In recent years, Western Australia has made its mark. Between 2004 and 2014, it witnessed the most significant economic growth of any Australian state.
Ranked by QS as one of the top 40 best student cities in the world, its capital, Perth, is fast-becoming the perfect place to pursue a full-time MBA.
“Australia’s leadership in the Asia-Pacific, its proximity to leading emerging economies and its attractiveness as a test market for global brands, made it an appealing destination,” says P Venkatesh, who relocated from India for a one-year MBA at The University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth.
UWA is home to students from more than 90 countries and dedicates over $500,000 to MBA scholarships for international, and Australian, candidates. Before moving to Perth, Venkatesh secured a full scholarship covering 100% of his MBA tuition fees.
The city combines a strong financial district with a thriving tech startup scene. Mining and oil and gas have been the powerhouse industries in Western Australia for many years, with $200 billion worth of mining and resources projects under construction across the state.
Yet Venkatesh (pictured below) was particularly drawn by Perth’s social impact scene. He quit his job as a chief knowledge officer of an e-commerce firm in Chennai to join UWA.
“I had shortlisted 20 business schools across the world,” Venkatesh explains. “During the application process and interviews with directors of those schools, I enquired how the MBA could equip me with the mindset and empower me with the skills to solve the biggest social challenges facing the world. At UWA, all the pieces of the jigsaw fell together.”
Millennial MBA students are increasingly looking to make a social impact in their careers. And UWA is at the forefront of social impact in Western Australia.
The school’s Centre for Social Impact hosts pitching events for social entrepreneurs. Individual units in UWA’s Graduate Certificate in Social Impact are available as electives to MBA students.
And social entrepreneurship in Perth is encouraged by government schemes which incentivize investment in emerging startups.
James Low started his own environmental services firm promoting sustainable business practices in Singapore before moving on to study an MBA at UWA. He regrets not relocating sooner.
“Perth has endless possibilities,” he says. “I’ve met some amazing people, and UWA has been incredibly generous with its network of prominent stakeholders.”
UWA MBAs have easy access to major global markets, with UWA alumni chapters in Australia, Singapore, the US and the UK. And UWA MBA alumni can be found in the c-suites of some of the world’s top firms including HSBC in Singapore, Thomson Reuters and Morgan Stanley in the United States.
The school boasts a roster of strong industry connections with partners like EY and Macquarie Group. In their first few weeks, MBA students are taken to visit the city’s business district and enjoy on-campus visits from senior execs.
The Economist ranks Perth the seventh most livable city in the world. Away from the strains of MBA life, UWA students enjoy a vibrant, multicultural city as well as a campus which sits close to the city center, on the banks of the Swan River, and within reach of some of Australia’s best beaches.
James had never lived outside of Singapore before relocating to Perth in January this year. He’s been blown away by the quality of life at UWA.
“UWA has a beautiful campus,” he says. “[And] Perth is just an amazing city. The environment is serene, with so much space and nature around every corner.”
Venkatesh agrees: “When I first set foot on the UWA campus, I fell in love with how breathtakingly beautiful it was,” he says.
“The green and picturesque lawns, the gigantic and sprawling trees, the amazing variety of birds and animals, the majestic and welcoming buildings, and the buzzing student hotspots gave it a mix of old world charm and modern splendor.”