Why charity CEO Mandy Burns came to study at Melbourne Business School
For Mandy Burns, studying at Melbourne Business School was a chance to improve the impact her organisation has on young people in need.
Mandy is the CEO of Ardoch Youth Foundation, a charity that improves educational outcomes for children and young people in disadvantaged communities.
Mandy joined Ardoch as a volunteer in 1997 and rose through the ranks to eventually become its CEO in 2008. To ensure she had the best-possible skills to guide the charity into the future, Mandy enrolled in our Advanced Management Program.
"It stood out for its engagement with leadership, the capacity for reflective practice, the focus on real-life learning and adapting leadership challenges," she says.
On the course, Mandy learned from leaders of other businesses in other sectors – and also from world-class faculty members who teach on our MBA program as well.
"They have a real breadth of knowledge and a real capacity to teach," she says.
Ardoch was founded by Kathy Hilton, who was working as a school counsellor in Melbourne in 1988 when she came across a 17-year-old schoolgirl struggling to find somewhere to live and complete her Year 11 studies.
Kathy turned to family and friends to help the girl and was soon swamped with more requests – motivating her to establish Ardoch in 1992.
The charity now employs more than 1000 people and receives support from major organisations across Australia, including insurer AIA, NAB Bank and commercial law firm Clayton Utz.
Leading such an important organisation is a huge responsibility for Mandy, who has gained in confidence since completing the program.
"I've already started recommending it to colleagues and friends. It's really practical, engaging, and – without wanting to sound too extravagant – life-changing."