James Nation

Before Otago MBA

"A couple of stars aligned for me which resulted in doing an MBA at Otago. Firstly my wife and I had a baby boy and were learning how  to be parents and secondly I had retired from playing hockey with the national men’s team. Hockey required us to be living in Auckland and once this was out of the picture raising a boy with no family support meant Auckland was not the ideal location. A job transfer within ACC, my employer, was offered in Dunedin and both my wife and I jumped at the chance - from a lifestyle perspective, having a job and of course the University. Both of us completed our undergraduate studies here so knew what the University offered. Although Dunedin is a different city as a local as opposed to being a student.

Why Otago MBA?

How did I come to be doing my MBA? At the time I was heavily weighted, both work and study, towards health sciences and I felt my business knowledge was an area that I required greater understanding. Doing my homework, a part time MBA appeared to be manageable from both my employment and family perspective, plus the MBA was going to fast track a greater range of knowledge. Otago was an easy option as it was right on my doorstep and class timings fitted around work commitments (to a degree). Essentially the MBA I saw as an opportunity to experience a wide range of business facets and offer the potential to diversify my employment options.  

Highlights at Otago MBA

The highlights were numerous, now having completed the study and in hindsight. Many diverse people that offered a different take on how I viewed things, challenging situations and numerous introductions to excellent business people. The live case study and project were definitely a challenge and a highlight. Having to deliver a product that took a lot of hard work and hopefully offered something useful to the client.

Life after Graduation

Since the MBA I have managed to secure a job with the company I completed my 540 project with, Siliconcoach, a sports technology company based here in Dunedin. I am working as a business development manager for their online learning product called Bracken. Essentially this consists of managing a group of existing customers from the education, sports and commercial sectors and of course developing sales (everyone a salesperson). Being in a small technology company, compared to a large government corporation, has meant that I am calling on a wide variety of the MBA information on a daily basis. Changes happen and the difference, good or bad, is seen rather quickly….

Future Plans

Future wise I am working in a completely different field than when I started my MBA, which was the ultimate goal when I started. I have a lot to learn so plan to see how Bracken develops as my project focused on their strategy over the next five years. Being a part of it is pretty exciting. Although I hope we expand offshore, as we plan, so that I can call on the vast network of alumni dotted all around the world and have a beer with them."

What our Alumni say

  • Blake Holgate

    Sustainable Farms System Manager, Rabobank

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  • James Nation

    Business Development Manager, Siliconcoach

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  • Tim Loftus

    Sustainability Manager , Kathmandu Apparel

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  • Ismeni Currin

    Consultant, AbacusBio

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  • Sam Fang

    Manager, ProgressEnglish Training Centre

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  • Wendy Barron

    National Director, Afghanistan ChildFund Organisation

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Alumni in the News

  • Graeme Hart

    Richest man in New Zealand in the news again - (National Business Review, 24 May 2013)

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  • Michael Gleissner

    Appointed General Manager Corporate Strategy, (NZ Superannuation Fund, 15 May 2013)

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  • Uluomatootua (Ulu) Saulaulu Aiono

    Millionaire awarded New Year’s Honours - (NZ Herald, 31 Dec 2011)

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  • Steve Silvey

    Appointed CEO, Dunedin’s Upstart Business Incubator - (ODT, 3 Sep 2011)

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  • Ian Clarke

    Appointed Fronde’s CEO - (Reseller News, 20 May 2011)

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  • David Scott Foret

    Appointed Chief Operating Officer, Tactical Allocation Group, LLC

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