Does an MBA provide the business skills we’ll need in a post-COVID world?

Published 18 August 2020
MBA graduate David Garden

A world without COVID-19 is something we’re all looking forward to, but we are only just beginning to understand the long-term effects this year of disruption will have on the world of work.

Southern Cross graduate and marketing manager for the Australian Christian College Group David Garden is convinced that the practical skillset he developed during his MBA will be critical. This was evident from the issues his sector faced in recent times, from the challenges of online learning to school communications, virtual events and even managing a small team from diverse locations.

“In the post-COVID world, we will need agility in execution, an innovative mindset and a focus on ROI to be successful in marketing and business – something the MBA really develops in you,” he said.

As a self-confessed late bloomer who loves working with people, David’s professional path has been one of many twists and turns. He understands why the average person has between five and seven careers in a lifetime.

After completing an undergraduate degree in business (tourism management), David gained his dream job as a tourism marketing officer for a regional tourism bureau in Queensland. At the time he also began a Masters of International Tourism Management at Southern Cross.

The mechanics of marketing was a constant interest.

“I was fascinated by the psychology of marketing and consumer behaviour. I also loved creating and distributing a piece of marketing and tracking its results. It is satisfying being able to quantify the outcome of your work,” he said.

Undertaking a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) was a natural progression. True to form, he did extensive market research before committing to the degree.

“Since I’d previously had a great experience studying online with Southern Cross, I was keen to complete their MBA, however I did some due diligence beforehand. I analysed university rankings versus cost and Southern Cross University’s MBA came out on top,” he said.

“Studying trimester sessions online also suited me. During this time, my wife and I moved states and had two children and I was keen to complete the course in two years, which the three sessions allowed me to do. Most weeknights at 8pm I would carve out a couple of hours to study after the kids had gone to bed.”

David has since moved industries for a third time, now working in the education sector.

“The knowledge and skills gained from the MBA have been transferrable and relevant in each context. Skills like strategic planning, project management, business acumen and financial literacy are just as relevant to my work with Australian Christian College as they were in the tourism and finance industries.” 

David credits the usefulness of the degree to the practical knowledge of lecturers, many of whom come from successful business careers themselves. “One of my lecturers was the account manager for McDonald's Australia at DDB Advertising prior to becoming a lecturer. Another lecturer ran his own venture capital firm and lectured in Strategic Management in a Global Context in his ‘spare time’,” he said.

Southern Cross University offers the Master of Business Administration on campus and online.


Keen to know more about postgraduate Business or Accounting courses at Southern Cross? Join us for a live Q&A with leading academics Dr Patrick Gillett and Dr Jacqueline Christensen on 9 September at 5.30pm. Register


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