Ann & Tom Sexton

Husband and wife Ann & Tom graduate together, following their MBA journey.

  • Industry: Education
  • Mode of study: Distance Learning
  • Location: Queensland
  • Programme: MBA
  • Themes: Duration
  • Motivation: Better Leader/Skills,Grow Business
  • Challenges: Frequent Traveller
  • Seniority: Mid-Level

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By partnering up to study their MBAs, Ann and Tom Sexton were able to support each other throughout the MBA journey, and diversify their careers in the education sector. We had a blast interviewing them both at the Adelaide Alumni Event, held the evening before the 2015 Graduation Ceremony, where they both graduated.

 

What attracted you to study the MBA?

Ann: Originally it was Tom’s idea. He’d been looking around for a while, thinking about doing further study. We’ve both been in education for a long time, and I guess the frame of education is around business these days, so we thought it made good sense. I was just starting my own consultancy business, and Tom was looking at how the MBA could support the work he does, so it seemed like a good idea.

Why did you choose AIB?

Ann: We both attended an information session in Melbourne and walked out saying “This sounds like the course for us. We should sign up right now,” and we did. The opportunity to complete it in 12 months if you wanted to was a key factor, we certainly didn’t want to be studying for three or four years part-time.

Tom: The fact that you could get it done in a relatively quick time was a very attractive option when you’re working full-time and have a fairly busy life. I’d been putting off doing any study for about fifteen years but had been looking, and I think the attraction was being able to do it at your own pace and in your own way, so that you didn’t have to be away on weekends and you could actually do it from home. We also live in the country, two and a half hours to the nearest capital city. With AIB, we could do our exams locally and our assignments from home. I think was a big factor. And the other factor in choosing AIB was its reputation.

Ann, how have you been using the skills that you learnt from the MBA?

Ann: I have been in education for a long time, and a couple of years ago I decided to resign from my position and start my own consultancy business. The MBA has given me the structure to do so, and to support the job that I do when I go out in schools every day. Before the MBA, I had not thought about marketing, writing a business plan or managing finances, so it’s been very useful for me in that context.

Did you enjoy the support you were able to provide each other with throughout your studies?

Tom: I think the advantage of both of us doing it at the same time was that we had the same deadlines, same amounts of pressure, and we kept one another on track.

Ann: I would have quit if it wasn’t for Tom because the first couple of subjects I found really challenging, and it had been a long time since I’d studied anything really. I would have said, “This is too hard,” but Tom just kept saying, “One more subject.” We’d get halfway through and it was like, “Well, you might as well keep going now”.

How do you believe it will feel to graduate together tomorrow?

Ann: I’m very excited. The whole concept of graduating in middle age, we’re certainly not young anymore, is fairly exciting. Our children are all young adults now, but I think that concept of continual lifelong learning is a great role model for them.