Fly-in fly-out maintenance manager Grant Wise has taken full advantage of program flexibility since taking his first steps to an MBA with Griffith University.

He flies out of Brisbane each Monday morning to a central Queensland mine and returns on Friday, and manages to effectively combine online study options with intensive classes at the weekend.

“It is working brilliantly for me because I’ve an hour and a half on the plane to read and do nothing else. During the week I’m away from my family, so I can lock myself in a room and study without interruptions. Most of my good work is done up here or on the plane.”

Grant has worked for NRW, a leading contractor to the Australian resource and infrastructure sectors, at Middlemount Coal Mine for the past two years.

He says his employers and Griffith University have been very supportive since he started studying a Graduate Certificate in Business Management in July 2014.

“Starting study was daunting but at the same time I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve really got into the reading and have been learning subjects outside of my core business. It’s been a great eye-opener.”

Grant has worked in mining since 1997, first plying his trade at a Kalgoorlie gold mine in WA, before moving on to coal mines in NSW, New Zealand and Queensland. He currently runs a workshop on a dry-hire contract at Middlemount, hiring equipment to the mine owner.

“I manage the on-site business and through the MBA I want to build on this experience and learn how to run a business. I’m looking to step up the professional ladder and get to a point where I can enter the corporate side of the business. I want to influence the industry.”

One key area where he hopes to apply his MBA knowledge is sustainability. “It’s going to involve thinking differently, thinking a little more for the future than we have done. As an industry we’ve got to think smarter.”

Grant.TruckThe MBA includes a commencing semester subject — Sustainability Thinking and Systems — plus seven core subjects on management disciplines, three electives, and a capstone subject on strategy and innovation in the final semester. To qualify for the course, students need an undergraduate degree and three years’ relevant full-time work experience.

The Griffith MBA is the highest-ranking Australian MBA in the Aspen Institute’s Centre of Business Education’s most recent Beyond Grey Pinstripes Global 100 list, ranking at 26 due to its focus on responsible leadership, sustainability business practices and the Asia-Pacific region. It is also ranked one of the country’s top 10 MBA programs in the annual Australian Financial Review BOSS magazine MBA survey.