Leigh Kennedy

Leigh Kennedy

Leigh Kennedy

Nationality: Australian
Programme: Executive MBA in Dubai, 2010
Pre-MBA: Business Planning Manager
Post-MBA: Head of campus (Gippsland) of Federation University, Australia
Current Industry: Education
Transitions made: Industry and function

Why did you decide to study for an EMBA at Cass?

I had completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) at Monash University in the late 1990s and felt it was important to update my academic credentials and also to gain more up to date knowledge on general business management. I was keen to look at taking my career to the next level, and stepping up into an executive role that covered all business functions.  The EMBA at Cass seemed to be the place where I could achieve my goals.

How would you describe your overall experience on the EMBA?

The EMBA at Cass was a great experience. I was based at the Dubai International Financial Centre for my work, so found it incredibly easy to move between work and the four-day lectures that were being held at the same location. The teaching staff were remarkable, but perhaps the best experience was to be doing the EMBA with such a diverse group of people, both in terms of nationality but also in terms of careers. This significantly enhanced the learning experience as perspectives from government roles, legal, marketing, banking, consulting, sales, and so on, were all provided during lectures and workshops.

The programme was designed in such a way to suit managers in business. I had a very challenging and time intensive role that required me to be available for the CEO at all times. The programme certainly allowed for me to be able to perform my work to the required level, but also to really dive in to the courses and learn.

Could you outline how the EMBA has benefitted you in your career?

I was very fortunate to be working, at the time, in a function that provided a “whole of organisation or bank” experience, exposing me to areas such as Hr, finance, risk, legal and strategy. This allowed me to use what I was learning on the EMBA and apply it directly to my role. This significantly enhanced my learning.

The EMBA has, I believe, provided me with opportunities to move into new sectors that otherwise would not have been available to me. I left the UAE in 2014 to return to my home country, Australia. Having an EMBA from a well-regarded, and well-known international University has opened up new opportunities for me in Australia to take on senior executive roles with the Victorian Government and now with a leadership role in the tertiary sector.

What advice would you give to new students of the Cass Executive MBA programme?

Dive in. Don’t hesitate. The experience and the learning will be what you make it. Get to know a diverse group of people that are in the programme, and be sure to use the guest lecturers effectively to enhance your learning.