Dr Jonathan Drane’s table with one of the rotating student groups

The MGSM ( Macquarie Graduate School of Management) MBA social club put together an event on Friday 22nd February 2019 with a twist. It was titled ‘Speed Date with the Boss’ an inventive title which (relax) did not involve actual dating but a rotation of students groups around five tables at which stood an alumni of MGSM from several different industries. It was put together by Consulting Club leader and MBA student Adrian Xavier Fracnsico and her great social club team. The event was introduced by Professor Masud Behnia who is head of school.

As they rotated from table to table at the sound of a bell, the students asked questions about the alumni’s experiences during and after the MBA and how their industry worked along with other general discussion and chatter.

Introductory Talk by Professor Masud Behnia Head of School with Adriana Xavier Francsisco

I manned one of the tables as an alumni and from the Built Environment related industries. I was thrilled to find several built environment students from the engineering realm. When I did my MBA in 1992 I was the only one from that industry ( from memory!). I also note with delight that the Head of School Professor Masud Behnia is from the Built Environment engineering and ex-UNSW realm.


The students were luminous and I loved talking to them about their current roles and inspirations. The key questions I asked them however, related to where they see themselves ‘Beyond MBA’ .

The answers ranged from wanting to grow in their own organisation, to using it as a stepping stone into other organisations, industries and employment status. Some also were interested in starting their own businesses and so the theme of ‘Consulting’ which was the theme of the Social Club event became topical.

Consulting was revealed to have many layers from straight ‘hour based advisory’, to retainers, to retainer with success fee then on to start ups and profit participation. The good thing is that this means it has an entrepreneurial twist to it as well and is not all about Body Hire for hourly rates which can be demanding and hard to grow a business that way.

As the students rotated the tables, the event came alive assisted by some great finger food and drinkies and I left the event with a glow of it being fun and a success. As with all networking events however they often have this glow and then all the good networking gets lost as life takes over. So I had an idea!

Beyond MBA

I felt that it would be good to keep the magic alive and to create a group.

The new Linked In Group is called ‘Beyond MBA’ which helps MBA students to link with MBA alumni. The group was formed after the exciting Speed Date with the Boss event run by MGSM social club group thanks to MBA student Adriana Xavier Francisco.

This group is for MBA students who are seeking a pathway forward in life beyond their MBA. The MBA is more than an elite management course, it is a catalyst and inspiration for moving forward toward an Agile Life Path. It helps to gain confidence and courage and can take you from employment to your own business and on to entrepreneurial ventures or to places you never dreamed.

The group mixes and places students with alumni mentors from diverse industries and provides orientation to Australian industry and their associated cultures and practices. Local and International students are able to interact as well to provide orientation and connection to national and international industries and customs.

Here is the group link:


You need to be a current or past MBA to join the group and have a spirit of helping to mentor and assist the process of learning and advancement.

I look forward to seeing you in the group.

Dr Jonathan Drane www.jondrane.net

By jon@jondrane.net

Dr Jonathan Drane is an independent researcher and advisor to government, corporate, legal and academic sectors. He applies research methods to solve complex problems through project analysis in the commercial construction and development sector. Jonathan is a recognised expert in city precinct development with an emphasis on activation of dormant cityscapes. Jonathan’s doctoral research project (2011 to 2014) studied dormant cityscapes in several Australian regional cities and how they were bought to life. Going beyond just a research emphasis he was involved in the revitalisation of the Palmer Street Precinct, Townsville (2003 to 2008) as a catalyst developer. In this way he has both researched and been involved as a practitioner in this specific field of urban activation. His advisory profile ranges from planning urban development of dormant cityscapes, to forensic analysis of complex construction and property development problems in legal and industry situations. Jonathan is also a recognised award winning author in the non-fiction and historical genre winning an award for his first book on the Camino de Santiago (The Way of a Thousand Arrows) in 2007 with the NSW Writers Centre.

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