Recent MBA (Executive) graduate and IT industry executive, Graham Hawkins, talks about how the program transformed his career.
Graham Hawkins has worked in the IT industry for almost 20 years. As a sales and business development professional, he recently undertook the MBA (Executive) and was surprised by how this period of intense study changed the course of his career.
What prompted you to think about postgraduate studies?
I have always taken ownership of my own personal growth and development goals and had always intended to do an MBA at some point, but there was never a good time – as they say, life always gets in the way. Finally following the acquisition of the company that I was working for in 2013, the opportunity arose and I embraced the chance to take 12 months out to study full time at RMIT.
How have your studies impacted on your career?
As part of my MBA, I was able to conduct a Research Project in an area that was close to my heart in B2B sales and the changing nature of buyer behaviour. This research reinforced much of what I was witnessing in industry, particularly in the global technology markets, and it helped to set my career on an entirely new path.
It propelled me in publishing my first book Sales Transformation which then led to the establishment of my own boutique consultancy, specialising in sales transformation and optimisation to meet these changing market demands.
Can you share some of the findings from this research?
In a few short words, the business world is changing dramatically as the balance of power is shifting to increasingly sophisticated and well educated customer markets and yet, B2B sales methodologies have changed very little in more than 125 years. Buyers of technology products have dramatically changed the way they buy, and if buyers change how they buy, then sellers must also change how they sell.
My research revealed that vendor sale leaders must now transform their sales execution models to address this new customer led era and the new buying journey. Yes, it’s logical to keep doing what once made your company successful, but my research has proven that making no changes to your current sales execution strategy is a sure fire path to obscurity.
What advice do you have for fellow industry executives thinking about postgraduate studies?
The MBA (Executive) program not only opened up new business opportunities through my research and growth as an IT executive, but it also dramatically expanded my network and this has been critical in launching my business. I would definitely recommend taking the plunge, as you just don’t know what’s around the corner.
Success begins here: Study an MBA (Executive) in 2016. Applications for midyear entry are now open.
Story: Rita Truong