Despite his wealth of experience, Mark felt his lack of formal qualifications was holding him back - now with an MBA under his belt, his career has taken off to new heights.
- Location: New South Wales
- Industry: Finance, Banking & Accounting
- Job Function: Information Services & Technology
- Programme: MBA
- Motivation: Formalise experience
- Challenges: Academic writing
- Year of Graduation: 2020
Career project manager, Mark Lennock has been delivering IT projects in the financial services space for the best part of 15 years. Reaching the point of his career where he was ready to move up, he found himself missing out on progression opportunities. He believed his lack of formal qualifications was what was holding him back, and it was time to make a change.
From completing his MBA with a Finance specialisation Mark is living proof that whilst an MBA is not always necessary to grow your career, it can certainly put you on the fast track and help you realise your goals sooner. Since completing his MBA, Mark has moved from the Senior Project Manager to Professional Services Director to Head of Project Management for his company for the region over the past couple of years – all of which he attributes to completing his MBA.
In this interview, we asked him about his experience with AIB and he has found the course.
What motivated you to do an MBA?
So, I got to the point in my career, where I was looking to move up, and I was coming up short, I felt that I felt my CV was put into the pile where there was a reason not to progress me. And I concluded that was because I don’t have a benchmark qualification. I didn’t have a degree.
I went straight out of school into a practical environment.
So, the MBA was a chance to give me that benchmark qualification. And also have worked in the financial services space for most of my career, the specialisation in finance just made sense.
How practical did you find the course?
The specialties that I had within the finance sector were highly practical to what I do in terms of managing and working with the central banks, the big corporate treasuries. So that really did give me a solid grounding, to speak on an equal footing with clients in that space. But more so that the generic elements of the MBA stuff that I hadn’t thought of leadership, marketing, strategic HR, that were, that was really interesting, gave me a much more a much broader perspective on the business as a whole. And I think that significantly helped my career progression of the last few years.
Did you feel supported at AIB?
The course coordinators, I found very helpful and very useful to lean on. So, I made a point of attending as many of the weekly webinars as I could and trying to be actively engaged, because the more I found that you put into that interaction, the more I got out.
Obviously, one of the challenges with an online MBA is that interaction with fellow students, the course coordinators, etc. So, the opportunity to engage with them on through those online portals and an online medium was incredibly useful.
Do you attribute any success to your MBA studies?
Absolutely. I’ve been at my current company for nine years. And until I started the MBA, I had remained as a Senior Project Manager. During the MBA, I got promoted to Professional Services Director. And within 12 months of completing my MBA, I became Head of Project Management for the APAC region. I hadn’t had that career progression before the MBA and the only thing that changed was the MBA. So absolutely attributed that to this qualification.
Is there anything you would have changed?
I would have done the MBA itself a bit earlier in my career, I think I could have feasibly done it five years ago. And I think I would have still gotten the same benefit. I am kicking myself that I delayed to some extent. But in terms of the experience that I had with AIB through the two and a half years, I wouldn’t change it.
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