Paralympic champion, Heath, doesn’t shy away from a challenge. And undertaking an MBA entirely online, while working in Uganda in a senior management role in the finance industry – during a global pandemic – is up there. But Heath found that the University of Newcastle’s innovative online study model and flexible and supportive approach to teaching made the seemingly impossible, possible.

During his undergraduate journey studying a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce, Heath honed his skills as a full-time professional Paralympic athlete. After retiring from Paralympic sport in 2010, he embarked on a rewarding career in finance across the globe in Uganda.

“I fell in love with product management, and I have held senior management roles at both the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac,” Heath said.

With 7 years of leadership experience, Heath felt that he was at the right point in his career to get the most out of an MBA.

“I have wanted to do an MBA for a number of years, and I was drawn to the (University of Newcastle) MBA specifically as the University offers a 100% online version, as well as thinking incredibly highly of the institution,” Heath said.

Heath’s favourite subject has been Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

“It exposed me to some amazing entrepreneurial ventures in the Hunter Region and practically exposed me to the entrepreneurial process. Upon completing the course, I felt much more confident in my own entrepreneurial abilities, and I am now working on ideas that I can pursue upon the completion of my MBA,” Heath said.

Heath’s teachers and mentors throughout his studies have helped positively shape his time at the University.

“All of my teachers at Newcastle have been amazing! They’ve all been accessible and have answered any query I may have had. More than that, they’ve all shared their experiences in both the private and academic sectors. This has provided fantastic insight and practical examples of how the theory can be applied,” Heath said.

The opportunity to participate in group work has also been a major highlight.

“I’ve loved the group work. I’ve met some amazing people and it’s a great way to collaborate with likeminded and driven individuals. There is nothing like collaborating on a common task with smart and diverse people. This has definitely been my highlight of the course,” Heath said.

Study an MBA at the University of Newcastle

Heath Francis

Heath Francis

Whether it be his career as a Paralympic athlete, or his MBA study journey, Heath has an inspiring story to tell.

I was very confident that the University would be flexible and supportive during these crazy COVID-19 times and with the fact that I’m halfway across the world, this was really important for me.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.