MBA Winter Study School learns from renowned experts

Belinda Bantham -- Fri, 07/26/2019 - 09:46

MBA Winter Study School learns from renowned experts

The Prestige Day of the North-West University’s (NWU’s) annual week-long MBA Winter Study School took place on 24 July 2019 in Potchefstroom.

During a stimulating programme 180 MBA students bonded with fellow students, listened to interesting lectures and took part in management skills workshops.

Top-notch speakers addressed the students on different scenarios and analytics about the South African economy, politics, leadership and the challenges in the agricultural sector. The speakers included:

  • Theo Venter – “The 2019 elections: a political game-changer for South Africa”
  • Prof Raymond Parsons – “Economic recovery or a low growth trap for South Africa?”
  • Nick Serfontein – “The need for a more sustainable agricultural plan for emerging farmers”
  • Dr Chris Lombaard – “Management and leadership challenges in post-election South Africa”

Theo, a political and policy specialist at the NWU Business School, was the first speaker of the day. He enlightened MBA students about South Africa's policy uncertainty and what government needs to do to address it.

Prof Parsons said both business and government need to find themselves on the same page with regard to future policy direction in the post-Zuma era.

“The challenge of creating a bigger, stronger and better economy in South Africa remains a collaborative venture. Business must decide whether it is part of the problem, or wants to be part of the solution,” he said.

Nick, founder and CEO of the Sernick Group, said the government's current plan with regard to emerging farmers is lining them up to fail. “We need a sustainable plan. You cannot develop new farmers without providing the necessary funding and support. It is paramount that we need successes now. Without commercial farmers, the private sector and government, we will not see success in developing farming activities.”

Dr Lombaard, owner of the consulting company Change Capacity and People Capacity Solutions, emphasised the skill of resilience that we need in the workplace today. “Most people who end up in managerial positions today are usually stuck in their ways, which often leads to burnout.

“The challenge for managers is to focus on the things you can control and to gear yourself towards it. You need to focus on your current situation, make a decision and act on it.”

According to Prof Christo Bisschoff, MBA Study School programme manager, students had the opportunity to engage with the school’s alumni, management, lecturers and business leaders.

“The lectures were model-specific and included some concepts aimed at providing advanced managerial development to not only survive in the business jungle but to excel within the dynamic environment of management, leadership and business,” he explained.

These concepts include personal development, practical business challenges, research, skills and also direct MBA tuition.”

The Winter Study School also offered the final-year MBA students the opportunity to work on their company project presentations, which form part of the second-year curriculum.

 Here are some of the guest speakers during the Prestige Day of the MBA Winter Study School. From left are Theo Venter, Dr Chris Lombaard, Prof Raymond Parsons, Nick Serfontein and Prof Fulu Netswera, director of the NWU Business School.