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MBA student profile: Chris Leeson

31 August 2020
Written by Chris Leeson
MBA student Chris Leeson talks about why he decided to study the part-time MBA and the process of discovery that led him to his decision.

Choosing to do an MBA is a tough call to make. The decision is made even harder by the fact that they are offered by most universities, can be hugely expensive and have the potential to change your life. 

Image of Chris Leeson

Chris Leeson, Current MBA Student 

As a curious person by nature I’ve become a true generalist by design. In my lifelong quest to understand the world around me and to figure out the how and why of it all, I’ve unconsciously plotted a route into becoming a professional problem solver. I completed an undergraduate degree in business and developed a keen interest and focus in economics. I’m now at a point in my career where I’ve decided I wanted and needed a challenge. I want to learn more and earn more.

I realised it was time to kick my career up a gear, or start looking for projects, community initiatives or consulting work to be a part of — either way it was time to do more. Currently working for a global investment bank I found myself trying to decide whether I become a Chartered Financial Analyst, a Chartered Accountant, do a Master of Economics or complete an MBA. A very tough call, and one that many people find themselves in.

Why an MBA?

It wasn’t just a sense of urgency that drove my decision but a process of discovery where I found what I didn’t want to do. As cliché as it sounds, finding out what you don’t want to do is almost as important as figuring out what you want. This process of discovery started by looking inwards. Some of the questions I asked myself were:

  • What is my personality type and what are my personal strengths and weaknesses?
  • What skills do I want to develop and what skills do I need?
  • What do I want to do and where do I want to go?

After some self-discovery and attending some MBA taster classes and University open days, I started to form a decision. I decided to take the plunge and applied to do the part-time MBA at the University of Sydney.

I chose to study part time because I couldn’t afford the risk of being out of work for 12-18 months whilst purely studying. I wanted to continue to build my professional network in addition to starting to build a new network of diverse individuals in my MBA cohort. The part-time MBA is limited to 50 students in each cohort which meant I’d be able to build meaningful connections.

Starting my MBA

Starting the course and paying for the course are some pretty big challenges in their own right. I found a way to fund my course through a combination of options. Having now started the MBA I know it is money well spent and it feels like the right place to be.

The part-time MBA is intense and hard work. It is already proving to be a big investment of my time, but I’m really enjoying it. I’ve met some intelligent, friendly, and great people and I’ve already learnt more about myself, leadership and business. I can see how a top ranked MBA program can really change your life.

It’s the network, it’s the knowledge and it’s the skills.

It wasn’t just a sense of urgency that drove my decision but a process of discovery where I found what I didn’t want to do.
Chris Leeson

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