How an MBA inspired Scott Thomas' transition from science to startup

How an MBA inspired Scott Thomas' transition from science to startup

WHEN Scott Thomas (pictured left)  first enrolled in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course, he knew that he wanted to grow his career prospects.

What he didn't expect was that he'd be running his own business only a few years down the track.

Thomas was working at Brisbane's BP oil refinery when he enrolled in the University of Queensland's MBA program.

Contrary to his background in research and development and microbiology, Thomas quickly discovered an interest in the commercial element of business, rather than the scientific side.

After completing his MBA, he was hooked on the concept of innovation and changed his career to follow a path that would eventually lead him to launch his own startup, Creatively Squared.

"I discovered that the reasons you go into an MBA are very different than the reasons when you come out," says Thomas.

"I could see a lot of people entering the program because they just wanted to jump a rung or two at work, but everyone who comes out ends up with broadened horizons."

A far cry from the realms of science, Creatively Squared is a visual content platform that connects businesses with Instagram users and other social media content gurus.

Businesses commission high quality social media images, such as photos of their products, which the Creatively Squared community then creates at a fraction of the cost of a professional photographer.

Thomas says doing an MBA was one of the main drivers behind his confidence to launch a startup - one he founded with his wife Ruth Stephensen (pictured right).

"Doing an MBA really put the idea of wanting to start a business in my mind," says Thomas.

"The breadth and depth of skills that it gives you allows you to start thinking about business opportunities in a more robust manner.

"When it comes to a start-up, you have to be thinking about finance and the business model, relationships with customers, marketing, and that's just in a single day."

Thomas chose the University of Queensland's MBA program because it offered the greatest flexibility and variety of subject matter.

However, he believes the greatest benefits extended far beyond the textbooks.

"The content is obviously extremely valuable, but the greatest benefits come from the network you develop and the experiences throughout the program," says Thomas.

"You have to manage so many things at once; study, work and the rest of your life. It sets you up going forward."

For more information about UQ's MBA program, click here to visit the website or get in touch on 07 3346 8100.

This article was written in partnership with The University of Queensland.

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