The Australian - The Deal - - First Up - MILE TERZIOVSKI Dean, Curtin Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness GLENDA KORPORAAL

PERTH’S Curtin Univer­sity is keen to lever­age Western Aus­tralia’s links with the oil and gas and min­ing in­dus­tries to pro­vide its MBA stu­dents with a fo­cused grad­u­ate busi­ness de­gree.

“Our MBA oil and gas is be­com­ing very pop­u­lar,” says Pro­fes­sor Mile Terziovski, the new dean of the Curtin Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness. “The oil and gas in­dus­tries in WA are ramp­ing up,” says Terziovski, a for­mer se­nior ex­ec­u­tive with Rio Tinto, who took over as dean ear­lier this year. “We have peo­ple who have come out of the min­ing in­dus­try who want to do an MBA to pre­pare them­selves for the next wave, which is the oil and gas ex­pan­sion.”

The univer­sity also of­fers a com­bined MBA and Mas­ter of Science (Min­eral and En­ergy Eco­nom­ics). With the busi­ness school based in the Perth CBD, most of the MBA stu­dents are mid­dle-level ex­ec­u­tives from com­pa­nies such as Rio Tinto, BHP Bil­li­ton, Wood­side and Shell with an av­er­age age be­tween 36 and 38.

For­mer Wood­side ex­ec­u­tive, Peter Moore, is chair­man of the board of ad­vis­ers of the school which aims to pro­vide a di­rect link be­tween the school and se­nior lev­els of busi­ness and govern­ment in WA.

Moore, who has more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence with big com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Wood­side Pe­tro­leum and ExxonMo­bil, is a pro­fes­sor at the school and its ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of strate­gic en­gage­ment. The ad­vi­sory board in­cludes Kevin Gal­lagher, CEO of engi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion com­pany Clough, which pro­vides ser­vices to the re­sources sec­tor, and Reg Howard-Smith, CEO of the WA Cham­ber of Min­er­als and En­ergy.

Terziovski says the 12-unit Curtin MBA, which costs around $45,000, is usu­ally done over two or three years by stu­dents work­ing full time.

The school’s ex­per­tise in the oil and gas sec­tor is ac­cen­tu­ated by its links with Robert Gor­don Univer­sity in Aberdeen, Scot­land, the cen­tre of the UK’s oil and gas in­dus­try.

“Our stu­dents can do their cour­ses on­line and their stu­dents can do our cour­ses on­line,” says Terziovksi who has just joined Curtin af­ter four years as head of the In­ter­na­tional Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness at the Univer­sity of South Aus­tralia.

He says the school is keen to ramp up the role of its MBA spe­cial­is­ing in the oil and gas in­dus­try.“We have about 60 stu­dents do­ing the course at the mo­ment,” he says.“But, over the next 12 to 18 months I would like to dou­ble the num­ber of stu­dents. There are a num­ber of cap­i­tal in­ten­sive pro­grams un­der­way in the in­dus­try worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars. Those projects will re­quire qual­i­fied peo­ple – not just MBAs. But our MBA will be pop­u­lar for mid­dle to up­per man­age­ment who will be in­volved with those projects.”

Terziovski says most of the sub­jects in the Curtin MBA can be done on­line ex­cept for the fi­nal “cap­stone” two-unit course which re­quires at­ten­dance at the univer­sity. How­ever he is con­sid­er­ing whether that can also be of­fered on­line as a way of at­tract­ing stu­dents based off­shore.

The school also of­fers an MBA spe­cial­is­ing in strate­gic pro­cure­ment, another area of in­ter­est to ex­ec­u­tives work­ing in the oil and gas and re­sources in­dus­try.

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