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University of Sydney's MBA students develop strategic recommendations for the Sydney Infectious Diseases Institute

25 February 2024
A cross-faculty initiative supporting post-graduate student experience
Sydney ID and Sydney Business School work together to develop a project to assess Sydney ID’s organisational structure and business model.

The University of Sydney Business School are ranked in the top 1% of business schools worldwide and offers a competitive Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Students can complete a unit as part of the MBA program which offers an opportunity to put their learnings into practice. The University of Sydney Infectious Diseases Institute (Sydney ID) is a world-class infectious diseases institute that supports multi-disciplinary research across multiple schools and faculties, in collaboration with several external partners nationally and globally.

The Sydney ID executive team, Director Professor Ben Marais, and Associate Director Dr Jocelyne Basseal worked closely with Professor Guy Ford, Director of the MBA program to develop a project that assessed Sydney ID’s organisational structure and business model. 

Over a period of four months, students Hannah Eves, Owen Morris and Basim Zaidi completed a comparative analysis of the Sydney ID’s business model.  This included desk analysis of publicly available information and in-depth interviews with internal and external stakeholders from local, national, and global research institutes.  Insights gained were used to identify important operational and strategic imperatives, which informed the articulation of short- and long-term strategic recommendations that were shared in a formal report.

Supporting Sydney ID in its mission has never been more important. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that infectious diseases are no longer just a ‘health issue’; they are relevant to everyone, everywhere.
MBA students Hannah, Owen, and Basim

Last week, the MBA students presented their report to Sydney ID’s Research Steering Group and Flagship Advisory Board. Co-supervisor Dr Jocelyne Basseal explained that the students had to master a whole new field of scientific endeavour, using all their critical thinking and analytical skills as they worked collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to formulate recommendations.

Co-supervisor Professor Guy Ford said “This cross-faculty initiative was mutually beneficial, whereby students applied their knowledge to a specific context and the infectious diseases research institute acquired recommendations to support the development of their strategic plan. The MBAs are experienced in their fields and made good use of their professional networks in completing this initiative”.

Professor Ben Marais congratulated the students upon completion “On behalf of the Sydney ID executive team, congratulations Hannah, Owen and Basim for your hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm taking on this project and delivering insightful recommendations.  We wish you all the best for your future endeavours”.