My MBA experience

工商管理碩士 [gōngshāngguǎnlǐshuòshì] MBA David Petersson 潘德伟It’s been a very busy but rewarding 15 months of full-time MBA studies in Melbourne. Little did I know how much work it would be complete the studies at pace that I have. Having said that, it is also awesome to have completed the program in the shortest time possible and be able to start working again.

An MBA experience can be measured on three levels: the lecturers, the students and the course syllabus and is summed up in the individual’s experience.

For me, there have been both good, bad and average lecturers. The good ones have really made a difference and not only taught me more but also promoted interest in difficult or, what I perceived as, less interesting topics.

During the year, I have had the pleasure to work with some very talented and experienced students who have enhanced my learning by bringing complimentary skills sets to group assignments. Fellow students from both Australia and other parts of the world has enhanced the experience by sharing their cultural experiences and work experiences in class and in groups. Some students came with more academic experience than myself which complemented my extensive work experiences in China and with Europe. Needless to say, I have also made some great friends and connections that I hope will be with me for a long time.

These are the 16 units that I have completed:

• Strategic And Entrepreneurial Marketing
• Leading
• Accounting Information & Managerial Decision Making
• Business Information Systems In A Rapidly Changing World
• Issues In Strategic Management
• Management Fundamental
• Organisational Behaviour
• Strategic Human Resource Management
• International Business Environment
• Advanced And International Marketing
• Business Analysis And Modelling
• International Finance
• Developing People And High Performance Organisations
• Entrepreneurial Business Planning
• International And Comparative Human Resource Management
• Strategic Management Of Intellectual Capital

I have taken four subjects at the time over 4 semesters/terms. The first four units presented a big learning curve in knowing where to find information (research), reference academic sources and what the teachers expected. The proceeding four went quite easy while Business Analysis And Modelling & International Finance in the third term presented me with some (math) challenges. Then the final four subject went booth quickly and smoothly. The most rewarding subjects for me have been Leading, International Business Environment, Entrepreneurial Business Planning and the HR related subjects. I’m proud to say that I received an A (highest mark) in ten of of the sixteen subjects.

Although much of the MBA content is based on theories and its application in a business environment, I must say that the biggest learning for me has been in learning about myself and my own behaviour in particular situations and how that affects others around me as well as the behavioural dynamics of groups/teams/organisation and how to make them perform.

Being a life-long learner, I would actually be happy to take some more business related courses in the future also. Subjects like negotiations, leadership and supply chain management strategies are some which I would find interesting. At the same time, I know have a foundation of theoretical knowledge on which expect to develop more from being back in the workplace.

Having studied at both Swinburne and La Trobe also allows me to compare the two programs and overall I would recommend Swinburne over La Trobe. I would have preferred to stay on at Swinburne but the school didn’t have the units I would need to take in order to finish the whole program in 2010.

Overall, I would rate Swinburne higher than LT on a number of areas:
– Overall student quality
– Better study environment
– Better library (including electronic library)
– Smaller classes

The strengths of LT GSM was the better class selection offering and they had excellent administration staff. Not that the Swinburne  admin staff are not doing a good job but the staff at LT are outstanding.

Refreshed and re-energised by the learnings of the MBA program, I expect I will be a more understanding, more productive and knowledgable leader that can help my next employer to achieve operational and strategic success in China.

Finally, a big thank you to all the lecturers, class-mates, friends and family that has made this possible and a great experience.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to write to me below.

9 comments to My MBA experience

  • Well done David, congratulations on completing the program. I have 4 units to go and will be finished on 26th May!!! Looking forward to getting back into the workforce with my new knowledge and insights. See you soon.

    • David Petersson

      Thanks Richard! It’s been great. Unfortunately we never had a chance to work on an assignment together.
      I’m sure those four final units will go very quickly for you and you’ll be finished before you know it.
      See you soon.

  • Gratulerar till prestationen, det var strongt. Mamma

  • It is quite interesting that you pointed out “the biggest learning for me has been in learning about myself and my own behaviour in particular situations and how that affects others around me…” because it is true, that you can give someone the tools in how to deal with a situation but how you carry it out varies from person to person. It probably is good to be able to recognize how your behavior is affecting others and change it to benefit the situation. Good job on doing so well throughout the program!


    Congratulations David and look forward having you back in China and building new businesses out here as soon as possible! EIRIK

  • David Petersson

    La Trobe’s Faculty of Law and Management awards students who have achieved an A average with a Dean’s Commendation and I was happy to have received a notification that I have been awarded this.

  • Congratulations on the Commendation David. Will we see you at the award presentation on the 5th of May?

    • David Petersson

      Hi Aaron,

      I take it that you also received a commendation – congratulations!

      No, I will not make it down under for the event. I wish you enjoy the presentation.


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