Jessica Redman says she became “hooked” on learning while studying a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Newcastle.
Graduating with a distinction this week at its Callaghan campus, Jessica began her studies in February 2018, taking advantage of the flexibility of both online and face-to-face classes, before completing her degree in September this year.
After completing an online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, Jessica was uncertain whether she was ready to commit to more study.
Despite her self-doubts, she was encouraged by her employer to apply for a prestigious Women in MBA (WiMBA) Scholarship, which funds 50% of the course cost in partnership with the University of Newcastle, and was one of seven initial recipients.
From there, she never looked back. Jessica excelled across all courses, topping the class in three separate subjects on the MBA Program, including the difficult capstone course in Strategic Management.
“Studying online gave me the flexibility that meant I knew I wouldn’t miss a lecture, but I got so much more out of switching to face-to-face and interacting with other students,” Jessica said.
“The WiMBA funding was incredibly helpful, but what the scholarship has also provided me is a network of women that inspire and motivate me. As part of the WiMBA community we are often given the opportunity to engage with leaders from the Hunter and the University which I may not have had access to otherwise. To have these opportunities with my WiMBA peers has been the best part of the program.”
An Organisational Development Manager for nib Health Funds, Jessica had to manage the demands of work while completing her degree. She also had the small matter of a wedding to organise – she married her partner Anthony at Nelson Bay in October last year – as well as undergoing a major team transformation and moving house.
“It was a challenge trying to keep things on track in the midst of that, which is where having a supportive family and really good friend and peer group is important. I had my circle of ‘go to people’ that were able to help me when I needed to talk through ideas or challenges.
“I tried to keep my weekends free to study. A lot of the subjects on the MBA really dovetailed and aligned to what I was doing day-to-day, which made studying while working full time a lot easier.
“I’m also lucky that nib has always been really supportive of me. Not just financially, but in every other sense too. I remember before I enrolled, I asked my executive, ‘Do you think I could do this? I’m not really sure…’ and her immediate response was ‘Of course I do’. This confidence that my leaders had in me and showed me throughout my journey means so much.”
In January, Jessica won another scholarship to study an intensive entrepreneurship and innovation course in Burgundy, France.
“The experience was absolutely extraordinary, being able to study alongside peers from all over the world. The MBA provides so many opportunities like that to gain invaluable experience.”
During her studies, Jessica’s career has progressed significantly, landing a newly-created role at nib. She said the MBA program has given her the confidence to develop professionally.
“I now have a much broader set of skills. I have the confidence to know and understand what other areas of the business are doing. I’m now of the mindset: ‘I don’t need to be an expert in every area of our business, but I know enough to be able to support our leaders to deliver great results.’ “I can’t speak highly enough of the experience. There are great facilities at NeW Space, great lecturers and the course was really relevant.”
“When I think about graduating, I feel gratitude for the experiences, opportunity, and support I’ve had, and also incredibly proud I’ve completed it.It feels strange there’s no assignment to do or lecture to go to.”
“I’ve become hooked on this feeling of learning. I’m now thinking, what’s next?”
Jessica will graduate on Wednesday 18 December at 10am.
Jessica Redman studied a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Newcastle.
When I think about graduating, I feel gratitude for the experiences, opportunity, and support I’ve had, and also incredibly proud I’ve completed it. It feels strange there’s no assignment to do or lecture to go to.