CEO, Pinnacle Ventures Ltd - Hamilton, New Zealand
- Master of Business Administration
For Christine Hall, completing the Waikato MBA has truly transformed her career, having recently stepped into her third CEO role at the age of just 39 at early childhood education provider Central Kids.
It has also given her the conﬁdence to truly understand her value and purpose.
“I’m a transformational change agent, with the ability to take people on the journey and deliver financial results,” she says. “It’s important to me that I don’t just rearrange deck chairs, and that any change process is meaningful and sustainable beyond individuals.”
Christine came to New Zealand when she was 24 to go backpacking. She loved it so much that she decided to stay here, working as a registered occupational therapist at Waikato District Health Board for five years.
She was promoted to team leader of mental health community services, then became operations manager in 2012, with responsibility for delivering mental health services across the Waikato region.
A few years later, Christine was looking to progress her career in a new direction. She could see that the Waikato MBA would provide her with a more generic management skillset, allow her to diversify outside the health sector.
“I was looking for a business qualification that would enable me to move into senior management roles in other industries with confidence,” she explains. “The Waikato MBA most definitely helped me achieve this. All these years down the track, I’m still using many of the tools that I was given.”
She loved the MBA programme from day one. “I loved learning about different industries and understanding what was transferable between different organisations and roles, and it gave me a clearer sense of my own strengths as a manager compared to other people in different ﬁelds.”
"I loved learning about marketing and strategy, and being pushed outside my comfort zone with accounting papers. Going to China on the MBA study tour and learning about business from a whole new perspective was an incredible experience too."
Christine acknowledges the MBA was a big time commitment. “There were lots of sacriﬁces as the study is intensive. Every other weekend I was in class, and the weeks in-between involved writing assignments.”
“At the time I was mum to a two-year-old and a ﬁve-year-old, so balancing work, study and family was a little tricky at times! I feel very happy and fulfilled knowing my family have seen me succeed and achieve my career goals."
She found the group assignments both challenging and rewarding.
“They were challenging because it meant working with people who have a totally different world view and delivering a common product. This was where the richness of learning came from – learning to work with other people with different world views and experience, and the need to sometimes forgo the way you would do things for the sake of the group process.”
Shortly after completing her MBA studies, Christine was appointed to her first chief executive role at LinkPeople, a social housing provider that supports people with complex needs.
"I was able to put all my MBA skills into practice and add value to the organisation right from the start," she says.
After further honing her leadership skills, in 2019 Christine was able to springboard into her next role as general manager at Pinnacle Ventures Ltd, a social enterprise focused on digital innovation in healthcare.
She then stepped up to the role of Chief Executive during the first Covid lockdown in April 2020, and led a significant transformation of the business to make it more streamlined.
Her career pathway keeps getting better and better, and she directly attributes that to her Waikato MBA experience.
“I use the skills I learned every single day, and my latest role is a further stretch to build upon the foundations I learned through the programme.”
Christine recently started her third CEO role at Central Kids, an early childhood education provider.
“I’m a learner, and constantly push myself outside of my comfort zone which is why I have moved between different industries. I’m not afraid to take a risk to grow,” she says.
“All of my experiences have a line of sight back to social impact and making a difference to Aotearoa.”