Senior Delivery Operation Excellent Analyst at Nike: ‘Studying for an MBA after 23 years away from the classroom.’
Carrying the concern of a 23-year hiatus from academic pursuits, Ms. Tran Thi Bac Thu – Senior Delivery Operation Excellent Analyst at Nike, remains determined to pursue an MBA program at Western Sydney University, seizing the opportunity for career advancement and inspiring a passion for learning among younger generations.
What was the pivotal moment in deciding to opt for the MBA program of Ms. Tran?
Why did you choose the MBA program at Western Sydney University over any other training program?
The nature of my job involves supporting factories and partners in adhering to Nike’s production procedures, handling issues arising during operations and payments, overseeing production and delivery schedules, and more. Throughout my work, I face various challenges in managing tasks efficiently within the shortest possible time frame, aiming to deliver the utmost satisfaction to both internal and external partners of the company.
My motivation stemmed from the moment my son stepped into university. During that time, direct management also inspired me significantly to pursue further education. Hence, I contemplated enrolling in the MBA program at Western Sydney University. I was somewhat concerned as I had been away from academic environments for over 23 years. However, I highly valued the quality of the institution’s education and decided to enroll.
What factors did you consider when choosing the MBA program at Western Sydney University?
I carefully considered multiple aspects before choosing the university’s MBA program.
Firstly, it was about my academic capabilities. Additionally, time management was a concern that made me ‘scratch my head.’ I always wanted to find a way to balance and efficiently manage studying, work, and family time. However, with faith in my practical experience and absolute support from my family, I was determined to pursue an MBA degree at Western Sydney University.
What goals did you set for yourself when pursuing the program, Tran?
Upon joining the MBA program at Western Sydney University, I had two major goals. Firstly, I aimed to further develop myself and progress in my career path. Additionally, I hoped that my efforts would inspire young individuals to continue learning and pursue new opportunities.
What was your perception of the scholarship application process for the MBA program at Western Sydney University?
Overall, the interview and the process of obtaining the MBA scholarship at Western Sydney University were incredibly intense and nerve-wracking. I was fortunate to have a 1:1 interview with Ms. Nguyen Tam Thanh – HR Director of Cargill. Her warmth and approachability dissolved my nervousness, turning the interview into a sincere sharing session.
During the presentation and debate phase, I collaborated with highly talented individuals from various companies. It was a delight for me that upon officially becoming an MBA student at Western Sydney University, I had the opportunity to meet and learn alongside these talented individuals.
After a year immersed in the MBA program, what are your thoughts on the lecturers and your peers?
The MBA lecturers at Western Sydney University are all incredibly proficient, possessing extensive knowledge and abundant experience. Moreover, I’m impressed by their enthusiasm and ability to deliver engaging and comprehensible lessons. I was impressed by Mr. Duc Vo – the instructor for the Financial Report for Decision Making course – who ‘unlocked’ the worries of studying Finance for me and my classmates. Coming from a literary background, I initially thought Finance would be immensely challenging. However, thanks to his engaging teaching style and inspirational approach, Finance turned into a very enjoyable subject.
As for my peers, they are not only outstanding but also friendly and approachable. Throughout our studies, everyone contributes to each other’s knowledge. I feel they all have this spirit of ‘study hard, play hard’.
While studying and working simultaneously, what challenges did you face?
For me, the biggest challenge was managing time to meet work demands, complete individual assignments, and efficiently contribute to teamwork. To overcome these difficulties, I restricted leisure activities and devoted my evenings and weekends to studying.
Compared to younger classmates, I faced challenges in adapting to the academic environment at a slower pace. However, I was fortunate to receive unwavering support from my family in household chores and enhancing business knowledge. Since pursuing my MBA at Western Sydney University, topics like the economy, politics, and society became regular conversation themes among family members.
What was the secret for you to complete the assigned essays?
I had to hone my academic English skills and alter my writing style to align with the academic tone. After a period of effort, I believe my abilities are gradually meeting the requirements of the program.
After one year of studying for an MBA at Western Sydney University, how have you applied the knowledge gained to your work?
I’ve applied a lot of knowledge from the program to my daily work. For instance, thanks to the Management Information System (MIS) course, I’ve been able to restructure information processing procedures, analyze data to derive insights, and visualize data for Data Storytelling. These lessons have contributed to assisting superiors, partners, or relevant parties in grasping issues more easily, supporting quicker and more effective decision-making processes.
What changes has the program brought to you in terms of mindset, knowledge, and skills?
I’ve sensed a shift in my mindset towards a more open-minded approach. When discussing or exchanging views on an issue, I present evidence and transparent data to support my thoughts. Additionally, the teamwork and learning process within the MBA program at Western Sydney University have also helped me develop collaborative thinking to achieve collective success for the team.
Besides, the MBA program at Western Sydney University has enhanced my systematic understanding of business management, enriched my knowledge of economics, and business, deepened my understanding of financial reporting aspects, highlighted the value of marketing, and broadened my insights into human resource management and effective business administration, among others.
After a year in the MBA program at Western Sydney University, I’ve notably improved my presentation skills, both qualitative and quantitative reporting abilities, and have made significant strides in my teamwork skills.
What are your messages to the next generation of MBA students at Western Sydney University?
Just by committing and being determined to fulfill your commitment, you will surely excel in the program. I also want to share Nike’s vision statement with you – ‘Make Sports a Daily Habit.’ Prepare yourself with good health and physical fitness to conquer the journey of the MBA program at Western Sydney University.
Thank you for your insightful and fascinating sharing, Ms. Tran. I wish you good health and success in your career!
The MBA program at Western Sydney University equips students with modern knowledge and technology to tackle complex business challenges, enabling them to become tomorrow’s leaders capable of making meaningful changes.