MBA

Claiming MBA fees as a self education expense on your tax return

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My tax return has never been anything special. I vary between owing $500 to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or having $500 credited to me, meaning that generally my employer has withheld the right amount of tax and I haven’t had any major deductions.

I had always used HECS-HELP (a loan scheme to help eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amounts through a loan or upfront discounts) to pay my university fees, which is not deductible for tax purposes regardless of whether you pay upfront or not. Therefore, I foolishly assumed that my MBA fees were also not tax deductible. Luckily, a friend of mine set me straight over dinner recently.

Because my MBA fees are covered by FEE-HELP rather than HECS-HELP (I have blogged about the difference here), they are eligible to be claimed as self-education expenses provided that the following criteria is met: (more…)

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The MBA halfway slump – working with apathetic syndicate members

I started the MBA in April 2014 and completion of this current term brings me exactly to the halfway point. I have come to notice an interesting phenomenon, which for lack of a better diagnosis, I will deem the ‘halfway slump’. It probably hasn’t affected everybody, but there are an overwhelming number of fellow students I’ve spoken to who are experiencing burn out and a lack of motivation towards the MBA. I suspect there are a few factors at play: (more…)

Resigning gracefully: 15 Dos and Don’ts for serving out your notice period

Life-is-a-balance-of-holding-and-letting-goIt’s a small world and with the widespread use of websites such as LinkedIn, it’s getting much smaller. It is therefore not advisable to drop the ball in terms of your behaviour as soon as you resign from a role, no matter what you think of your employer.

These are my tips on resigning gracefully and ensuring that your final weeks with your employer help, rather than hinder your career.

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Survival tips for completing a part-time MBA whilst working full time

study-nounSo it sure has been a while. I can safely say that the initial optimism and novelty of starting the MBA has worn off. If I had any thoughts of my first term being difficult, the second term has completely blown that experience out of the water. There were a variety of factors that lead to this emotionally charged and draining time which amongst other things, contributed to my bursting into tears not only in front of my Manager, but my GM. (more…)

The First Three Months of a New Role

Personally, I never feel more pressure than in the first three months of a new role. Admittedly, a lot of that pressure is self inflicted because I’m very conscious of establishing myself within a new team, making a good impression and achieving some results quickly. My aim is to have Management consciously recognising that I have made things better and therefore being reassured that my appointment was a wise decision. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when starting a new role.

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Build rapport

Build rapport and build it quick. Chances are that you are joining a team where relationships and a team culture or ‘way of doing things’ has already been established. Some thoughtful people will make an attempt to get to know you, however people are busy and being the new person, you should make the effort to connect with others. Some benefits of quickly settling into the team culture are:

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I’m back (and I survived my first term!)

10445092_9003348_lzIt has been a long 10 weeks.

Thank you for sticking around, and thanks to the new visitors, I have been checking in and your visits have inspired me to push on with blogging.

Not only have I started and finished the first term of my MBA, I have FINALLY transitioned over permanently to my new role at work and the pace just keeps quickening! I hope to be posting more frequently, although I am currently enjoying the one week break between terms, so it could be my wishful thinking. Although these past 10 weeks have been quite the challenge, I love a good challenge and it has given me lots of material to write about.  But first, a quick reflection post, neatly sectioned in to the three priority aspects of my life, because I’m a little OCD like that.

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Understanding How You Work Individually and as Part of a Team

I have never been personality profiled as part of the employment screening process, however have definitely participated in one form of testing or another for the purposes of team building. I’m going to discuss two types of preference testing which we undertook as part of team building activities in the introductory week of my MBA. I emphasise that these tests are not personality tests, but rather preference tests, in that they identify your preference in the way you interact with others, make decisions, etc. I do find that some of my results have changed over the years and that this is largely to do with the type of role I am and the types of responsibilities I am required to carry out at the time of testing.

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New Job? Make a Good Impression Before You Start

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So you aced the interview and have accepted the job offer. Now’s not the time to drop the ball! The way that you interact with your new employer during your transition period can tell them a lot about the type of employee you will be. Further, the preparation that you undertake leading up to your start date will ensure that you hit the ground running.

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