General Manager - Food Lab Pacific - Hamilton, New Zealand
- Master of Business Administration (with Distinction)
Simon Henshaw was keen to fill some knowledge gaps across a number of areas in business management when he enrolled for the Waikato MBA.
Two years later, having completed the programme while working full-time and juggling other commitments, he has not only formed “some great friendships and business contacts” but also given his career a massive boost.
“I know it’s certainly opened some doors. It also gives you the confidence to seek out new opportunities,” says Simon.
He believes he learnt a lot from his MBA colleagues - as well as from the course content itself.
“One challenging aspect of the MBA is working with highly competitive and intelligent people. It teaches you to collaborate and work with others a lot more than I expected. Some of the most rewarding but challenging assessments were the group projects.”
Discipline and time management are key when studying an MBA, he says, and understandably Covid presented additional challenges for studying and leading a team.
“From a business strategy perspective, it provided a real-life example of how external factors can change, and how adapting quickly to change is essential for businesses to thrive in a post-Covid world.”
Looking back, Simon is surprised by how he was able to sustain his studies and avoid postponing papers – which is an option thanks to the flexibility of the programme.
He was pleased to get it finished, “but it did feel odd that it was all done and you’re leaving behind an extended family whom you’ve spent a lot of time with.”
His advice to anyone thinking about an MBA is to talk to others who have done it. “I received great advice by talking to former alumni of the Waikato Management School. You get a good understanding of the challenges involved, and how they’ve used their MBA to further their careers.”