From the moment Wendy Zernike was selected to do a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management at Griffith University through her work, her eyes were well and truly opened to the world of business.
After more than 25 years in healthcare in frontline nursing through to various educational roles, the Wesley Hospital Director of Clinical Education has always had a voracious appetite for learning and knew it was time to take the next step in her career: completing an MBA.
“There was a four-year gap for me between when that certificate finished to me studying now, and I was READY, you know? It was quite exciting. It was time for me to take it further,” Wendy says.
So she enrolled in the MBA, but as a mother working full time, she wasn’t entirely sure how she was going to afford it. Enter the Griffith University Scholarship for Women.
“I was just on the Griffith website and I saw the scholarship and I thought “Oh! I fit that profile!” so it was actually quite enjoyable doing the application and putting my story forward,” Wendy explains. “I was lucky because I had completed my application to apply for the MBA itself just recently, which had really made me think about why I wanted to do it and what I was going to achieve in it. Winning the scholarship was a dream come true, really.”
Wendy says one of the things that surprised her was just how much she learnt from people outside her own industry that she could apply to the world of healthcare.“I spent my entire career in healthcare and by doing an MBA, I got to meet people that were in finance, or who were environmental scientists… all these other people you insulate yourself from,” she says.
“Having the exposure to so many different industries is absolutely amazing and I learnt so many things I never would have imagined would have been useful to me in my line of work.”
She says one of the biggest things she’s taken on as a result of the Griffith MBA program is a commitment to more environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. “I went in to the sustainability subject thinking ‘Oh, I don’t know whether this really applies to me,’ but really, this subject has just changed my views on what’s happening in our world, and how we are all responsible for it,” she explains
“I’ve already started conversations in our organisation with what I’ve learnt about how we can put new, more sustainable practices in place at the Wesley.”
Wendy says she’s so glad she made the decision to choose Griffith for her MBA studies because of the high level of student support right through the University.
“It’s the personal touch,” she says. “Any time I’ve had trouble, I’ve been able to pick up the phone and actually speak to the course co-ordinator to help me figure it out. They get that you’re a very busy person and a working professional and it’s such a supportive environment.”
She continues: “Right from being accepted into the MBA program, the assistance that I’ve had from the faculty and program itself has been amazing.
“If you’re worried about how you’re going to cope, are stressed about how you might get the coursework or your assessment done, or you’re stressed about not knowing what to do, the comforting thing is that all all works out because the Griffith staff are so good at helping you work that out. You can concentrate on what you NEED to do, and that is study and learn.”