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Student story

Lloyd Mander

02 August 2023

"I found the personal development component especially valuable..."


Trustee, Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust

Board Member and Independent Consultant

After co-founding and managing a successful healthcare business for several years, Lloyd decided to build on his professional and industry knowledge with the Master of Business Administration (MBA).

"During this period I obtained plenty of practical business experience, especially in the healthcare sector, but I felt I was missing a sound, research-based structure to my business decisions," he says. "I sought the MBA as way to provide this structure and give insight across the breadth of business-related topics that would be applicable to different industries."

Lloyd looked at MBA programmes at several overseas universities before deciding on UC, his local university, due to the advantages of local networking and content.

He found the programme built strongly on his previous experience, providing enhanced training towards managerial and operational business skills.

"The UC MBA has a special focus on leadership and personal development. Although I was originally drawn to the content relating to commercial acumen, I found the personal development component especially valuable. The lectures were typically interactive making them highly engaging.

"Group projects were an important part of the courses and although working with different personalities can be a challenge, I really enjoyed this aspect. I made numerous contacts and some great friendships through my study."

He has progressed into diverse roles in governance, management and consulting after graduating. A current governance role is with the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust, one of the largest providers of social housing in New Zealand.

"Given current challenges with affordable housing in New Zealand, social housing is an important and evolving sector. Over the coming years we will be developing $50M of land to increase the availability of social and affordable housing in Christchurch," he says.

Having developed a much broader range of skills from his studies, Lloyd has become a valuable member of the Board, supporting the Trust to meet the city’s housing needs.

"The breadth of the MBA has ensured that I have a good working knowledge of all the necessary functional areas such as accounting, HR, operations management and strategy in addition to particular strengths in areas where my study was focused such as marketing. This has allowed me to provide input into all areas."

After experiencing the strengths and weaknesses of group decision-making in governance contexts and uncovering opportunities to improve performance, Lloyd undertook a research project and developed a diagnostic tool to understand group diversity of thought and decision-making culture.

Alongside his other roles, he now leads DOT Scorecard, a consultancy that works with corporate, governmental, and not-for-profit boards and executive teams facing complex decisions to improve potential for wide-ranging diversity of thought and develop the decision-making culture that is required to realise diverse thinking. He is also a facilitator for the Institute of Director’s Chairing the Board course on the specialist topic of "diversity of thought".

Outside of work Lloyd spends his days raising his two active boys, and also enjoys hobbies in digital photography and running.

Lloyd hopes to continue onto a variety of governance roles within different industries, emphasising that the MBA’s real value is in developing the learning and personal capabilities required for senior leadership positions.

"I have benefited more from the personal development, course content, and learning how to learn through the study than the ability to put the qualification on my CV," he says. "Prospective students will obtain the most value when they have prior commercial experience and are prepared to actively apply what they learn to their future endeavours."

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