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My life-changing experience

Friday 1 September 2017 11:30am

Ryf Quail thumbnail
Ryf Quail.

Ryf Quail, full-time Otago MBA graduate, shares his experience about joining the Otago MBA.

I needed a change. I was no longer getting the satisfaction I was from my chosen career for a variety of reasons. I knew I had skills to make a difference, my clients told me that but I just wasn’t enjoying my world in advertising any more. My wife was the catalyst. She said to me I needed to be happy but what could I do? I needed some time to reflect as I really did not know what to do.

Every day I would have an idea. What about if we followed the world surf tour around the globe for the year? What about riding motorcycles around South America? None of which were really feasible, especially as we had a three-year-old. I then began to think about study. I had begun the process of enrolling in an MBA twice but had 'chickened out'. The thought of full-time work and study for five years or so did not appeal. I began to start searching around online. I soon realised that it was possible to do it quickly but also have an adventure at the same time. I also realised that as an Australian who had lived in New Zealand for more than two years, I could get a student loan. Things were starting to fall in place.

Preparing for GMAT

As I began to ease out of my management role, I began the study for my GMAT. This was as much a pre-test for me to see whether I could handle it as a screener for the business schools. I was stepping away from a big salary with the potential to not earn anything for more than 12 months and I had a young family. Was I mad? We did the numbers and we could make it work in Otago. I had to make sacrifices. I sold my motorbike and cask wine became my friend. The long lunches in Sydney and Auckland seemed a long way away. On the flipside, while my study load was big, there were some pretty good benefits. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family plus Otago has some of the best surf breaks in New Zealand!

I loved my time in Dunedin

I won't talk about my experience in Otago itself as there is much to say. I loved my time in Dunedin but this would require about three or four chapters to really go into. I think some of my friends and colleagues thought I belonged to some strange cult given the enthusiasm by which I talk about it. I prefer to talk more about my post-MBA experience, because it really put me on a course where I am probably the happiest and most successful in my career to date.

I have a number of ventures running including a market research business and a data business, plus I have launched the largest digital marketing conference ever held in New Zealand: All of this and I only started in April 2013 and I have yet to graduate! The Otago MBA gave me the confidence and structure to roll my sleeves up and begin my entrepreneurial journey. If you were like me and stuck in a rut, and you can find the money to get you through, my recommendation is don’t wait – get enrolled and get into it. You won’t regret it.