Operations Manager - Waitoa site, Fonterra - Waitoa, Waikato
- Master of Business Administration
Ipu Hapi likens the Waikato MBA he's worked so hard to achieve to a sacred taonga, like the All Blacks jersey.
“It is a symbol of excellence, hard work, and shows that with effort and sacrifice I can become all that I want to be.”
Since graduating from the Waikato MBA with Distinction in 2016, Ipu has been promoted several times at Fonterra.
He is currently Operations Manager at Fonterra's Waitoa site, responsible for overseeing 290 employees across manufacturing, engineering and services, environmental, transport, food safety and quality.
Ipu says his approach to managing people at work has changed as well.
“In the past I’ve been worried about being a good leader. Now I look at myself as a person who is always adding new skills to my leadership toolkit. This has led me to try out new things and be willing to learn from my mistakes, so that I’m comfortable in any situation.”
Married with two boys, Ipu has always put a high value on education and learning.
“My MBA journey opened me up to a world of possibility,” he says. “It equipped me with the tools and confidence to work through any situation. Now I know where I want to be, and what I want to be doing.”
Ipu is full of praise for his Waikato MBA lecturers. “I feel I had the best people in the world to guide me through my journey. The classes offered a unique environment where you could learn from other people's experiences, and everyone was invested in helping you achieve your goals."
"The friendships you make along the way give you a diverse professional network to draw on for advice in the future. There have been some outstanding graduates of this programme, and being part the Waikato MBA alumni makes you part of a unique fraternity," he says.
"The workload was tough, but grasping concepts is satisfying. In every class we talked about how these concepts are applied in the workplace, which gives more meaning to what you’re learning. It helps you to identify gaps and find improvements in what you’re doing."