Australia's top Executive MBA keeps getting better, says The Economist
Marnie Dalton chose Melbourne Business School because she wanted to study with quality classmates – and it was a good choice, according to the latest international rankings.
The category of culture and classmates was a strong contributor to the rise, as was teaching quality and relevance of the program.
For Marnie, a Business Development Manager at Dalton Consulting Engineers, finding a strong cohort experience was one of her biggest priorities.
"One of the things that drove me to MBS was that, not only would I be receiving a quality program, but alongside that, I’d be connecting and collaborating with a really quality cohort," she says.
"Being able to connect and collaborate with the people around me and my peers has been invaluable. I probably underestimated just how much I would get out of it."
The Executive MBA is normally delivered in four-day modules spread over 18 months, where students live and study at the School from Thursday to Sunday, away from the distractions of work and home.
Marnie's cohort has had an unusual experience so far, given the COVID-19 lockdown in March forced several of the subjects online at short notice.
"Our cohort experience has definitely been interesting because we were one weekend in when we all had to head home because of COVID," she says.
"But MBS has done a great job in ensuring that we maintain that connection with each other throughout the program. The professors have been incredibly inspiring, and I'm really appreciating how they've managed to pivot during this time and deliver in a very different way to what they've done before."
Marnie is studying an MBA to broaden her horizons, having begun in communication positions at the company co-founded by her father before moving into more senior roles.
"We've had great success over the last few years and grown quite rapidly, so we're not so much a family company but a company that happens to have a family within it," she says.
"I wanted executive training so I could confidently sit in a room with my peers and make decisions and have that broader business understanding of how an entire organisation works – not just my area."
Marnie says the experience of having to stay connected online during COVID-19 has brought her classmates even closer together.
"I think the cohort itself, from being able to bond from those experiences, is connecting more offsite as well, through things like WhatsApp, and keeping connected with what's happening in the MBA and also with us professionally within our own organisations during a very different and trying time," she says.
"Outstanding faculty, staff and alumni are all crucial elements of our programs and School, but it is the exceptional cohort of students that we are able to bring together that sets MBS apart from other business schools in the region," he says.
"The ranking success, while never an objective, is a nice byproduct of the many things that make our EMBA a world-class degree."