Published on 13 February 2013
Scientist Ben Starr chose the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Executive Master of Business Administration to boost his entrepreneurial success and now his four-year-old business is world class.
Ben, 34, is Managing Director of O2 Environment +Engineering, an award-winning business he co-founded in Peregian Beach in 2009. It now has additional offices in Brisbane and Hanoi, Vietnam.
The company last year was listed as one of Australia’s 100 fastest-growing start-up companies in the 2012 BRW Fast Starters list.
It won its category at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards in 2010 and 2011 and was a finalist in 2012.
The USC Science graduate and Peregian Beach resident completed his EMBA at the University in April last year.
“USC’s EMBA program provided a solid base in each of the aspects needed to effectively manage a business,” Ben said.
Since commencing trading, his business has started two successful subsidiary companies, O2 Ecology and a product company.
“The O2 group of companies now employs 25 full-time staff and a number of part-time and contract staff,” he said.
Ben is a certified practitioner in erosion and sediment control (CPESC) with extensive experience in developing erosion and sediment control plans for residential, mining and linear infrastructure projects, including high risk sites. His technical expertise is focused on soil and water management.
He guest lectures at Griffith University, has been a director of the Australasian chapter of the International Erosion and Sediment Control Association and helps the courts with expert witness work and the State Government in development and refinement of policy and legislation in soil and water management.
Ben said USC’s EMBA was the right program at the right price.
“The price was competitive compared with others and offered the same or better quality of lecturers,” he said.
Ben has since referred other potential students to the University’s program, including his employee Kyle Robson who has enrolled this year.
“Kyle is a key staff member who has been identified as a key candidate to take on an executive role with our expanding group of companies in the coming years,” Ben said.
“I saw real value in Kyle’s attendance in the program to establish a requisite base knowledge for this position.”
A new cohort of EMBA students will commence at USC in early March.
— Julie Schomberg