How an MBA Shaped My Industry-Specific Knowledge into an Executive Career |

How an MBA Shaped My Industry-Specific Knowledge into an Executive Career

By Linda M

Updated March 23, 2021 Updated March 23, 2021

Already have a career plan in mind? Here's how one MBA took his industry-specific knowledge to business school to kick-start an executive career. 

For many hopeful MBAs, going to business school might seem like a direct pathway to popular business fields such as consulting, finance, and marketing.

But for others, like Wei Shane Low, an MBA programme is the perfect opportunity to upskill even when they already have a clear career plan outside of traditional business sectors in mind.

TopMBA caught up with Shane, MBA graduate from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales Business School, to find out how going to business school transformed his industry-specific knowledge into the tools necessary to land a top-tier managerial position in real estate.

Learning the fundamentals

Shane’s graduate education journey began in 2016, when he pursued a Masters in Property and Development at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), after graduating from the same university with a Bachelors in Planning the year prior.

He said: “This was crucial for my career, as it equipped me with basic knowledge on property development such as the fundamentals of land acquisition, how to create the highest and best use of land, and what product or unit types to build. These were the industry-specific degrees that allowed me to start a career in real estate.”

After graduating from UNSW, Shane worked for a few years in the town planning and property development sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, he soon started thinking about taking his industry-specific knowledge further.

He said: “While I did have that knowledge from the first two degrees, I realised that I needed to understand how companies worked, how they were run, how some succeeded and some didn’t.

“That is when I realised an MBA would equip me with this knowledge, and possibly allow me to be more comfortable with a future role that involved strategy and general management.”

Choosing the right opportunities

Shane ultimately joined the MBA Class of 2018 at AGSM, a decision he says was easy to make.

He said: “I didn’t explore schools outside of Australia, as some had odd application timings, and as staying in the country would also save time. I chose AGSM because of its strong reputation, and also because I had family members living here.”

While he was eager to learn more about all aspects of creating and running a business, Shane also knew exactly which skills and experiences would allow him to progress further into his career after graduation – which, he says, he was able to find within the programme at AGSM.

He said: “My MBA was an interesting experience, especially because the cohort was diverse, with a lot of different industry backgrounds. The strategy and finance classes at the school were some of the best classes I ever took, they were definitely the game changers that I was seeking from the degree.”

In 2018, Shane also decided to spend a few months of his MBA abroad at London Business School, one of the top schools in the UK and Europe – an experience he remembers fondly.

He said: “I chose LBS because I wanted to widen my perspective of the world and learn from students who came from the US, Europe and the UK. The experience was great, as I managed to connect with students from other famous business schools.

“The learning approach of LBS and AGSM is similar, but at LBS I was also able to take very unique and specialised subjects, which I was always looking forward to.”

After graduating from AGSM, Shane achieved his goals, landing a position as Development Director at the Malaysian firm Ivory Properties Group Berhad, where he is currently in charge of overseeing high-end projects and creating development and managerial strategies.

He said: “The MBA has given me a strong foundation [for this job], including different ways to think, strategise and analyse scenarios. It has definitely helped me in my decision making, and I hope in the future to handle project financing and help the company expand into adjacent markets.”

This article was originally published in March 2021 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 


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