Martin Haese: From MBA Graduate to MBA Facilitator to Lord Mayoral Candidate

Martin Haese: From MBA Graduate to MBA Facilitator to Lord Mayoral Candidate


A Masters of Business Administration offers a wide range of experiences and knowledge to its students. Many MBA students go on to achieve executive level promotions, increase their salaries, become better leaders and managers, and found and operate their own companies. The skills learnt – including leadership, discipline, strategic planning and marketing – are useful in a variety of facets of life, not just the business world.

This notion of all-inclusive skills is currently being explored by AIB MBA graduate and MBA programme facilitator Martin Haese. He has recently announced that he is running for Lord Mayor of Adelaide, to be decided by the residents and traders of the Adelaide City Council area in early November 2014.

Martin has been a part of the AIB Community since he was a member of AIB’s inaugural 12 Month MBA class in 2007. He completed his studies and graduated in 2008, after choosing to pursue the MBA to fulfil a promise he made to himself.

“I had sold my business in 2005, and for many years prior to that had thought about doing an MBA and simply did not have the time or the opportunity – but I made it a goal that when I sold the business that I would do an MBA.”

Majoring in Entrepreneurship was a natural choice for the businessman, who built retail brand “Youthworks” from the ground up in 1993. Completing an MBA with AIB meant he was able to undertake subjects including New Venture Creation and Entrepreneurship, lighting a passion for business studies that lead to his position a facilitator with AIB.

“I absolutely loved the MBA. I didn’t know what to expect before I did it, but I immersed myself in it. After completing my MBA, Selva – the Founder Chairman of AIB – offered me the opportunity to facilitate the Entrepreneurship course.”

The value of facilitating is easy to understand for students, of course, as it provides the opportunity to learn from experts in their field. But Martin says there’s a definite value to the facilitator, also.

“What I found is that as much as you give, you get it back in spades. You learn a great deal from your students, and it actually helps you grow as you help them grow.”

That growth, his business experience, and his love for his city have led Martin Haese to run for Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide in the Adelaide City Council elections in late 2014 – but what has the journey been like from businessman to MBA graduate to MBA facilitator and now Lord Mayoral candidate?

“I can sum it up in a word – busy!” Martin laughs. “In many ways it’s like a bit of a natural progression. From being a hands-on entrepreneur and learning a lot about the world of business, to validating that learning through an MBA, then further validating it through the facilitation role at AIB – that’s not something I’ve ever done before, and it was terrific.”

Facilitation, however, is not as easy as some would believe.

“The skill of facilitation, in my experience, is in multi-tasking. You need to listen, share, swap notes, swap experiences, learn from other people’s knowledge and encourage people to share their knowledge with each other. You’ve got to get the group involved, and invite people to collaborate,” Martin says.

“What I’m aiming to do, in running for Lord Mayor – it’s not that dissimilar to facilitating a class. I’m sharing ideas about how we could progress the city like I would share ideas about entrepreneurship principles with my students. Any councillor, lord mayor or politician is also a facilitator – the way I see it, their job is to listen, to learn, to act and to make things happen.”

Martin’s wife Genevieve is pleased that Martin has decided to run for the position.

“Martin has been very much involved in the City of Adelaide, and I think it’s time for him to put his extensive knowledge and experience back toward the city and see what we can build with that,” she says.

More details about Martin Haese, his experiences as an entrepreneur and educator, and his campaign for Lord Mayor of Adelaide can be found on his website here.

We wish Martin the best for his campaign, and we wish our entire Alumni community all the best in their future endeavours.

Are you an alumnus of the Australian Institute of Business? We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to since graduating – let us know in the comments below!

This article was written by Simone Ball on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business, from an interview conducted with Martin Haese. The very best has been done to accurately reflect the thoughts and opinions of the participant.

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