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Student story

Afi Tusa

20 July 2023

"It's awesome to learn from people who are out there, doing it..."


Master of Business Administration

Chief Operating Officer, JIX Ltd

Founder, MAUX

Where do your passions lie, career-wise?

I’m really passionate about business development for Pasifika people. Last year I started a social enterprise called MAUX to contribute to business development in the Pacific. I've been lucky enough to gain a degree and travel the world playing rugby, and I want to share my knowledge with others. I'm also Chief Operating Officer of JIX, which is a small cross reality start-up.

What will your MBA add to mix?

My MBA is helping me to plug my knowledge gaps and launch a business on a global scale. My final project will be a chance to validate my MAUX business model and give my first initiative in the Pacific the best chance of success.

Favourite aspect of your MBA so far?

I love the fact that I can take the knowledge I'm learning in the MBA and apply it immediately to what I do. Business is constantly changing and we focus a lot on the technical and adaptive skills we need in order to navigate change successfully.

Are you gaining leadership skills too?

Absolutely. It's awesome to learn from people who are out there, doing it. Our teachers are well connected and bring real-life experience to the table. I just finished a block course in multicultural negotiations which was taught by a man who's worked all over Africa. The stories he shared aren't from a textbook, they're from his actual experiences doing negotiations across the globe.

What would you say to others thinking about an MBA?

The reason I said yes to my MBA is because I’m a Pasifika advocate. I would love to see more Pasifika people embarking on courses like this. It's highly international with people from a wide range of industries and levels of experience. There’s huge diversity of thought. The thing we all have in common is that we’re here to keep learning.

Would you recommend UC in particular?

Most definitely. Our learning is highly practical, not just from a book. The block courses that are offered gives students a lot of flexibility. I've had classmates fly in from around NZ for the 4 day option provided. It's great for those working full time and are a really impactful way to learn.

How do you feel for having embarked on your MBA?

I feel great! I want to be challenged every day. That's why I’m putting as many things on my plate as possible. My MBA is setting me up to tackle my future face forward. I've picked up so many connections that will be beneficial for MAUX. When I come into contact with other executives I have so much more confidence now, because of the calibre of the degree behind me.

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