'My MBA has been a way for me to expand my mind and challenge my cognitive abilities.'
Why did you decide to get your MBA?
I’ve had a lot of different roles over the past ten years and I wanted to quantify my experience. An MBA is a highly recognised degree so I thought it would be a good way to benchmark my skills.
Why did you choose to study in Christchurch?
I grew up here but worked overseas for many years. Coming home, I can see that the city has changed a lot. It's dynamic, it's hopeful, its creative. Plus there’s the opportunity to have a very enviable lifestyle! Doing the MBA at UC is a great way to open up my networks here.
Best part of your MBA so far?
The leadership papers. Good leadership is critical for any successful business, but it's not something everyone has a lot of development in. It's been incredibly useful to learn new skills and find out ways I can become a more effective leader.
What other opportunities does an MBA present?
The value of doing an MBA is that you don't know what you don't know. You come in and discover new knowledge and concepts that you may not have been exposed to before. Another strength is the diversity of the other students in the room. Half the students are from overseas; it's a global classroom. I think learning how businesses operate in other parts of the world is especially important for New Zealanders, being at the bottom of the world as we are!
How demanding is an MBA, and how can people prepare for it?
Intellectually, anyone who has a good work ethic and the ability to think critically is capable of doing the course. But it is very demanding. I would advise anyone coming into the MBA to protect their mind and their personal needs. Most of us are quite driven and have a history of high achievement. We tend to push ourselves, so being able to prioritise is highly important.
How do you think having your MBA will influence your career?
An MBA enables you to look at things more critically and with more inputs. It really does reshape the way you think. It’s opened my mind up to different perspectives, which I think is making me a better problem solver and a stronger leader. Having an MBA also demonstrates a level of accomplishment to others, and becomes a “ticket” that can open doors professionally.
And how has it influenced you personally?
I’m stretching myself, I'm growing. I'm finding my limits and renegotiating them. My MBA has been a way for me to expand my mind and challenge my cognitive abilities. I’m always striving to be better and I think this degree is helping me to do that.