Charmaine Marshall Sets Her Sights on Senior Leadership with the MBA
Charmaine Marshall’s career has seen her deliver and oversee the delivery of adult education in different forms all around Australia. For the last seven years, she’s worked for St John Ambulance in Western Australia, most recently in the role of Volunteer Education and Develop Manager, a senior management position in their People in Culture directorate.
St John Ambulance is the sole provider of emergency ambulance services in Western Australia, servicing the states 2.5 million square kilometres. It’s no small operation, and Charmaine looks after the clinical education for their 8,000 volunteers.
As busy as her role keeps her, though, she started to feel as if she wanted something more. To continue to develop and grow her career, Charmaine knew that she needed to expand her knowledge, and chose to do so through an MBA. “I decided to do an MBA for professional and personal growth, and so I could hold my own at directors meetings and talk the talk without feeling like an imposter,” Charmaine says.
Because Charmaine has a fairly busy work and family life, any study she was to undertake needed to be flexible to fit into her schedule. The AIB online MBA provided her with that flexibility and the option for self-paced learning. Being able to study when it made sense for her, work ahead when she could and make up lost study time on the weekends was a highlight.
Charmaine also found the support she received through the AIB online forums and from Online Facilitators vital. “I checked the forums almost daily. Often when I was thinking about a question, I’d check the forums and find another student had already asked it. All the responses that come through from the students and the instructors were really helpful.”
Studying an MBA allowed Charmaine to think more holistically about the organisation and industry she works in. “You get to know all aspects of the business, and how the cogs turn, rather than just staying in your own bubble in your department. It gave me skills in financial management, huge business acumen critical thinking skills, strategic planning – the whole works!”
Charmaine is now applying those new skills daily. “At first, you don’t realise you’re doing it until you start talking ‘MBA talk’,” she laughs. “All of a sudden, you’re mentioning corporate social responsibility and critical thinking, and quoting leadership coaching techniques to your peers. I know how to bring those perspectives into the board room and apply those skills in writing a business case.”
With a husband in the Defence Force, Charmaine has moved around the country a few times, and the next assignment will see them both relocate to the east coast. This time, though, the MBA will go with them. Charmaine shares, “Before, when I was job hunting, I would have looked at middle management or senior management. Now I’m going for CEO positions or very high level senior management positions. I feel like I’m ready. I’ve got the MBA behind me, so why not?”
We will be eagerly following Charmaine’s next career move, and wish her and her husband all the best as they prepare to move across the country.
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