills up to date.

I spoke to a staff member at the La Trobe Bendigo Open Day about my passion for social justice and my management aspirations. She recommended La Trobe’s MBA given its focus on sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The ability to complete some semester long units by teleconference in Bendigo, but also the opportunity to meet face-to-face with people from all over the State when completing block units, really appealed to me.

How did doing your MBA help you give back?

After completing my MBA I was exhausted, but passionate to do something to give back to the community.

I am now an Executive Manager in a rural Community Health Service in Mildura. In this role I help drive change to develop services that meet the needs of our local community. I am able to raise new and innovative ideas of how this can be done, with a focus on sustainability of the service, not just short term outcomes, by bringing a corporate social responsibility management focus to my work.

On a personal level, I have also joined the Mallee Track Health & Community Services Board.  Mallee Track covers a large number of small rural communities. By participating on the Board I am able to contribute to the sustainability of the organisation, by ensuring appropriate governance practices are in place for the successful long-term operation of the Health Service.

La Trobe University’s founding Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Myers, once said: ‘The true measure of a university’s greatness is the total effect it has on human welfare and progress’.

We’re extremely proud that our MBA graduates have been able to succeed in their chosen profession while also using their acquired skills to help out others and strengthen their community.

Find out more about studying an MBA or book a one-to-one consultation to discuss your study options.

This article was originally published on The Knowledge Blog.

ASSC Professional Staff Awards-LBS success

lbs-logo

On 12 December 2016, ASSC presented its professional staff awards in a ceremony held at La Trobe University’s Melbourne Campus.

These awards recognise the contributions of individual university professional staff members or teams of co-workers in the College, who have excelled in the performance of their duties, made outstanding contributions and inspired other members of the College community.

Across all categories, the university looks for nominations that demonstrate La Trobe’s cultural qualities of connected, innovative, accountable and care.

This year, several LBS staff members were nominated or awarded:

  • Winner of Collaboration award: Dr Kylie White: Dr Kylie White is part of the Curriculum projects team.
  • Winner of the ‘Innovation’ award: Donna Burnett: Donna Burnett is School Manager for La Trobe Business School. She won the innovation award, awarded to the staff member who develops new ideas or processes, or improves existing processes.
  • Winner of the ‘Unsung Hero’ award: Adam Heron: Adam Heron is a Senior Administration Officer (Accreditation) at La Trobe Business School. This award is presented to the staff member who provides exemplary service from behind the scenes.
  • Winner of the ‘Workplace Culture’ award: Donna Burnett. This award is presented to a staff member who contributes to a positive and healthy work environment.
  • Special Commendation for the ‘Extra Mile’ award: Dr Kylie White. This award is given to the staff member who goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional service.
  • Nominated for Collaboration award: MBA Team: The MBA team, consisting of LBS’s Belinda Westerlo, along with Hayley May and Kristy Lillyst, were nominated in the Collaboration category. This award goes to the staff member(s) who work collegially with and advocates for colleagues in or outside of the College.

Collaborating across borders – The CR3+ Network

PRME La Trobe Business School

By Giselle Weybrecht

La Trobe Business School in Australia has been a PRME signatory since 2008 and an active PRME Champion. They joined forces with several other PRME Signatories to create CR3+ Network. Together the network provides a supportive platform to build international collaboration and enables the participant business schools to work with the PRME and build international and national capacity in Responsible Management Education. I spoke with Associate Professor Suzanne Young, Head of Department and Dr Swati Nagpal, Department of Management and Marketing, from La Trobe Business School, about their participation in this network.

What is the CR3+ Network and how did it come about?

La Trobe Business School has been working with ISAE (Brazil), Audencia Nantes School of Management (France) and Hanken School of Economics (Finland) since 2008 in an effort to exchange ideas, pedagogy, curriculum and research in the area of corporate responsibility. Head of LBS, Professor Paul Mather wrote: “With the support of the Principles for Responsible Executive Education, the CR3+ network’s objective is to promote a debate, inspire changes and propose solutions for challenges related to sustainability and governance, interacting and reaching what UNESCO calls ‘The 5th Pillar of Education: Learning to change and to change society.’”

What are the key features of the programme?

A key outcome of the partnership has been the hosting of an annual CR3+ conference, which has been held at each of the member institutions. Past themes have included governance and sustainability; CSR: expanding horizons, and the power of responsibility. The aim of the CR3+ conferences is to strengthen the partnership and dialogue around sustainability and responsibility, and provide a forum where ideas, developments and concerns in regards to these issues and the work of the PRME can be brought forward.

How is CR3+ different than other similar networks you are part of? How did you meet these specific schools and decide to create a network? 

It involves four schools that are strongly committed to PRME, and which later became PRME Champions, so PRME is very much at the core of CR3+. The network has been driven by the will to learn from each other, bearing in mind that the four schools are from very different and distant parts of the world (Australia, Brazil, Finland and France). From a very early point the core idea was to create a platform for these learning possibilities by organizing a conference involving all 3 (later 4) schools.

What have been some of the challenges? 

The schools are different and distant, not only in geographical terms but also in cultural and institutional terms. Creating special exchanges for students, for example, has faced a number of practical challenges related to differences in terms of tuition fees, types of study programmes, periods of studies, accreditations, etc. Different expectations about the conference have also caused some challenges but overall the learning opportunities and outcomes have far outweighed the challenges.

Successes? 

We have now done one full round of CR3+ conferences (in all 4 schools) and are about to start a second cycle. The mobilization from the different schools has been on the rise – for example, ISAE/FGV researchers have sent many abstracts to the CR3+ conference to be organized in Helsinki – and there has been growing integration between CR3+ events and PRME chapters – the conference in Helsinki will also be tied to a doctoral course organized by the PRME Chapter Nordic (more specifically Hanken, Stockholm School of Economics, BI Norwegian School of Management and CBS).

The CR3+ network has also enabled joint research projects and resulting publications as well as student and staff exchanges.

In autumn 2011, LBS hosted a masters-level exchange student from Hanken to work on a community development project.  Similar student exchanges are currently being planned for LBS students to have the opportunity to extend PRME –related projects at the other CR3+ partner universities.

In 2015, a collaboration between LBS and ISAE tested a new approach to ‘Promoting internationalisation and cross-cultural competency through online collaboration’, which provided opportunities for LBS MBA students to engage in an academic cross-cultural experience with Masters students from ISAE.  The students replicated real-world global communication, by collaborating virtually with people from a different cultural background in real time and jointly solving a series of management problems using online software.

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

The network’s success is due to the relationships between key academic staff in each of the business schools and is also based in their common belief in and focus on the goals of the PRME mission. Members of the network were all early adopters of the PRME and champions of change in their respective institutions. Each School brings to the network their own expertise and demonstrates the national differences in Responsibility and Sustainability initiatives that are seen in academia, industry and government.

Each of the business schools have supported the CR3+ network as they acknowledge that working collaboratively provides greater opportunities for staff and students than working alone. Benefits in research, teaching, partnerships and dialogue have been demonstrated and the parties remain excited about opportunities that are coming from working with others in the new SDG project

What’s next for the initiative?

A pilot project is currently being led by LBS with support from the CR3+ network focused on facilitating a series of national workshops in each country between PRME higher education business schools and members of the UN Global Compact Network to present and interact on the theme of the SDGs. The outcomes of the workshops will be improved dialogue and networks between universities and other sectors, and the initiating of joint projects on the SDGs.

The 5th CR3+ conference will be held at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki on 28-29 April 2017. The theme of the conference is ‘Making Corporate Responsibility Useful’, where the dominant logic of the ‘business case’ argument for CSR, and the legitimising effect this has on business engagement in CSR, will be brought into question.

This post was originally published on the UNPRME’s Primitime blog.

Professors of Practice Profiles – Janet Russell: “The mix of experience in our Professor of Practice team is outstanding and complementary to the LBS faculty, in total providing an invaluable resource to our students.”

Janet Russell

When La Trobe Business School introduced the Professors of Practice concept early last year, Janet Russell was one of the first Professors of Practice to be appointed.

As one of the first Business Schools in Australia to pioneer this concept, LBS intends that Professors of Practice will provide students with invaluable insights into the industry, while also  strengthening links between LBS and industry.

With experience spanning from being a CEO and Managing Director to running her own executive coaching service for successful entrepreneurs, tech specialists, lawyers and accountants, Janet Russell has an impressive breadth of experience to bring to La Trobe Business School. ”As an executive coach, I aim to help clients identify the thoughts and behaviours that can hold them back in their careers or leadership roles so they can grow conscious of these and develop new ways of thinking and behaving that serve them and their organisations much better,” she says. “The key in my work as an executive coach is to ask the right questions to unlock what the real or underlying issue is for an individual. For example, I’ll often deal with clients who have been promoted on the basis of research they conducted, but they feel unequipped for their new position because they are insecure about their managerial or people skills. By asking the right questions, you can support an individual to deal with the often irrational fears that hold them back from realising their own potential.”

Currently, Janet Russell teaches on La Trobe Business School’s MBA programme, where she delivers subjects on Responsible Leadership, HR and Management. “I really enjoy teaching especially as my professional experience and knowledge are well aligned with La Trobe Business School’s values and goals, like creating work-ready graduates and fostering global citizens.” Janet says. “I was also very pleased to see that our Business School was named one of the only PRME champions in Australia recently. A strong focus on sustainability and developing responsible leaders is crucial for organisations globally.”

In November last year, Janet travelled to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she taught an intensive course on responsible leadership to twenty MBA students. “It was a wonderful experience to compare and contrast the learning environment of our Hanoi based students with our Australian based students.

When asked what she thinks a Professor of Practice should bring to a course, Janet Russell is clear: “Relevant experience and practical application of how what’s studied in a business subject translates into the real world of work and organisational environments, which I think all Professors of Practice have in abundance. The mix of experience in our Professor of Practice team is outstanding and complementary to the LBS faculty, in total providing an invaluable resource to our students.”

LBS Professor of Practice Profiles – Susan Inglis: “I’m passionate about helping others to more effectively lead and manage people.”

Susan Inglis Professors of Practice

Since early 2015, La Trobe has introduced a team of Professors of Practice. As one of the first Business Schools in Australia to pioneer this concept, LBS is hoping that it will provide their students with the insight into the industry they need, and form a bridge between connections in the industry and LTU Business Students.

Susan Inglis started as a Professor of Practice last June, but has been teaching at La Trobe University since 2013. Coming from a HR consulting background, Susan has worked for small business, government agencies, and the non-profit sector.

“I really enjoy having colleagues to collaborate with,” she says. “Before I started in this role, I worked mostly on my own on specific projects. Here we have the opportunity to collectively work together as a team to improve both student outcomes and relationships with industry.”

At La Trobe Business School, Susan currently teaches in the MBA programme, focussing on leadership and management. She has also taught these MBA courses in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“I’m passionate about helping others to more effectively lead and manage people.” Susan Inglis says. “This includes bringing out the best in individual capabilities and also teaching students how to maximise group cooperation. In my twenty years of consulting experience and in my doctoral research, I’ve recognised the criticality of explicit collaboration processes in the workforce. It’s incredibly valuable if managers understand individual motivators and strengths to bring out people’s best capabilities.”

In her teaching, Susan Inglis makes an effort to provide students with real-life experience so they can apply theory to their current professional careers: “In teaching conflict-management, for example, students are asked to look at a conflict present in their own work life, and apply a conflict-resolution strategies to themselves directly.” The results are often enlightening: “A lot of my students reach a true “aha” moment through this authentic assessment. Undoubtedly because it impacts them so intensely and directly.”

In her eyes, providing Business School students with this type of experience is exactly what a Professor of Practice should do: “Not only should we provide students with the ability to be self-aware, we should also equip them with the tools they need to be responsible leaders in the work-force, recognising the important influencing role they can play beyond their work roles.”

“This is where Professors of Practice are incredibly valuable,” she adds. “These people are highly experienced and can provide an invaluable real-life perspective to complement the theories being taught. They have worked as managers, led teams, and displayed a degree of entrepreneurship that can be enormously helpful and inspirational to students.”

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