Law and Business

Brent Maas, Master of Business Administration (Executive)

Brent Maas

I decided to do a MBAe to give me knowledge and skills that would strengthen my profile and allow me to take up more senior managerial positions with confidence. Whilst having fairly strong technical skills I was looking for a program that would help me to develop my “soft skills” and teach me how to apply these in the working environment. After a lot of research I chose the ACU program for two key reasons, the intensive mode delivery which helped work around my busy work schedule and the course structure which focuses on developing leadership qualities not just management skills. The course was pretty intense and fitting it in around a very demanding job and home life was challenging but the professors and fellow students were very supportive, especially when work conflicted with the program.

My advice to prospective MBAe students is to open your mind and enjoy the journey. I have had a pretty long journey to get to this program originally from Zimbabwe, studying in the UK and now Australia. I have found that this course puts learned theory into practice and gives you the confidence to take on the next stepping stone in your career. I would strongly recommend the ACU program for anyone considering doing a MBAe.

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At the time of commencing the MBAe I was the Finance and Operations Director for a business line with the AECOM, an international Engineering design house. Annual turnover was +/-$20M with offices across Australia.

Based in Brisbane, I worked closely with the Operations Managers in each of the states, to develop and deliver their business plans.

Whilst completing the MBAe, I was able to leverage the knowledge gained from the early stages of the MBAe and take up a role with a construction company working in the oil and gas industry based in Perth.

The combination of my prior experience and leveraging of the knowledge I was developing from completing the MBAe allowed me to grow into a number of roles within the organisation. The culmination of this saw me taking on the Acting CFO role for a period of time just after completing the MBAe. Whilst the CFO role had not been a target previously, the opportunity gave me insights into a C- Suite role and what it meant to be a CFO for $1B+ company. Whilst unsuccessful in the appointment as the permanent CFO, the MBAe gave me models and frameworks to critically assess my performance in the role and areas of development that I would need to fulfil the role in the future.

I was also confidently able to assess an opportunity presented to me when approached regarding a role at another competitor and how this role would be able to contribute to my development and growth as I pursue the C-Suite role in the future.

I am currently the General Manager Finance for UGL Assets Business Division.

The role is an executive level role working with the business to develop and deliver of the 2020 growth strategy. This role will see me working with the team, not only to grow our business organically, but also growth through M&A activities as well as broadening our business foot print internationally.

Completing the MBAe has afforded me a number of opportunities; I have found that the MBAe allowed me to confidently venture into new areas within the business and experience different perspectives. All of these I have used as building blocks in my pursuit of an executive level role in an ASX200 company in Australia.