Graduating from Paramedicine in 2013, Team Manager at Ambulance Victoria – Rebecca Pierce, has been a paramedic for over 8 years. Her career started to make the change into management roughly 4 years ago, and whilst she felt confident in her knowledge of healthcare and passing that on to her team of paramedics, she found herself wanting to learn more about the business side of her new position and develop her paramedic leadership.
Once she decided that studying for her MBA was indeed the means to attain the knowledge she was searching for, when it came to choosing a provider, naturally, the flexibility to fit around the demands of shift work was critical. And that’s where AIB’s MBA came in, but AIB was actually recommended to her through her Mum who is currently undertaking her PhD at AIB.
As we all are aware 2020 marked the start of the global pandemic, but for Rebecca, it was also the start of her MBA studies. And the challenge of further education with full-time work is more than enough to keep anyone busy. For Rebecca, as a frontline worker in Melbourne, one of the most hard-hit cities in Australia in terms of COVID cases and lockdown restrictions, this would be the understatement of the year!
Never losing her sites of what she wanted to accomplish, Rebecca completed her studies at the end of 2021 with a specialisation in Human Resources. We decided to have a chat with her to find out a bit more about her journey.
Did you have any fears?
Before I started, I definitely was fearful about not having enough experience to do the MBA, I remember calling one of the Course Advisors and having a chat with them about how little management experience I did have at the time, because I’d probably only been in a management role for about a year, year and a half when I started thinking about it. And they were really helpful.
I was able to figure out that I would be able to have enough experience to start. And then it was actually really good because of all of the experience I gained while studying; I thought about it differently because of that study. I was able to gain way more experience from the experiences that I had.
How was the support?
The support AIB was amazing. Doing an MBA in the middle of a global health pandemic, whilst working in healthcare may not have been the smartest thing I could have ever done but AIB definitely supported me in doing that.
There were times when work was super stressful, and there was a lot going on. Obviously, Melbourne was pretty hard hit by the pandemic, and we spent a lot of time in lockdown. And so AIB, were very supportive anytime I needed an extension or anything like that they were able to support me through that process of applying for one, it worked out really well.
How have you developed as a leader?
I suppose I’ve learned to be way more confident in my decision-making skills because I have better analytical skills, essentially. I learned very early on in the course learning what type of leadership style I naturally went towards. And then since then, I’ve been able to enhance that leadership style, so I feel like I’ve become a better people leader and because of that.
How does it feel to graduate?
It was definitely a long, two years. It’s a big commitment – studying and working full time. It’s almost a relief at the same time as being super exciting. I’m just super proud of myself and can’t wait to use all my skills more!
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