Sydney’s Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) is among the top business schools in Australia. 85% of AGSM MBAs land jobs within three months of graduation. And many go on to start their own businesses.
Among them, 2007 AGSM MBA grad Amy Schofield. She’s founder of Mixify Polish, a create-your-own nail polish company.
Based out of a co-working space in East Bay - around 60 miles from San Francisco’s Silicon Valley - Mixify Polish sells a range of recyclable, vegan-friendly products online and at trade shows across the US. Amy’s launching a new range of products this year.
A seasoned marketing strategy consultant, Amy worked at Thomson Reuters and a leading Australian engineering and consulting group before joining AGSM’s 16-month, full-time MBA.
AGSM offers international exchanges to 30 elite business schools across Asia, Europe, Canada, and the US. The AGSM MBA class is 94% international, with over 25 different nationalities represented. At AGSM, Amy gained the international exposure to take her career to the next level.
After graduation, she went on to manage projects at the United Nations Development Program and for the University of California, Berkeley – where she co-founded an internal creative consultancy – before taking the leap and starting her own business in the US. She wouldn’t be where she is today without the AGSM MBA.
How did the idea to start up Mixify Polish come about?
The idea began as a fun alternative to a traditional bachelorette party. I missed working with my hands and the freedom of creativity that comes with it.
We’d started a bridesmaid dress rental business and were looking for a gift-with-purchase option, which led to custom nail polish. The further down the research rabbit hole I went, the more interesting it became and so our focus shifted to Mixify Polish.
What are your plans for the business going forward?
We’ve had an amazing last quarter of 2016. 2017 is a year of focus and growth for Mixify Polish. We have both product and line extensions scheduled. We continue to listen to our customers and engage with them. The more engaged we are with our customers, the better the experience we can create for them.
Working in a co-working space provides opportunities we wouldn’t have access to on our own – thought leaders, services such as financial advice and banking options, shared facilities – all these free up our time to focus on our business. Being surrounded by energetic entrepreneurs, one cannot help but thrive on the positive energy and creative thinking.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at AGSM?
As the top business school in Australia, AGSM is a much more affordable option than other overseas schools in the same tier. And the small class sizes provide a better opportunity for personal contact with professors.
With the AGSM MBA, the option of studying a semester abroad was key. Studying abroad – I chose a semester at London Business School - opened up additional learning opportunities and broadened my post-MBA network two-fold.
What should applicants think about when deciding to do an MBA?
Be clear in why you are pursuing an MBA and be open to opportunities that come with it. Your MBA community is one of the strongest you will have the privilege of belonging to and, like most things, you get out what you put in. MBAs aren’t just for those looking to be a consultant, an accountant, a business owner, or an entrepreneur, the opportunities are much broader than job titles.
Would you be where you are today without the AGSM MBA?
One reason I decided to go back to study was that I felt I had reached a point in my career in which I couldn’t push through without a major change. Prior to the MBA, I had not considered myself an entrepreneur. Had I not studied my MBA, I imagine I would still be in a mid-level management job, the title of ‘Founder’ nowhere in my consciousness!
The MBA is a journey. Through the process of completing the MBA I gained a way to approach business problems more objectively and with more discipline. I learned a variety of frameworks that are a great base for looking at the world and then adapting to find the best path forward.