How The Adelaide MBA Elevates My Senior Management Career in Finance

How The Adelaide MBA Elevates My Senior Management Career in Finance

Featuring Leslie Tan, a Financial Controller with an aquaculture technology company, Current Adelaide MBA Student


A financial controller with more than 20 years of experience across different industries, Leslie enrolled in the Adelaide MBA programme as he believes that the leadership and management skills that he acquires through the programme would complement his technical skills as an accountant.


Tell us about yourself!

Hi, I am Leslie. I am currently a Financial Controller with an aquaculture technology company. I am an Australian Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Singapore Chartered Accountant (CA), and I have a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from Monash University. I have over 20 years of working experience in Initial Public Offering (IPO), Reverse Takeover (RTO), Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), audit, internal audit, management accounting, and financial accounting in a Big 4 Accounting firm and listed companies across different industries such as pharmaceutical, internet payment gateway and gold mining.

During my free time, I enjoy photography and I am currently volunteering as an Honorary Treasurer at the Photographic Society of Singapore. I am also a diehard Liverpool fan and an administrator of one of the local Liverpool fan groups on Facebook.


My family and friends are surprised that I decided to pursue the Adelaide MBA when I am already 46 years old, but they are all very supportive of it. I would especially need to thank my wife who has to take care of the children on weekends when most of my classes are held.


Why did you decide to pursue the Adelaide MBA?

I have always been keen to pursue MBA. However, as my career took off, the plan to study MBA was put on the back burner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to go ahead with the Adelaide MBA as its curriculum and flexible study arrangements best matched my requirements. In addition, I believe that I could benefit from the Adelaide MBA as I could acquire the leadership and management skills that would complement my technical skills as an accountant.


How does the Adelaide MBA prepare you for both your personal and career development, especially in the post-pandemic world?

The Adelaide MBA is a rigorous programme that encompasses a wide range of business subjects and develops our critical thinking and analytical skills.

From a career perspective, the soft skills and the business models and theories that I’ve learnt helped me become a better leader, a better manager, and more importantly, a better person.


Could you share something that you have learnt that is applicable to your workplace?

The Adelaide MBA is a rigorous programme that encompasses a wide range of business subjects and develops our critical thinking and analytical skills.

All the subjects that are taught in the Adelaide MBA are very relevant and what I have learnt benefits me in my role as part of the senior management team in my company. While Strategic Management helps me in performing industry analysis and planning the various strategic options, Negotiation Skills is useful in my daily interactions with my vendors, superior, and subordinates. In our leadership module, the focus on adaptive leadership is especially important in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA).


Could you share your Adelaide MBA experience and what makes it rewarding?

As one of the oldest students in the class, it is quite daunting to dive back into studying after so many years. In order to make sure I put in my best efforts, I set goals for myself – I need to score at least a distinction grade for each module. So far, I have managed to meet my goals and I have proven to myself that I can do it as long as I work hard.

One of the things I like about the Adelaide MBA is that module arrangements are flexible – if I have work commitments, I can always opt to skip the module and do it later. I also like that we have a small class size but great diversity in the classroom. We have students who are in their 20s to 50s, students who are fresh graduates to mid-career professionals, and students who are in senior management positions and business owners. We also have students from different countries in the regions including Europe. With this diversity, we can share different views, cultures, and perspectives, all of which are essential for learning.


How did you manage to juggle between personal life, work, and studies?

Like many students, it is difficult to juggle work and studies as the lessons are very intensive and we have many assignments, projects, and exams. Hence, it is essential to have good time management as well as good planning skills to manage multiple tasks and prioritise the important things.

For readings and research, I’ll try to do it after my children fall asleep or even when I am on public transport. Of course, it is also important to have a supportive wife who will bring my twin boys out on the days when I have classes or need to do assignments so that I am not distracted from my studies.


Any tips and advice for potential MBA students and current MBA students?

Go for the Adelaide MBA to gain the knowledge and experience – it’s worth your time and efforts! However, please plan your finances and manage your time well. 


The Adelaide MBA is Open for Application!

If you are looking for career growth and opportunities, our Adelaide Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme delivered and awarded by The University of Adelaide at Ngee Ann Academy can open new doors for you. Through the MBA classes, individuals will foster the necessary skillsets, gain a competitive edge in the business realm, network with professionals, and prepare yourselves for the changing business environment. 

The Adelaide MBA degree has been designed with maximum flexibility to suit the busy schedules of working professionals. Students can vary the number of modules they undertake in each term. Students can also start with a 4-module Graduate Certificate in Business Administration which can be completed in 6 months part-time before continuing to the MBA. This allows students to adjust the intensity or progress of their studies. 


Find out more about Adelaide MBA here.

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