Annette Mychael

Annette is currently the Global People and Process Change Leader at GroupM, a leading media investment company in New York. She started her MBA journey during the COVID-19 pandemic and returned to Australia temporarily to spend time with her family.

  • Location:
    United States
  • Industry:
    Arts & Media
  • Job Function:
  • Programme:
  • Motivation:
    Broader Business Knowledge
  • Challenges:
    Frequent travel
  • Year of Graduation:

Annette Mychael is currently the Global People and Process Change Leader at GroupM, a leading media investment company in New York. She started her MBA journey during the COVID-19 pandemic and returned to Australia temporarily to spend time with her family. Thanks to the flexibility of the AIB MBA program, Annette was able to continue her studies even after moving back to New York. She completed her degree in 2023, securing a place on the Dean’s Merit List. Since graduating, the MBA experience has not only boosted her confidence but has also led to even more success in the change management field. 

In the interview below, we talk to Annette about her decision to study at AIB, her motivations for pursuing an MBA, and how she continues to apply what she learned from her MBA in her career. 

What was your motivation to study?   

 It was practical thinking that led me to go on this educational journey. I’ve always wanted to do study, but then I’d been furloughed from my previous job with a retail company due to COVID. At the same time, my mother was diagnosed with a serious illness. So, I just thought I’d take the time to come back to Australia. With the pandemic showing no signs of ending, I figured it would be more meaningful to spend my time studying.  

 During this time, a friend who was in a similar situation told me that she was considering studying an MBA. She gave me the contact details, and I connected with a Course Advisor. From the very beginning, the support was fantastic. They were incredibly helpful, and it just seemed like a good fit. It felt like the right moment to commit to studying at AIB.  

Do you feel that investing in your studies has led to your success?   

Yes, absolutely! I’ve gained more confidence, received a promotion and a pay rise. I would say my satisfaction rate is 150%. I wish I’d done it 10 years earlier, although I probably didn’t have the time capacity to do it at that point in time.   

I think one of the best things about it that I’ve become is I’m a much better writer. It makes you consider what you want to say and how to say it in the most effective way with the least number of words. This skill has helped me a hundred fold in the job that I’m doing now. I still utilise all the work that I’ve submitted in every possible way. Additionally, the ability to research, such as scanning a vast amount of material on the Internet and through research papers, is a skill that I will keep forever. It’s fantastic!  

Has this experience changed you as a person?  

I certainly have changed in the workplace. I’m now much more considered before responding to something, and I’ve grown much more confident in admitting when I don’t know something.  

And that’s a valuable skill to have – to make a note and say, “I’ll do the research before I come back with an answer on this one,” and now, I have no problem stating, “I just want to table that, and I’ll get back to you.” I know where to find those answers, and I love that. I love being in a room that’s intense and still being able to hold my ground, doing my homework before I return with responses.  

What is one aspect of study at AIB that has stood out to you?  

The support from both the academic and support staff, which I believe is often underrated, has been exceptional. The amount of time people have invested in helping me learn and improve, including the librarians, is noteworthy. When I’ve encountered any issues, the setup at AIB to ensure student success is, in my experience, unparalleled. Although my experience might be limited, from an overall perspective, it’s been fantastic!  

There were certain subjects, like financial management, that initially felt daunting. However, the lecturers were willing to spend extra time with me after classes to ensure I understood the concepts. Remarkably, I ended up topping the year in that subject, something I never would have thought possible. This achievement was made possible by the dedication of individuals willing to invest their time. For that, I am still incredibly grateful.  

What advice would say to someone who is considering studying for an MBA?  

My advice? Just do it. Honestly, it’s sad to think that if it weren’t for the circumstances brought on by COVID and illness in my family, I might not have pursued an MBA, and that would have been a real shame. The courses have significantly improved my professional skills, and the experience has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve also made lifelong friends, which has been one of the highlights.  

One of my favourite moments was at graduation, seeing people who I had never met in person before. It was truly special. Although most of my classmates were in Canada, an interesting twist occurred during the last subject, the project. I noticed a familiar surname, and it turned out I had attended her wedding 25 years ago! After recognising her in the project class, I texted her, and indeed, it was Susanna. We’ve reconnected and are meeting up again today.  

Is there anything you would like to add or advise to future students?  

Studying at AIB has been one of the best decisions of my life, particularly in terms of my academic career. The supportive environment at AIB is unparalleled, and the experience was incredibly rewarding. It was such an exhilarating journey, filled with highs and lows, but it was all worth it in the end. The satisfaction and personal growth I’ve gained make me seriously consider further study. If you’re looking for a rewarding investment of your time, this is it. 

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