“Commercial strategist who quickly learned that corporate law was no fun. Curious, candid, bad golfer.”
Fun facts about yourself: In 2010 a friend and I raised over $40,000 for The First Tee of New Zealand by playing a round of golf on a different course, every day of the year. We played in 14 countries, kept a daily blog, lost a lot of balls, got a lot of blisters – and above all met some amazing people! A life-changing project.
Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2007)
Where are you currently working? Deputy Director, Commercial Models – Cabinet Office, Her Majesty’s Government (UK)
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I had the privilege of playing a leading role in the allocation and distribution of ventilators and oxygen therapy devices across the UK, in the first wave of the pandemic. Thanks to the team’s efforts, no one died for wanting a ventilated bed – something we were hugely proud of.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? WBS clearly had a strong digital platform, developed over a number of years. It also had a reputation for rigor and a practical, applied ethic – which appealed to me coming from the world of gas transmission. I can’t deny that rankings played a part, though really they were a hygiene factor — it was the overall sense of quality and open-mindedness that drew me in.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The part I valued the most was the flexibility, but my favorite? Probably the anticipation leading into the onsite weeks, wondering whether people would behave the same in person as they did online!
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I paid more attention – which is kind of funny when you reflect that the lessons were recorded – whereas my undergraduate lessons weren’t!
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Participate fully. Sometimes that means overcoming your inhibitions, asking the question or making the comment that your fingers want to type. Most of the time, though, I think it’s about listening and reading what others have to say. DLMBA classes tend to be larger, which means you have a broader pool of collective wisdom to tap into. Don’t just pay attention to what the lecturer or tutor is saying. Take it all in – and if something really resonates, reach out, and suggest a virtual coffee.
What would you change about an online MBA program? Not much to be honest – WBS exceeded my expectations. The social side perhaps isn’t as easy as on-site, so any creativity there would be welcome – but realistically everyone is super busy. And getting together online just isn’t quite the same – as most of us can now attest, when team drinks migrated to Zoom during the pandemic…
How has your online education helped you in your current job? By opting for the DLMBA rather than a full-time, onsite MBA, I was able to apply what I was learning to my work in more or less real-time. This creates an obvious symbiosis: it makes your knowledge stick more, deepens your understanding, and invites you to think more critically about the course content – which makes you more engaged when tuning into that 10pm lecture.
Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? Yes, both
Did you earn a raise during the online MBA program? yes
Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 15, on average
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My natural preference is to lead from the shadows, rather than the front—as a consigliere of sorts. When I look back on my career, therefore, I hope that I’ll have had a meaningful positive influence on senior executives whose decisions and actions have a real bearing on people’s lives – whether that be in HM Government, in companies responding to the Net Zero challenge, or something that otherwise nudges society forward.
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