Deon Swiggs

Christchurch City Councillor Deon looked to the MBA to boost his business skills, but his increased financial acumen has proven to be the most beneficial outcome.

  • Location: New Zealand
  • Industry: Government & Defence
  • Job Function: Executive, Owner & Board
  • Programme: MBA
  • Motivation: Develop knowledge and skills, Keep pace with business world
  • Challenges: Certain Subjects, Balance and Time Management
  • Year of Graduation: 2018

 

Why did you decide to study an MBA?

I decided to study an MBA because I wanted to understand a lot more about business and finance. Finance is a really important part of what I do now. And also, just understanding the fundamentals of business in a real generic sense was really interesting to me. It has actually helped a lot in the role that I now do. The learnings that I did with my MBA have helped me understand what I need to understand so that I can take that and practically implement those strategies and those skills in my workplace.

Would you attribute any of your career success to having done the MBA?

I really enjoyed the finance papers in the MBA program. Now I’m sitting on the Finance Committee for the City Council. We’re going through tens of billions of dollars worth of rebuilding our city. I oversee a lot of that in terms of the financial management of what we’re doing as a City Council. I wouldn’t have been able to do some of the stuff that I do now if I didn’t learn the skills through the MBA.

That is a direct result of what I learnt, but it also gave me stuff that I knew that I wanted to learn a little bit more about as well. The MBA isn’t the full answer, but it also gives you the bite-sized bits to things you need to know a little bit more about. Then you actually know where to go to find that information to then be able to self-learn for yourself, depending on the circumstances that you’re in.

So yes, the MBA program has helped me immensely to be more competent in my role and has given the confidence to the city so that I can lead a lot of the financial stuff that’s going on.

What were the best aspects of being able to study online with the AIB?

The best aspects of being able to study the way AIB did it was I could control my own time and I could control my own diary. I’m a very busy person and have always been very busy. Being dictated to say, “You need to be there at this time, you need to do that by, or you need to be a this class at that time” and those kind of things, just didn’t really work with my lifestyle.

Having deadlines is great, but being able to fit your work schedule into those deadlines was very vital for me to be able to do what I wanted to do, which was actually learn more.