To advance his skillset and build his career prospects, Sydney-born Blake embarked on an Online MBA. He’s since used his business degree to pivot roles and stretch his international career even further afield, securing a top MBA job in Dubai.
Having previously worked in tax consulting as a partner at a Big 4 professional services firm, he’s using his work experience and business school learnings to thrive at a leading logistics company with global reach in Dubai, where he's responsible for helping customers find integrated solution to complex international business and trade challenges.
Furthering business knowledge on an Online MBA
While Blake’s MBA has been pivotal to securing his role in Dubai, he started to see the benefits of his Online MBA from Maastricht School of Management (MSM) early on in his career.
The Online MBA has helped him to evolve his skillset from being an in-depth tax specialist to someone who can use this expertise on a broader scale to drive effective business transformation.
“The Online MBA gave me a solid understanding of the technical fundamentals of how a company really works. From that, I was better able to diagnose the root cause of business challenges my clients were facing and give them effective and integrated solutions,” he says.
Familiar with how quickly the business landscape can change, Blake adds that he searched for an MBA program that would get him up to speed with cutting-edge business trends.
While the MSM Online MBA is studied remotely on a part-time basis, students can travel to the MSM campus in the Netherlands for two weeks to study chosen electives, including Industry 4.0, Big Data, Fintech, and Green Innovation.
Students can choose to complete the program in two and a half years or across four years.
The flexibility of studying online means students can fit the MBA around their existing commitments, which is exactly what motivated Blake to join the program.
“I would take my books on international business trips and completed my weekly assignments around the world,” he says.
Using an Online MBA to kickstart a career in Dubai
It was while studying the Online MBA that Blake became interested in pivoting to a new role in a different region.
“The MBA case studies gave me such a strong insight into different industries, issues, and regions. You work with a very diverse cohort of students who all bring different perspectives, too,” Blake says.
In the MSM MBA program, students access a discussion forum where they complete weekly assignments and engage in debates. He says this helped him build an in-depth understanding of business that would be crucial to accelerating his career.
The average MSM Online MBA cohort includes people from 15 nationalities with an average work experience of 12 years. MSM Online MBA grads go on to land top MBA jobs across tech and entrepreneurship.
It also helped that the distance learning MBA offered courses in Global Corporate Strategy and Managing Cultural Diversity, helping to broaden his international outlook and expand on his previous experience leading tax effectiveness.
Since graduating, Blake has moved across the world to take on his current role in Dubai, where he’s the strategy and business development lead for a project that brings awareness to large companies of Dubai’s strengths and sets them up for success in a growing market that includes Africa, India and Central Asia, as well as the Middle East.
Leveraging the Online MBA network
As well as broadening his career prospects, the MSM Online MBA helped Blake develop his networking skills.
“The experiences and career journeys of those on the Online MBA were all so different to mine,” he says, adding that he worked alongside people working for tech-based NGOs in Africa and data scientists from the Netherlands.
Having this global network at his disposal meant that moving to a new job in a different region of the world didn’t seem so daunting.
“Since moving to Dubai from New York, I’ve connected with people I met virtually on the course and we’re now friends—they’ve opened up their networks to me and vice versa,” says Blake.
In his new role, Blake enjoys navigating a larger organization and dealing with a much broader set of stakeholders than ever before. He says he’s regularly using his MBA skills like strategic thinking, innovation, and problem solving to ensure Dubai remains a destination of choice for international corporations, advising on investment and operational strategies.
“The MBA showed to my employers and colleagues that I’d committed to and complete a rigorous academic program that has broadened my capabilities and helped me bring new value to teams,” he says, adding that his Online MBA has given him the confidence to make this career and location leap.