Nita Harding

Business Manager, DairyNZ

Key Info

  • Master of Business Administration

Nita Harding didn’t set out to get an MBA – a promotion to a business manager role led the veterinary scientist to look for ways to help her do her job better. But along the way, Nita found she was hooked.

“I started off doing the part-time Postgraduate Diploma to brush up on my work skills and came out with an MBA,” says Nita, who looks after a team of a dozen vets throughout New Zealand at DairyNZ, the leading quality assurance certifier for agricultural producers and exporters. “Doing the MBA enabled me to put into practice the theory I had learned – it was the icing on the cake.”

Nita chose Waikato because she could fit the study around her demanding job, and because it offered a classroom-based learning environment aimed at senior managers.

“I found the MBA programme challenging and stimulating,” she said. “When I took on my new role, I had to take on responsibility for financial management and reporting. I’d had nothing to do with finance apart from balancing my cheque book at home, so that was a big step for me.”

Nita found she enjoyed wrestling with the intricacies of business finance, but for her MBA research project she chose to focus on the dynamics of the international marketplace for primary product exports. “I work with exporters, and it was fascinating to see how the world impacts on their businesses and ultimately on mine.”

"Doing the MBA enabled me to put into practice the theory I had learned – it was the icing on the cake."

The Waikato MBA also pitched Nita in with a diverse group of senior executives from a range of backgrounds. “Group work was a part of every paper, and I got a great deal of satisfaction from sharing skills and working with others to successfully deliver on a project,” she says.

Thanks to her Waikato MBA, Nita says she’s now able to manage more strategically. “I can look in at my team and the work that it does from a number of different angles, and look outwards to see many more issues that impact on the business.”

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