Setting up for success in post-MBA career progression

14 November 2022
Written by Betty Xiang, MBA Career & Corporate Relations Manager
Betty Xiang reflects on her experience with the MBA Class of 2022 and navigating their post-MBA career aspirations.

Working in the MBA career development space has shown me how passionate and driven MBA candidates are in creating their own career change as well as positive social impacts. 

A shared common question among candidates is around setting up for early success to achieve their post-MBA career progression they have set up prior to the commencement of the program. As every MBA candidate comes into the program with an individual career trajectory and a unique set of interests, values, skills and capabilities, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t fit well here. However, there are definitely common themes shared by many MBA candidates who have managed to achieve their post-MBA career goals.

Self-reflection is embedded throughout the MBA programs at the University of Sydney, and provides a lot of guidance in the MBA career development work we do. As we recently welcomed new cohorts of MBA students officially back onto campus, I took a moment to reflect on my experiences with the most recent full-time MBA graduates (Class of 2022). These candidates commenced and completed the full-time MBA at their own homes in 19 countries across the globe but demonstrated strong resilience and perseverance when facing many challenges and uncertainties brought by the pandemic.

Class of 2022, MBA (Leadership and Enterprise)

Since their graduation in March 2022, I have followed the journey of 3 of our MBA graduates - Catherine Olivier (Co-Founder, LeukBook, Sydney), Connor Hershkowitz (Management Consultant, ADAPTOVATE, Sydney) and Sumit Bhattacharya (Relationship Head of Operations, Tata Consultancy Services, India).

Like many others from the cohort, Catherine, Connor and Sumit have had very different career paths but they all agreed that the MBA has taught them more than business knowledge and hard skills but the type of leaders they would like to be.  They have each provided their key takeaways from the MBA now they have had time to reflect on their experience:

MBA alumni reflections

Sumit Bhattacharya (India)
Relationship Head of Operations
Tata Consultancy Services, India

Embrace every opportunity

“Take every opportunity to fully embrace what the MBA program offers to you. Enjoy and feel grateful for the opportunity to work with some of the most extraordinary minds from around the globe throughout the MBA program as the learnings from this experience are life changing. I would encourage MBA candidates to instill a curiosity for each and everything that they come across and have the ability to question why.”

Catherine Olivier (Australia)
LeukBook, Sydney

Networking, networking and networking

"The broader MBA and University of Sydney network has been one of the most valuable contributors to my successful career progression since graduating. My goal going into the MBA was to start my own business and find a business partner who was part of the MBA network. Coincidentally my now business partner (Katrina Van De Ven) from the part-time MBA program had the same goal."

Connor Hershkowitz (USA)
Management Consultant

Mindset shift

“The MBA set me up for a successful post-MBA career progression by instilling a mindset to constantly challenge myself, while teaching me the skills to be confident that I can successfully overcome and grow from these challenges to make my career truly my own. After graduating from the MBA, I had a career change from a clinical veterinarian to managing the strategy and operations of a large veterinary hospital, and now, to designing ways of working and operational models for Fortune 500 companies across the world.  

Treat the MBA as a lifelong investment in truly understanding yourself: who you are as a leader, what makes you feel fulfilled, and how you can tackle new challenges. The MBA is the time to take risks and learn in a safe, supportive environment to open up doors you may never have known existed.”

The MBA Career Services at the University of Sydney Business School is dedicated to supporting the MBA community in MBA Career Coaching, MBA Career Development and Progression. Find out more.



of the Class of 2022 have commenced in a post-MBA position 3 months after graduation