More than 80 students and professionals have qualified for the 2018 Griffith Business School and Qld Business Monthly MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship competition, with the eligible cohort attending a special Masterclass event in South Bank last week.

This year’s scholarship competition attracted the largest number of applicants the competition has seen in its three-year history.

MBA director Associate Professor Chris Fleming, who served as the masterclass’s master of ceremonies, says the increase reflects the Griffith MBA’s growing reputation as a program par excellence by top industry figures across the business spectrum.

“We are thrilled to be teaming with QBM once again to deliver the MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship for another year,” Associate Professor Fleming said.

“This partnership has been one borne of mutual respect and values, and to see this competition flourish over the past few years is a testament to the high regard enjoyed by both QBM and our University’s dedicated teaching staff among our students and industry professionals alike.”

Griffith Business School Pro Vice Chancellor Professor David Grant and Qld Business Monthly editor Ms Louise Brannelly opened the evening before handing over to Professor Nick Barter, Dr Stephanie Schleimer and Professor Caitlin Byrne for a series of mini-lectures on sustainable practices, responsible leadership and the Asia-Pacific region.

QBM has been in partnership with Griffith Uni on the MBA scholarship for a number of years, and it’s a great partnership, and a natural fit,” Ms Brannelly said.

QBM is a magazine that celebrates optimism, innovation, sustainability and success, so a lot of our content is very aligned with Griffith Uni’s values.”

(L-R) Prof Nick Barter, Dr Stephanie Schleimer and Prof Caitlin Byrne present at the masterclass.

“We’ve also written a lot about stories from Griffith graduates, and one of the things that always strikes me when I’m talking to these graduates is that one of their passions is for sustainability and responsible leadership,” she continued.

“Often, ethical and responsible leadership is abandoned in pursuit of profit or the bonus cheque, and I think that’s why Griffith Business School MBA graduates are needed in the world more than ever.

“The business leaders that will come from this program will enhance the quality and strength of Queensland’s business sector for years to come.”

The event also welcomed contributions from previous scholarship winners James Pearce (2016) and Mahommed Tilly (2017), as well as 2016 runner-up Patricia Liebke, who extolled the program’s virtues to the aspiring academics in attendance.

“I think what’s amazing is that, when I left this event two years ago, I was energised and inspired and excited, and that’s been able to carry on through for the last two years,” James said.

“Every single topic I’ve studied, every single assignment, has opened up something new to think about.”

“My background is in architecture, so a lot of what is being exposed is very different to what I’m used to seeing, and it’s invigorating, it’s exciting, and I think that’s been the most rewarding part of it,” he continued.

“It is a lot of hard work, but throughout that whole process, it keeps opening new ideas and new windows.”

(L-R) Mahommed Tilly, James Pearce and Patricia Liebke address the crowd.

Patricia agreed with James’ insights, adding that the MBA experience had had a broader impact on her life outside of work than she expected it would.

“One of the main things that the MBA has taught me — which I didn’t expect — was that it wasn’t only to do with what I did for my job; it’s actually really challenged a lot of my thinking in what I do,” she said.

“I’m a mother with a young-adult son … and just the stuff I’m learning in my MBA, it’s been great with them, because it’s really opened up a lot of conversations I can have with them, and how we’re leading even in our communities, our families, as well as our jobs and everywhere else.

“That’s probably one of the biggest benefits I’ve gotten out of the MBA.”

The eligible applicants will now enter the next phase of the competition, an essay submission, before the field is whittled down in search of this year’s GBS-QBM MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship superstar.

For more information about the QBM-Griffith MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship, see its website.