Strides of an AIB Student – Subject 1

Strides of an AIB Student – Subject 1

Just a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned an exciting opportunity for us to share the progress of one of our fantastic AIB students as he journeys through the 12 Month MBA programme. Chris Coffey is the General Manager of Vinomofo, online wine company and one of Australia’s fastest growing businesses. As Chris starts his 12 Month MBA journey with AIB, we checked in to find out more about what he is hoping to get out of the experience and what he’s been learning so far.

What did you learn during your first MBA subject?

My first subject was Strategic Operations Issues, and that is really applicable to Vinomofo right now because we are looking closely at our supply chain. I was able to apply the theory back to our business and use some of those learnings to help inform us on our outlook for the future.

I can see I’m in a better position coming out of that subject as I’m able to talk cohesively and informatively about supply chains and networks, and it’s helped a great deal in my operations and procedures around the office in general. Meanwhile, I am interested to see the exam results so I can judge how much I think I’ve learned compared to how much of the assessable material I actually have covered. It was an interesting course, and I’ll definitely be revisiting the material, as it’s very applicable to real life in a growing business.

How are you finding studying by Distance Learning?

After the initial month I went on the AIB forum and found a study group of AIB students in Melbourne and hooked up with them. Their tips were invaluable as far as how they learn the course material and structure their learning.

It’s good to get into a study group where there are other people doing the same subject. I can see how they apply the subject, why they’re doing the course, what’s been useful, what isn’t so useful. What you don’t need to learn is probably as important as what you do need to focus on, so that’s been useful.

How have you been balancing your career and study so far?

I’ve been dedicating so much time to work that balancing a full-time career and study is a challenge. I’ve been trying to put some study hours in at work, but I haven’t quite got there yet because work is taking over, and it always has to come first. However, the guys are supportive and they want me to put aside the time, so this is a good exercise for both me and the company.

It’ll be really helpful if I can lock myself in a room for half the day or a weekend and study. Studying at home is a little bit harder – with my home situation at the moment, there is not much space to set aside a dedicated study space, so I find it easier on the weekend, but the house has never been looking cleaner…

Your next subject is Strategic Finance Issues. What are you hoping to learn from that?

I’m a big spreadsheet man, but I haven’t really got my head around the finer details of finance, so I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

We wish Chris the best of luck as he continues his MBA journey and look forward to touching base with him again next month!

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