When an opportunity came along to build his own business, Matthew Frith didn’t think twice.
There was a world of cutting-edge technology and business strategies Matthew once felt he had no access to. The day-to-day responsibilities of a demanding job limited his opportunities to break into this world.
So he decided to push his way out by enrolling in the Executive MBA.
“It was an opportunity to develop more, learn more,” he says.
“There’s an exciting world of things going on out there and you feel somewhat constrained by your day job to click in and be a part of that. I figured it was a way for me to try and build a bridge towards other disciplines and industries, and broaden my commercial skills and learn more.
“It was a window of opportunity in my career to get out and do something different.”
Before starting the Executive MBA, Matthew had spent the past seven years of his corporate career working for a large importing and manufacturing business. His experience in strategic marketing had steered him in the future direction he wanted to take and proved handy in his studies.
“It provided me with an opportunity to work on different aspects of the business such as managing major relationships with clients to interface back in with the business, so I got a lot of diversity within the job itself,” he said.
“But I didn’t have as much control over my destiny as I would have liked and I figured there may be a pathway outside of the constraints of corporate way of life to give me a bit more control over what I’m doing.”
Matthew took on the Executive MBA between 2010 and 2012, and during those years he strengthened and refined his goal of building his own business.
“The initial stages of doing the Executive MBA started to expand my mind out of the day to day work I was doing,” he said.
“It gave me the tools and techniques I would have otherwise not have known about had I just relied on my work experience alone. It brought in a whole lot of resources and knowledge in helping me develop the business and the product that exists today.”
Subjects on change and innovation were particularly useful for Matthew, who said he still refers back to assessments and textbooks for the occasional refresher.
By 2015, Matthew had set up kin8 - a business management consultancy staffed by a network of business experts. He says the start-up felt like the natural step after the Executive MBA.
“It was almost a practical extension of the Executive MBA, taking that same logic and applying it to real problems in a commercial setting,” he said.
“It flows on from my experiences that I mentioned before based on the work experience and the Executive MBA experience - this notion of seeing a world outside of my corporate career and trying to engage with it.”
Matthew recommends the Executive MBA for anyone wanting to escape their day job to tread their own path. But he warns only those who put in maximum effort will benefit.
“There’s always a proportion of people in the course that want to get the piece of paper and there’s others who are in it for the genuine learning experience and the connection,” he said.
“Getting out what you put in is a bit of a cliché statement, but you have to take responsibility for your learning as well. You have to take those resources and get the most out of them.”
Story: Kate Jones