Business Masters celebrates ‘5 Years, 10 Cohorts’

With an alumni network now reaching over 1,000 graduates, the Business Masters programmes gathered to celebrate their success.

Dean of Business and Economics Jayne Godfrey addresses the Business Masters celebration.

A celebratory dinner was held on 26 September 2019 at the Pullman Hotel to mark the five-year anniversary and acknowledge the milestone of ten cohorts graduating from the University of Auckland Business Masters programmes.

Since the first delivery in 2013, the Business Masters now has over 1,000 alumni across its suite of programmes (Master of Professional Accounting, Master of Management, Master of International Business and Master of Marketing).

The event, for the first time, brought together graduates from all ten cohorts, as well as staff involved in the inception, development and delivery of the programmes.

The key messages from alumni emphasised the strong impact the programmes had on their careers, and their personal and professional development. They recognised the role of the Business Masters community as they built networks and formed lifelong friendships.

Andrew Eberhard, Academic Director of the Business Masters programmes and recent recipient of the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award at the 2019 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards, welcomed guests to the event by acknowledging the pioneering Cohort 1 students and the staff who taught and supported them.

“The success and growth of these programmes has only been possible for two reasons. Firstly, the grit and determination shown by our incredible students to rise to the challenge and succeed in such intensive and challenging programmes. The second reason these programmes have been successful is our dedicated, committed and passionate staff who give their all in supporting your success.”

The programme has good design, committed staff and great students. But,
it also has the rarest of things in an educational setting – it has 'soul'.

Professor Darl Kolb

Dean of the Business School, Professor Jayne Godfrey, paid special tribute to Sue Laurenson, Associate Dean Academic Programmes and International and former Director of the Business Masters programmes, who was instrumental in the launch and continued success of the programmes.

“[Sue] committed untold thought, planning, energy, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to the Business Masters programmes in their initial years. The Business Masters programmes will always be ‘your baby’, and I hope that you take enormous pride from the success of the programmes – so much of which builds from the foundations that you established.”

Professor Darl Kolb, whose Managing People and Organisations course has been a core element of the Business Masters since Cohort 1, noted that “the programme has good design, committed staff and great students. But, it also has the rarest of things in an educational setting – it has ‘soul.’”

Attracting large numbers of both domestic and international students, the Business Masters has been celebrated for its diverse population and commitment to delivering globally relevant programmes.

Sami Siddiq, alumnus from Cohort 7 and now Product Owner at The Warehouse Group, spoke on the value of gaining relevant skills and knowledge with and alongside peers from diverse backgrounds as he moved forward in his New Zealand career.

“We were [fortunate] to study with such a multicultural group of people, since you enter the workforce well equipped to understand the strengths and weaknesses of people from across the world. This enables you to maximise the performance of the team and help everyone achieve more.”

Other alumni speakers included Ankita Panda, now working as HR Advisor at Techtronic Industries; Katie Griffith, currently a Senior Analyst for Corporate Strategy at ASB Bank; and Jo Yee Kok, presently with PwC New Zealand as a Senior Associate.

The Business Masters programmes continue to go from strength to strength as one of the University of Auckland’s flagship programmes.

“You have shaped your own futures, and now many of you are shaping your organisation’s and others’ futures in ways that will improve business, and thus contribute to society,” said Professor Godfrey.

Find out more about Business Masters Programmes.