Katie Simpson

With the c-suite within her reach, Katie completed her MBA, gained a seat at the table and a fresh new perspective.

  • Location:
  • Industry:
    Insurance & Superannuation
  • Job Function:
  • Programme:
  • Motivation:
    Job promotion
  • Challenges:
    Balance and Time Management
  • Year of Graduation:

With grassroots in sales and administration, Katie’s career made the move to operations over 10 years ago and she’s never looked back since. Driven and ambitious, Katie reached a level in her career where she could see the c-suite within her reach, and felt her MBA was the box she needed to tick to get her there.

Now Katie had an idea of what the MBA was, fairly rigid, and traditional, but as soon as she got stuck into the course she was pleasantly surprised that AIB’s MBA was far less rigid than her previous conception of what an MBA was and found it to be far more practical.  And better yet, she did land that c-suite role shortly after completing her MBA, and is now the Head of Operations and Customer Experience at Insurance House Group.

We spoke to Katie to gain more insight into her MBA experience.

Why did you choose AIB?

There were a couple of different options. And for me, it was around the practical sense. And then when I contacted AIB and they spoke me through the process, and, when I got the material, I looked at the subjects, the subjects seemed different from what others had on offer. They seemed more intriguing. There was less, rigid and, and sort of old school in the sense of that it was just the traditional, like marketing – they had those solid names. Whereas (at AIB) there was new venture creation, entrepreneurship, there were all these fascinating things, and my eyes lit up, and my heart led me, and yeah, here I am.

Did you have any fears before you started?

Definitely. There are always fears and hesitations, there’s always that self-doubt, thinking is I going to be good enough? Are they going to think I’m silly? You know, this question I have seems so straightforward. But really, it became more about talking about different ideas and different concepts – what I thought, what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to achieve and being open and receptive to actually having my ideas challenged.

I remember one of my lecturers, they were fantastic. They were just like, oh, is it? Is it really that way And when I started having those conversations, I realised that it wasn’t blunt, it was actually just them asking questions. I started paying those questions to myself – does it always need to be that way? Why isn’t it that way?

I think there are definitely those fears. But once you start leaning into the fear, and going through it anyway, and just pushing through, then you start to really reap the rewards.

Do you attribute any success to your MBA?

It’s definitely fast-tracked my career. And it was one of the highlights for people whenever I’d have an interview. I recently got employed after my MBA, and they were so fascinated to hear what I did and what I enjoyed the most. And I think it really was part of the reason I was employed in my executive role that I’ve recently obtained.

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