Amanda Chierici is an international student who graduated in April with an MBA degree. She also works as a Sales Manager at 2Stay Accommodation Group. Join us as we find out how studying the MBA gave her the edge she needed to succeed.
What made you want to study an MBA?
I always wanted to further and advance my career and skills. Having an MBA really makes you stand out in the corporate crowd. It gives you a general understanding of a lot of specialist fields, which you encounter or aspire to in your career. Once you’ve logged the hours (and really understand the content), the degree is yours, and nobody can take that away from you!
What has been the best part of your studies?
Torrens MBA gave me the opportunity to be really flexible, and manage my own time and studies in an easy and accessible way. Through Blackboard (the Student Portal) I was able to access my course materials at any time, from any location. As an international student, I’m lucky enough to study at The Rocks campus, which is an amazing location. All my classes have a charming view of the Sydney Opera House, and right outside is the Sydney Harbour Bridge – who would have thought I would be completing my degree at such a scenic location. When I had the opportunity, and between classes, I could always find a study spot where I could focus and appreciate my surroundings.
Are there any key-call outs from your degree?
I fell in love with the leadership-related subjects. Concepts such as self-awareness, empathy and emotional intelligence really helped me to understand cultural diversity in the workplace, and in my personal life. Being responsible for managing teams of people, it’s critical to understand their perspectives, backgrounds, pain points, etc. and be able to help build them up in their career, and help them upskill. It has made an enormous difference in reaching my prefixed goals and shape my future goals.
How has the MBA benefited your current role?
The best part about studying and working concurrently is that you can immediately put into practice what you are learning. A lot of the times, while I was in-class learning the content, I was writing insights in my notebook as to how I could improve my job performance. It has really helped me to improve organisational processes and make some cleaver and more sustainable changes.
What advice would you give to prospective students wanting to study an MBA?
A company can’t aim for long-term successful, sustainability if their employees do not share the same vision and principles. If you find yourself in a career, or workplace that does not support your drive and ambition, it’s time to look elsewhere. However, if you feel there is an opportunity to upskill and improve, then accelerate your career success and study an MBA. It may be a little daunting going back to University to study, but that promotion, pay-rise, or reconciliation with your team – will make such a difference. (And to current students enrolled, make sure you start your assessments as early as you can. Don’t leave them to the last minute, and be as curious as possible. Your Academics work in the industry so soak up their knowledge as much as you can!)
What are some of the achievements you are most proud of?
I honestly am so proud to be able to juggle the work-life balance these past 2 years. It’s so important to be dedicated to your studies, and understandably this puts stress and pressure on yourself and work. Getting the people closest to me – friends and family – onboard with what I’m doing really helped. Being an international student, I was in the process of managing so many things at the same time. I made sure to set important goals to achieve, so when I accomplished them I realised I had grown as an individual, personally and within my career.
Describe a few things you’re passionate about outside of work?
Outside of work, here in Sydney, Australia, I really focus on my well-being. Being away from family and in another country, it’s easy to let your mental and physical health slide. I think it’s pivotal to find that healthy balance in your life. I love exploring new places, going to the beautiful beaches and staying generally fit. My biggest passion is fashion. I definitely miss home, Europe, for this aspect – as Australia is a little behind the eight-ball *laughs*
What is the best piece of career (or life) advice you ever received?
Firstly, “If more than one person is telling you the same thing, you should try to understand the reason why behind it”. Sometimes, to better understand who we are and the impression we make on other people, it’s fundamental to listen and be open to criticism and feedback about yourself. This life advice has been absolutely precious to me, to realise and correct some parts of my personality – it has helped shape my individualisation and the way I work with my team. Secondly, and my personal favourite – “never give up”. It really is that simple. I try to stay true to myself, my goals and persevere despite any challenges I’m up against. It’s all about self-determination, self-awareness and most importantly doing what is right, and best for you. If that’s reaching your target, go for it, no-one can stop you!