If you’re looking for jobs in Australia, breaking into the market can be a real challenge, but business school could help you get your foot in the door.
Australia is the 13th most popular country for business school applicants around the world, placing it above its neighbours, China and Japan. The bustling hubs of Melbourne and Sydney are a particular draw.
“It’s a bit clichéd, but a lot of students want to study here because Melbourne is one of the world’s most liveable cities,” says David Tan, Associate Director of the Career Management Center at Melbourne Business School (MBS).
“Some also view Australia as a gateway to Asia because of its proximity,” he adds.
David believes that Australian business schools are well placed to help their international students land local jobs.
Here are five ways an MBA will help you launch a career in Australia.
1. It can maximize your visa allowance
Entering a new country’s job market can be tricky, but getting a student visa is often a helpful way in.
In Australia, students studying a two year program have a good chance of securing a two year work permit when they graduate.
To help students make the most of this visa allowance, MBS have changed the structure of their MBA program, David says.
Formerly one year in length, students now have the option to extend it with electives and internships, making for a 23-month program in total.
“This means you’re more likely to get the two year work visa,” David explains.
“A lot of students fall in love with Australia, and want to transition their career here, or just get some more experience.”
2. It will help you build a network
According to government statistics, one in three jobs in Australia isn’t advertised. Roles are often filled by referral, so personal connections play a significant role.
“Business in Australia is driven by those deep, enduring one-on-one relationships,” David explains. “That’s where I think we differ a bit from other countries.”
For this reason, building a strong network in Australia is crucial when it comes to finding a job. Business school can offer you a huge networking boost.
Over the course of an MBA, you’ll be exposed to industry leaders, local students, and alumni, as well as having access to a dedicated careers team.
At MBS, David notes, every full-time MBA student is assigned a careers coach, who can help them develop and execute a realistic career plan.
As well as tackling resume and cover letter concerns, coaches also act as a point of connection to Australian industry, David notes.
3. It’s a chance for personal development
In any career, personality matters, but this is especially true in Australia, David believes. MBA employers assume that you have the business acumen to succeed: what makes you stand out is your personality.
“Culture fit is crucial in Australia,” David notes. “That’s really important to the market here.”
For this reason, Australian business schools like MBS place an emphasis on soft skills. At MBS, David works closely with students to help them navigate this environment, and find an organization that fits their goals.
“We help students work on their presentation skills, their executive presence, and how to align themselves to the culture of a business,” David explains.
4. It will help you access internships
Another sure-fire way to improve your chances of landing a job in Australia is to build some local work experience. An internship is a great way to do this.
Business schools in the country are well-placed to connect their MBA students with internship opportunities, through their relationships with local employers.
Part of David’s job at MBS is connecting students to these organizations. “We sell the capabilities of our students to employers, to consider them for internships, full-time roles, and high-impact project work,” he explains.
Internships are also a great opportunity to further expand your network.
5. It can bring lifelong connections
Undertaking an MBA can have plenty of long-term benefits for launching a career somewhere new.
Most top business schools are keen to stay in touch with their alumni, through reunions and opportunities to network with new students.
At MBS, David stays in touch with the students he’s worked with long after graduation. “I’m still good friends with cohorts from seven years ago,” he notes.
Recently, the school held a ‘speed dating’ style event, which gave current students a chance to practice their interview skills while chatting to successful graduates.
“Students get to practice their interview skills while networking,” David explains. “It’s a double-edged thing.”
An alumni reunion is also held on campus each year, bringing hundreds of graduates from Australia and beyond back to Melbourne.
Making the effort to stay in touch with former classmates significantly improves your chances of hearing about the latest MBA job opportunities.