Award winning innovative technology drive company expansion globally
In the face of adversity, education can still thrive
Develop professional skills and self-development framework through an MBA
Alen Hodzic is combining his passion for technology and business as he drives two Australian innovative companies towards global expansion. As the General Manager at Abuzz Solutions, Alen is part of a multi-award-winning design and technology company that provides digital solutions, including wayfinding and indoor mapping, to a range of high-profile international clients.
Alen is also the founder of Boole, a company still in its infancy and looking to automate inventory management through the development of new technology and the Internet of Things based products and platforms. Boole was selected by TechCrunch in 2017 as one of the top 3% best start-ups in Australia and New Zealand for its innovation.
While still under development, Alen is planning for Boole and Abuzz Solutions to work alongside each other to provide more targeted value for their combined global clientele.
"Alen’s start-up company Boole, was selected by TechCrunch in 2017 as one of the top 3% best start-ups in Australia and New Zealand for its innovation"
Alen attributes his success in business to his desire to ‘always strive to be my best self’ and the strategic skills he gained through the AGSM MBA (Executive) program.
“The most critical thing I learnt is to embrace the idea of constant self-reflection and understanding of personal bias, which is one of the most intellectual characteristics of any leader,” he said.
“My experience of the AGSM MBA (Executive) program has been marvellous. I had specific goals I wanted to achieve through my MBA, and it surpassed all my expectations. The skills and training provided by the AGSM MBA course was something I needed for my self-development.”
When he was working as a Project Engineer and Manager, Alen developed a business strategy that had the potential to improve the company’s growth, however, he met resistance when he tried to present these ideas to management. “I had an obstacle that I couldn’t overcome, which was my lack of business acumen and business knowledge. I couldn’t understand some of the concepts that were needed to push my ideas forward and was possibly seen as too young for the leaders to take my proposed changes seriously.”
It was then Alen decided to undertake an MBA. He didn’t want to feel uneducated when it came to business and pursued a path to build his management skills and leadership capabilities. “I knew that engineers didn’t always make the best managers, but I felt if I was to lead, I should have the necessary skills and training to fulfil my duties.”
"Alen attributes his success in business to his desire to ‘always strive to be my best self’ and the strategic skills he gained through the AGSM MBA (Executive) program."
Education has always been highly regarded in Alen’s family. This was a motivating factor for Alen to take advantage of every opportunity provided to him since immigrating to Australia.
“I came to Australia as a refugee from Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1995. During the siege of Sarajevo, a significant conflict that lasted from 1992 -1996, we were cut off from the world and bombarded by every projectile imaginable. Starvation, lack of water and no electricity were additional problems we faced.”
“A bomb shelter served as our classroom as it was the only way we could learn due to excessive shelling outside. We had to go to school; the war was going on for four years. Education levels in Sarajevo are regarded as being quite high, so we had good teachers. I loved learning and, throughout the war, it was the one thing that made us focus on happier thoughts and gave us a sense of normality.”
Alen and his family have now been in living in Australia for over 20 years. Alen completed his schooling here and gained a Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering degree from Western Sydney University in 2007 and later his MBA (Executive) from AGSM in 2016.
Alen states that it wasn’t easy fleeing from a war-torn country. “My brother, my mum and I came to Australia with $200 and a plastic bag of clothes and the Salvation Army helped us settle in this new country, while dad needed to stay back. Our mum and dad are our hero. Mum worked all types of cleaning jobs just to put food on the table while we were in school. It was a tough time. I had no friends at the beginning, and the memory of the death and destruction we fled was still raw.”
“I loved learning and, throughout the war, it was the one thing that made us focus on happier thoughts and gave us a sense of normality.”
There were many obstacles to overcome, and not being able to speak English meant the family often felt ostracised. Alen overcame this by having the end goal insight. “I always wanted to be an engineer like my grandfather, and I wanted to be the best at what I could do. I figured that knowledge is power and I needed to shape mine with the best tools available.”
By creating a secure network of people, Alen continued to develop his professional language skills which only deepened when he completed his MBA. “I got to meet other business professionals who are now my close friends. They helped me with assessments when I needed it and are still here for me today. I have been fortunate to surround myself with intelligent people whom I aspire to be. It is the nature of life, and the AGSM MBA (Executive) provided me with this environment.”
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