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Project Manage Your Business Success

The workplace as we know it is changing – fast – with career experts predicting tomorrow’s employees will need to be critical thinkers, who upskill regularly in order to solve complex problems.

“Employers will expect their employees to have the capacity to redesign in systems and sustainability terms,” says newly appointed Master of Business Administration Director Damian Scanlon.

“They will need to be able to demonstrate practical leadership in complex, transdisciplinary environments, which is why James Cook University’s Master of Business Administration degree focuses on teaching the skills needed to achieve this.”

With more than 15 years of executive experience working for major Australian publicly listed companies, Damian knows the business world well. Since leaving the corporate environment in late 1998, he has successfully pursued a number of entrepreneurial opportunities in the aquaculture, software and property industries, both as a shareholder and Executive Director.

“In my role as Director of James Cook University’s Master of Business Administration program, I’ll be focused on students’ personal development, helping them sharpen their critical thinking, take a global outlook and embrace teamwork,” Damian says.

Alumni of James Cook University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree include Aaron Newman, who is Group Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Country Bank and Queensland Country Health fund. At the time of his studies, Aaron was in a management role.

“I found the ability to directly apply the knowledge gained valuable in not only performing my role but also thinking more strategically about the business,” Aaron says.

“The program was led by lecturers with real-world experience, who provided context to the theoretical concepts that enriched the learning experience. And the ability to connect with emerging leaders in the business community, who were also completing their MBA at the time, provided valuable networking opportunities.”

Those keen to enrol in an MBA should also consider completing JCU’s new Graduate Certificate of Project Management, which consists of four subjects that count towards the MBA. This means you would only need to complete the remaining eight subjects to graduate with your Master of Business Administration.

The first university-level qualification in Australia to emphasise skill development in asset management, the Graduate Certificate of Project Management offers students hands-on experience with corporate projects and only takes six months full-time (or part-time equivalent) to complete. A student is also able enrol in the MBA to gain a broader range of management skills and take up specific subjects in Project Management as part of their program of study.

“With the Graduate Certificate you’ll be equipped with the skills identified by the Project Management Institute as essential for managing projects and contributing to the prosperity, health, safety and sustainability of tropical communities,” says Associate Professor Carmen Reaiche, who leads the program.

Carmen has held a number of management positions where she’s designed and supervised the implementation of project management systems and strategic project plans for businesses like General Electric, Mobil and Centrelink.

Passionate about passing her skills onto students, she has supervised project management research not only in Australia but also Venezuela, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

“The beauty of project management is that every project, and every day, is different,” she says.

“This provides you with the opportunity to think outside of the box on a daily basis – a skill increasingly in demand with employers.”

Top 5 reasons to do an MBA

  1. Expand your network
    In the world of business it’s who you know as well as what you know. While undertaking a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at James Cook University, you will develop lifelong connections. This is your opportunity to establish an extensive business network that includes fellow students, academics, industry professionals and JCU alumni.
  1. Develop a multidisciplinary approach
    Gone are the days where complex economic and managerial problems are solved with single discipline, linear-thinking mindsets. The world of business is competitive and you have to be able to quickly adapt to the changing environment.
  2. Refine your leadership skills
    Develop management skills across the breadth of business-related areas, such as people, marketing, financials, operations, innovation, entrepreneurship, and change, as well as building critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving skills.
  1. Rise in management or change career
    Many students pursue MBAs to increase their earning potential, advance to an executive level or change the industry they’re working in.
  1. Activate critical thinking
    Within an MBA you’ll be working alongside peers from diverse backgrounds, each with their own stories to tell. Having diversity within the classroom will provide you with the opportunity to see problems from multiple perspectives.


Excited about expanding your career opportunities? To discuss your journey further, email Associate Professor Carmen Reaiche regarding the Graduate Certificate of Project Management at and Damian Scanlon regarding the Master of Business Administration at .



Compiled by the BDmag editorial team