3 big ways an MBA scholarship will boost your career in the not-for-profit sector

3 big ways an MBA scholarship will boost your career in the not-for-profit sector

Published 27 November, 2018

If you are looking for a job that will make a difference in the world, a career in the not-for-profit sector may be the right fit for you. Or, perhaps you’re already working in this area, and you’ve decided it’s time to up-skill.

Have you ever stopped to think of what you could bring to an organisation in this sector, with a little business training?

Jeremy Bonken and Rohan Braddy are MBA graduates from Kaplan Business School who decided to bring these worlds together.

Both received MBA scholarships as part of KBS’s partnership with the Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF). The ASF is an important capacity-building institution, delivering training and scholarships to those pursuing a career in the not-for-profit sector.

“The not-for-profit sector is the backbone of Australia and we’re proud to have long-term partners like Kaplan Business School who share our vision of empowering the sector with the skills and knowledge they need to affect positive change and a long-lasting impact” – Rebecca Taylor, Operations & Communications Manager, ASF.

“An MBA is a great way to equip yourself with the tools to increase personal capabilities and maximise organisational performance. Through our partnership with Kaplan Business School, we’ve now granted 49 incredibly deserving not-for-profit leaders the opportunity to complete an MBA through a full or partial scholarship.”

Jeremy and Rohan are both working in senior positions in not-for-profit organisations.

Rohan is the CEO of Mambourin Enterprises Ltd, an organisation that provides support services and opportunities for people with disabilities.

Jeremy is the General Manager at Prahran Mission for Uniting Care, which provides a range of community, rehabilitation and emergency relief services for those in need.

Although their roles and organisations are different, they both found that their MBA scholarships helped them enormously.

Here are three big reasons why:

1. In a dynamic and changing industry, non-profit organisations need impactful leaders and new ideas

The not-for-profit sector in Australia is in the middle of some big changes.

There are now over 600,000 charitable organisations all competing for a limited amount of funding. Governments are refocusing service delivery and introducing reform. Plus, there’s funding competition from social enterprise and for-profit service providers.

Source: https://www.acnc.gov.au/

“The not-for-profit sector is being fundamentally revolutionised. There is the continuing rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, along with the quickening pace of evolution within the sector itself. Plus, there is continued growth in the area of compliance, with a myriad of new standards and government legislation.” – Jeremy Bonken

The way government and business operates is changing, and the demands on not-for-profits are shifting as society changes, too.

Now more than ever, these organisations are in serious need of vision, leadership and new, competitive approaches.

“Innovation as being the key to success is a popular adage in business. To sustain and create a lasting impact, the not-for-profit sector must be solution-focused, to think beyond the restrictive framework of conventional problem-solving, and to empower people to find the right answers through partnerships and collaborations.

The sector must truly understand the importance of big data and data analytics as integral to driving innovation and making positive change stick.” – Rohan Braddy

2. Opportunities for professional growth in the non-profit sector mean you don’t have to choose between career progression OR doing good. 

There are many benefits of working within the not-for-profit sector, such as the opportunity to do fulfilling work for a cause you have a passion for, maintain a work/life balance and gain exposure to a diverse range of responsibilities. However, because of the financial and time pressure that many not-for-profit organisations face, they often need to prioritise service delivery over staff training.

As an Australian study shows, 33% of not-for-profit executives have no access to a designated training budget, while only half of all not-for-profit employees receive any training each year.

Source: ‘Learning for Purpose’ research report 2015, UWA, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1–xR9XdxCEZ0lRaGZ1S1BHT2c/view

With a scholarship such as the ones provided by ASF, your MBA doesn’t have to cost you or the organisation you work for a single dollar. You will be able to develop the analytical, leadership and strategic skills that are essential to career progression and apply them to complex business problems in different areas of not-for-profit management.

“I have had access to tremendous learning and growth. The knowledge, skill and qualifications gained from studying via an MBA scholarship will further equip leaders within the not-for-profit sector to realise the continuing goals of remaining compassionate, competitive and excellent ‘providers of choice’.

This has a direct and enduring impact on the lives of those who have benefitted and will benefit from the client-first focus of not-for-profits for many years to come.” – Jeremy

3. An MBA can provide essential business skills to help your organisation improve operations and remain competitive

For Rohan and Jeremy, the training they’ve undertaken through their courses has been essential to their roles. An MBA program can help with strategic decision-making, and implementing accounting, finance and economic principles that can create efficiencies within an organisation.

“Undertaking this MBA has been an incredible contradiction. Yes, it has been bloody hard work, a real grind, exhausting, and emotionally draining at times. But it has been nothing less than transformative.

There is literally no aspect of my professional role that has not been positively impacted by it. Finance, HR, marketing, data analytics, knowledge management, operations, governance, economic drivers, the list goes on. It has been exhilarating, fascinating, absorbing, eye-opening, a real game-changer.

I am so incredibly grateful to the Australian Scholarships Foundation and Kaplan Business School for making this MBA possible. I will be eternally grateful to my lecturers for making their subject matter come alive; their support, encouragement, and guidance.” – Rohan

Both Rohan and Jeremy have come out of their education equipped with new skills to develop as senior executives and do more good in the world through their organisations. That’s good for everyone!

See here for more information on the Kaplan and ASF scholarship opportunity. Or, find out more about studying your MBA at Kaplan Business School, here.

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