July 2, 2019

Kurt McLachlan’s experience of the GCSI and MBA (Social Impact)

I’d been working in social impact investment for 4 years before I started the Graduate Certificate of Social Impact (GCSI). I really wanted to know whether what I doing was on track and found the Impact Measurement, Design for Social Innovation and Leadership for Social Innovation subjects particularly valuable in answering questions on how my work and organisation stacked up in the social impact space. I learnt a lot about integrating ongoing impact measurement into our product and service development offerings.

I was fortunate to then transition from the GCSI to the MBA (Social Impact) after receiving the CSI/AGSM Scholarship for a student working in a social enterprise. These two courses have certainly impacted on my day to day role now. The corporate finance, marketing and economics subjects of the MBA combined with a focus on impact measurement and design for social innovation provided really strong theory behind my practice. The MBA (Social Impact) seems to carry a gravitas and instil a sense of confidence from partners and investors. This is certainly something I’ve noticed in my current role at Xceptional.

One of things I found most valuable was the involvement of outside practitioners. The MBA wasn’t just academic. The involvement of experts across different social impact fields who shared their industry experiences and stories definitely helps to ground you and provides the opportunity to quiz them on how things work practically on the ground rather than just in theory.

I had a blast meeting and working with people from different sectors. One of the most important things I took away is some really good like-minded friends. We really got to know each other, our respective businesses and working styles. I enjoyed the professionalism and willingness of many CSI staff to go out of their way to make the course a good experience. I still find the CSI networking events a really enjoyable experience.

I’d recommend this course to a few different groups. Those already working in the sectors wanting to deepen their knowledge and check their alignment with the latest best-practice thinking; socially-minded people looking for a career move into the social impact space; and even people returning to workforce.”

Kurt McLachlan is Chief Operating Officer for Xceptional, which provides skill-based technology employment for people on the autism spectrum. He completed the Graduate Certificate of Social Impact (GCSI) in 2016 and MBA (Social Impact) in 2018.


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