Member of Parliament, Taupo - Taupo, New Zealand
- Master of Business Administration
From her polished public image, one would never guess that MP for Taupō Louise Upston had a rough start to her tertiary education; unexpectedly having to drop out of law school.
However, rather than seeing the glass half empty, Louise seized the opportunity to start her own management consultancy firm, McGill Manning, at the tender age of 19.
With her clear talent for business and entrepreneurial flair, Louise managed to successfully grow her business; with clients like Air New Zealand, Russell McVeagh and Datacom.
When Louise decided to study for an MBA, she wanted a university that would suit both her personal and entrepreneurial focus, and Waikato Management School fit the bill. It appealed to Louise for its excellent reputation, and uniquely, the opportunity to study internationally.
Louise feels the real value of her MBA came through the connections she was able to make with alumni, staff and her classmates; many of whom, despite a busy work and home life, she is still in contact with.
With her MBA enabling her to "take several steps forward”, Louise ran for Parliament for the first time in 2008 and won the Taupō seat; one of the country’s largest. She has retained the seat in every election since.
Over three terms under the former National government (2008 - 2017), she was charged with responsibility for many senior portfolios, including Minister for Corrections, Women and Land Information; and Associate Minister for Education, Local Government, Primary Industries, and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment.