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Student story

Gareth Bruce - recipient

07 December 2023

Gareth Bruce's professional journey took a turn when he embarked on an MBA. Recognising the need to advance his leadership skills and broaden his perspectives, Gareth understood the importance of challenging himself, expanding his knowledge base, and learning from experts on the forefront of change. Read Gareth's story.


Amidst various MBA options, the University of Canterbury's MBA stood out to Gareth for its distinctive attributes. Unlike traditional programs, the UC MBA offered a unique structure that prioritized agility and innovation. The integration of courses and material appealed to Gareth, as did the opportunity for international travel as part of the curriculum. This structure allowed him to balance his studies with his responsibilities as a family man, attending classes both in person and via virtual platforms.

Gareth's journey was significantly aided by The Ben Gough Family Foundation Leaders Scholarship, a scholarship that set itself apart through its comprehensive approach. Beyond the financial support, the scholarship provided integrated opportunities such as leadership coaching, Outward Bound experiences, and mentoring. Gareth emphasized the importance of the scholarship cohort, which fostered a strong sense of community and provided access to a valuable network. The Foundation's Trustees, Ben and Penny Gough, displayed a keen interest in the scholars' success and actively shared their expansive network for the scholars' benefit.

Throughout his MBA journey, Gareth was able to synergize the knowledge gained from coursework with insights from multiple experts. Rob Fyfe, his mentor, and his leadership coach all played crucial roles in this process. By combining academic learnings with practical perspectives, Gareth developed an effective approach to applying his newfound knowledge in real-world situations.

The scholarship's personalized leadership coaching and mentorship offerings were pivotal in enhancing Gareth's leadership capabilities and aligning with his long-term career goals. These experiences not only supported his immediate growth as a leader but also guided his future aspirations. Gareth's mentor helped him bridge the gap between his current status and his envisioned career trajectory, offering distilled wisdom in the realms of leadership, coaching, and organizational transformation.

As Gareth's journey continued, the impact of the UC MBA experience on his aspirations was still unfolding. While it was too early for him to definitively quantify the influence, the teachings, mentorship, and coaching were gradually shaping his outlook on his future career. Through this ongoing process, Gareth was aligning his aspirations with the principles and perspectives he was acquiring throughout the MBA journey, preparing himself for a future of leadership and influence.

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