Griffith University: Make your own way with a Griffith MBA

The overall winner of last year’s Queensland Business Weekly (QBW) Griffith MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship says the opportunity has surpassed her initial goals and expectations.

Jessica Kahl is a Corporate Development Project Manager, entrepreneur and gender equality advocate who combines a role at Sunwater with managing not-for-profit Dream Big Australia, while also studying a Griffith MBA.

She has encouraged other business leaders to apply for the 2021 scholarship competition, and a total prize package of up to $130,000.

“Griffith’s MBA learning experience has provided me with the tools to navigate the world of engineering and strategy, but it’s also given me the opportunity to foster thinking beyond my current role,” she said.

“Both subjects completed in Trimester one have been practically applied. The sustainability strategy generated from the Sustainability and Systems Thinking course has been invaluable to my role at Sunwater in developing long-term strategies for water infrastructure and services while my Marketing for a Better World course has also been incredibly tangible with the Marketing Program developed approved by my board at Dream Big Australia.

“I’m excited to see so many valuable learnings being immediately practical to my career and passions.”

“The experience (so far) has really enhanced my perspective because Griffith’s MBA Candidates come from diverse markets, cultures, and backgrounds,” Jessica added.


Griffith MBA Director Associate Professor Stephanie Schleimer
“I often tell people that it’s like attending a meeting of the United Nations; there are just so many different mindsets in one place. Each experience rejuvenates me and broadens my view.”

MBA Director Associate Professor Stephanie Schleimer said Jessica’s positive experience echoed that of many other students and alumni who understand the importance of a business education focused on values.

“What makes our MBA different is that it’s built on core values that are crucial to business leaders in the 21st century,” she said.

“We focus on sustainable business practices and responsible leadership with an Asia-Pacific perspective.

“The program develops critical thinking skills and supports students to identify creative and future-ready strategies to improve the world around us.

“Who doesn’t want to create business strategies that truly have social and environmental impact?”

“The QBW Griffith MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship partnership with the Courier Mail is a wonderful opportunity for professionals to access a truly transformative MBA program, but it’s our graduates who tell that story far better than I can. Their efforts are delivering real change based on their learning journey throughout our program.”


Liesel Hull
Griffith MBA graduate and State sales manager Queensland, SUEZ Recycling & Recovery Australia, Liesl Hull told the Courier Mail she completed the MBA to expand her skills and provide the best outcomes to her team and business.

“I found the Griffith MBA was the one most aligned with my expectations which was embedding sustainability throughout the course content as well as having an innovative mindset,” she said.

“Being in a male-dominated industry, (it) gave me the confidence to challenge the status quo and assist in addressing some imbalances within my organisation, but also focus on supporting local community initiatives.

“The MBA has heightened the passion I have for my industry and my career and changed my approach to innovation and leadership whilst opening my eyes to global situations within my industry space.”


Luke Shanahan
Cardiac clinician Luke Shanahan, Director of Clinical Measurements-Cardiac, Diagnostic and Subspecialty Service, Gold Coast Health, was appointed to his current role shortly after finishing a Griffith MBA.

“This position provides leadership and direction for cardiac investigations across the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service (and indirectly assists Department of Health at state level),” he told the Courier Mail.

“It is responsible for providing high level operational and strategic managerial knowledge, skills and experience to deliver world class health care across multiple settings.

“The business skills I developed throughout my MBA assisted me in this position and additionally, gaining these skills has now opened doors outside of healthcare.”


Jessica Kahl
Jess Kahl doesn’t do things by halves, currently juggling three MBA subjects with her full-time role and Dream Big Australia commitments, but says the pandemic has led to innovation all round.

“With the transition to virtual engagement during COVID-19, and through my role as Managing Director at Dream Big Australia, I evolved in-person events to online, 10-week experiences with the development of the STEAM Ahead Program.

“Informed by my Griffith MBA learnings, the experience was designed to enhance employability skills for women studying science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics degrees across Queensland (and) I’m excited to see 53 women across metropolitan and regional areas gain resume writing skills, mentoring, and coaching, industry networking and paid employment opportunities with our industry partners in a challenging period.

“Griffith’s MBA has allowed me to gain practical responsible leadership, marketing and sustainability skills, which have already been applied across water infrastructure strategies and marketing campaigns advancing women’s development.”

Griffith University’s MBA program continues to garner international acclaim. It retained prestigious Tier One status in CEO Magazine’s 2021 Global MBA Rankings and Griffith Business School’s Online MBA program was ranked fourth in the country for the second year in a row.

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