Master of Business Administration with Distinction
Industry Development General Manager, Canterbury Development Corporation
After spending many years leading a team of New Zealand en route air traffic controllers, Gerard Quinn knew that it was time for a change.
‘I was a specialist, working for a state-owned monopoly. I wanted to broaden my horizons and see how other people approached their businesses. I also wanted some tools and techniques to bring some more robustness and science to my decision-making processes.’
So Gerard enrolled himself in the UC MBA, and has not questioned the decision since.
‘The UC MBA was a turning point for me. One very important thing that the UC MBA helped me to do was better integrate the soft inputs (people, signals sent, strategic perspective, possibilities rather than probabilities) with the analysis and evaluation tools learned. As you are required to make “high level” decisions, the degree of uncertainty increases, and the role of the softer inputs becomes more important in the decision-making process. I learned to trust my own judgement and intuition more than relying on just a data-driven analytical approach based on certainty and probability.’
‘During my time studying towards my MBA I developed many relationships with fellow students from the other industry sectors I operated in. The amount that you learn from your classmates is invaluable, and the nature of the UC MBA enables students to get the absolute best out of each other. Most importantly, the MBA enabled those that I studied with to go on into a greater number of industries and job opportunities than they would have if they had not done the degree.’
Within five months of finishing the MBA Gerard was promoted to the Commercial Manager position to run the largest Air Traffic management centre for New Zealand, based in Christchurch, leading 131 staff and bringing in revenue in excess of $40 million.
Gerard declares that ‘the main benefit was that I became transportable. I could apply tools and thought processes across any industry or domain, and It gave me confidence that I could use what I had learned to be able to ask the right questions and evaluate the answers in most commercial contexts.’
Today, as Industry Development General Manager at the Canterbury Development Corporation, Gerard has successfully made the transition from being the person striving for personal and professional growth to helping Canterbury’s community achieve their commercial goals through growing business and nurturing innovation.
‘The UC MBA taught me to be open to challenging my own views and embracing new paradigms. Commercially and professionally, it made a huge transformation in my portability and employability.’