Rhett Payne (ILF2014)


Institution: Melbourne Business School
Course: General Management

I was looking for an opportunity to further my knowledge and improve my skills as a General Manager. I first heard about the opportunities offered through the Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) through working with a business advisor. I organised a meeting with Geoff Vogt, CEO of ILF. Geoff fully explained how the fund works, what types of applicants they are looking for and how the application works.

I decided immediately that I wanted to apply, however at that point I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do. I was realistic with my time, as I don’t have the luxury of being able to be out of the business for extended periods. Hence a degree was out of the question.

I found attending an ILF information evening, where around ten education providers gave information on their offerings, really helped me narrow down my focus. After careful consideration I found Melbourne Business School offered a General Managers Program that covered many areas that I was looking to improve on.

The application process from there was easy. I spent some time on my stage two application, but it was still a relatively quick process. The final step was a review with the ILF board. It was a fantastic experience, talking about my business, opportunities and aspirations for progression.

After a short wait I was notified that my application was successful. I feel very grateful to have been selected as a Grant Recipient.

I found the course absolutely fantastic. It was a very intense week. Starting with a focus on my personal strengths and weaknesses, learning how to use strengths to my benefit and improve my weaknesses. Through the week we covered, marketing, strategy, finance and operations. Some topics were full of new ideas and others acted as a valuable confirmation that I was employing best practice.

The class was made up of interstate and overseas participants, many managers and leaders from very large organisations. I particularly found learning from my peers as well as the course director and presenters invaluable. We are now all part of an ongoing online community where we are encouraged to ask questions and bounce ideas to one another.

The experience, ideas and knowledge I bring back from completing the course has been directly transferable. While I still face daily challenges, it has given me the tools I need to focus on big picture thinking and planning. This has helped me to develop short term goals as well as develop a strategy that will see Country Blinds grow and prosper into the future.