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Work, family and an MBA: How Nezily does it

This article appears in: Business and Accounting
Nezily studying and working

Nezily had wanted to study an MBA for a while, but working, living overseas and getting married took the plan off course. With her career teetering on the edge of management level roles, Nezily knew the skills and knowledge in an MBA would be highly valuable.

Nezily knew she wanted the best of both worlds when it came to her university choice.

“The advantage of a local university is that I can access the library and face-to-face consultation should I need it, even though I am an online student," she says.

So she chose to study her MBA at Charles Darwin University. 

Social innovation on the side

One of her MBA units in Entrepreneurship required a business plan aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“Through this subject, I became aware of our waste products, uncircular economy production and consumption, and how it affects our lives and planet,” she says.

It sparked Nezily’s interest in sustainability.

“I think this is a worthy cause to pursue, and I would like to align my career and work on those UN Sustainable Development Goals,” she says. “If we all aspire to help, even the tiniest effort can ripple and will make an exponential impact.”

With a new way of thinking, Nezily entered the CDU Social Innovation Challenge, designed to reduce unnecessary food waste in the Northern Territory.

Nezily’s pitch about reusing coffee grounds to create a host of sustainable products rather than ending up in landfill saw her win the $6,000 funding from CDU.

Nezily recommends joining competitions that are aligned with your study and career goals, as she did.

“Your learning and ideas will be tested in real-time. It’s not the winning that matters but the knowledge you will get just by participating.”

Applying her studies at work

While studying, Nezily has worked full-time for the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council.

“Work experience is not a disadvantage,” she says.

“On the contrary, it is a significant advantage. The accumulated work and life experiences make the theory more enjoyable because you realise that you have been there and applied those principles in the past.”

As her current finance role grows into management level, Nezily enjoys seeing her theory immediately being put into practice.

“The instant application of what I have learned in my MBA makes my learning more effective and retained.”

How does she do it?

Full-time work with occasional weekend meetings. A young family. Studying an academically rigorous MBA. Participating in extracurricular competitions. How does Nezily handle her competing demands?

Firstly, Nezily is a big believer in electronic calendars. Everything gets put into the calendar – study, work commitments, fun family time, everything.

Secondly, she had to put a stop to the social media scrolling.

“Be intentional and careful with your time. Would you believe the number of hours can be converted to a degree?”

Finally, dive in headfirst.

“Just do it,” says Nezily. “Once you are there, you will find ways to make it every semester.”

“If I can finish my MBA with all these commitments, so can you!”

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