Mark O'Neill

Mark didn’t let his lack of undergraduate experience stop him and he took on his 12 subjects with the same rigour as he did his 12 seasons as a Balmain Tiger – with motivation and determination!

  • Location: New South Wales
  • Industry: Sport & Recreation
  • Job Function: Management
  • Programme: MBA
  • Motivation: Develop knowledge and skills, Personal achievement
  • Challenges: Limited previous study experience
  • Year of Graduation: 2019


“I was afraid of how I would find the time, and how to achieve it all and get the marks that I wanted to achieve.”

Mark hadn’t studied at a postgraduate level before, so his wife Belinda and daughters Myla, Maddison & Ella rallied behind him to help ⁠— with unexpected benefits. “For my daughters to see me doing the study and the assignments and the project work that I did, I think it inspires them to read. And if that helps them pick up a book and read, and furthers their education? Well, that’d be fantastic, as any parent would attest to.”

The O’Neills all put in the hard yards during Mark’s 12 MBA subjects, so he promised them 12 rewards of their choice. “They made sacrifices as well. Taking them on the journey was exciting for them too because they are still getting the reward now.” Their special requests included snorkelling, sleepovers with friends, visits to the city, and Mark’s ‘special lasagne’ cooked for them.

Mark graduated his MBA in June. It’s helping him revitalise the Parramatta Eels NRL – National Rugby League team as their General Manager of Football with new skills in critical analysis. “That sound reasoning is crucial, not only in my industry, but any industry when you’re looking to deliver operational strategies.” Now he’s taking the opportunity to enjoy some downtime.

“I’m just taking a break now to chill and let my head stop spinning after the last two years of craziness!”.