Chris Lee

On the way towards completing his MBA, Chris completed his Graduate Certificate and shared his experience with us on the journey so far.

  • Location: New South Wales
  • Industry: Hospitality & Tourism
  • Job Function: Operations
  • Programme: GCM
  • Motivation: Develop knowledge and skills, Keep pace with business world
  • Challenges: Gap in Studies, Sickness or Death in the Family
  • Year of Graduation: 2018

Why did you decide to study the GCM?

I decided to study the GCM as the path onto an MBA to future-proof myself for my career into the future. It is an evolving market out there at the moment. Coming from a retail background now into an aviation industry position, I definitely needed more experience into what the bigger picture of businesses are, and also to help my career.

A lot of students struggle with time management when they first start. How did you make it work?

Students are always going to struggle at the beginning, starting a new process, particularly something as full-on as an MBA and a Graduate Certificate in Management. How I made it work as I had to set up a study plan. Much like everyone else, I have a young family, I have work commitments, so a very demanding lifestyle both at home and at work.

Every night I would sit down about 21:00, once the kids were in bed and I’d spent a little bit of time with the wife, for two to three hours and read. Then on the weekends catch up on anything that I had missed or fallen behind in and then spend the rest of the time with the kids.

One of the other things, if I can stress to any other students out there, is if you have a hobby or something that is an out for you, I highly recommend you still make time for that in your

studies because it is a long journey and you definitely need something to almost keep you sane at times.

Would you attribute any of your career success to having done a GCM?

I would attribute the GCM being a part of the success of my position at this point in time. It has really fundamentally helped me in a lot of concepts that are going on at a higher level in the business at the moment. These are areas and projects that I would not have looked at before had I not had the theory behind what was going on in the business.

Looking back on your MBA journey, what were the best parts and what were the greatest challenges?

Looking back on my journey, and it has been a very interesting journey, there have been some great parts; there have been some not great parts. The great parts was meeting new people and friendships online, building on my understanding of business. Even though I was in business for 20 years previously and I thought I understood business, the GCM has really opened up my mind as to what further can be done in business.

It has been an amazing journey. If anyone turns around and says they cannot do this process, then I’ve got news for you. In my first subject, unfortunately I lost two family members, unrelated, but two days apart from each other, of natural causes. Then my son was born not breathing and ended up being in a special care unit for a number of weeks. He’s still not 100 percent, but he’s getting there. His first birthday is tomorrow.

Not long after that I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, which was the result of a crash injury that I received in my leg while skating. And that was all while studying. Without using the community that’s out there, the AIB staff, I could not have done it. So if anyone turns around and says, “I haven’t got time,” or “There’s too much going on in my life,” you need to sit back and think about what you’ve just said and where you want to go.