MBA entrepreneurship at IE University – with Thomas Jenkins
Thomas (Tom) Jenkins has made enhancing battery longevity his life’s work. His vision is to produce smart Australian batteries using Australian minerals and components to help supply the world. As an Electrical Engineer, it was early in his career as a graduate employee at BHP that Tom realised improving battery technology is essential for storing energy from renewable sources and ensuring that renewables can fully contribute to reducing our carbon footprint.
Enhancing battery technology is close to Tom’s heart – literally. His interest kickstarted in 2018 when he awoke in hospital after a medically induced coma, which was the consequence of a cardiac arrest. Upon waking he was informed he had a Subcutaneous-Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD) – however this medical battery supporting his heart would only last 8-10 years. Long-life batteries are not just necessary for medical advancements, but also for reducing carbon emissions. And so, with this increased sense of purpose, in 2020 Tom successfully applied for a John Monash Scholarship, which would see him embark on a new chapter of his life undertaking an MBA at IE University, Madrid.
With a reputation as one of the leading business schools in the world, IE University is proving to be a fantastic opportunity for Tom; as a place where he can gain vital knowledge and skills to tailor business projects related to battery problems. The MBA program includes a tour of Silicon Valley, to get first-hand experience with how the ‘Tech Titans’ approach their businesses. This unique learning experience has connected Tom with professionals who reside around the world:
“I am studying with co-founders of businesses, executives, top-flight engineers, and everything in between. Our classes often focus on our experiences and shared learnings where we apply content to our professional lives. As such, I have learned about many different industries in the process. I have acquired a more global view of the world which is proving priceless. Moreover, facilities are incredible with IE opening their IE Tower (their very own skyscraper!) which certainly is state-of-the-art. Also, being a student is fun with fellow students wanting to network, share meals and take walks in the beautiful city of Madrid.”
As a 2020 Wesfarmers John Monash Scholar, Tom has benefited from the John Monash Foundation’s partnership with IE University which includes a generous fee-waiver. He intends to specialise in Operations and Entrepreneurship and after the MBA, he plans to undertake a further four more years of study at IE in the future and complete a Doctor of Business Administration, the experience at IE has been that rewarding! Tom will return to Australia and work towards improving batteries for defibrillators, as well as large scale grid storage batteries. With the support of his Wesfarmers John Monash Scholarship and his post-graduate studies at IE University, he will also possess the leadership skills to effectively coordinate others towards this ambition. Tom’s work will bring huge benefits to Australia, positioning the country as global leaders in the creation and distribution of next generation battery technology, producing advances in medical and sustainable technologies with widespread benefits for us all.
To learn more about Tom’s unique journey you can listen to his podcast or read his full biography on our website.