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MBA Director Is Up For The Challenge

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Successful businessman, mountaineer and adventure sports enthusiast Andrew Barney is looking forward to combining his skills as he takes on his latest challenge. Fresh from a summer holiday snowboarding in Europe, he will take over as director of the MBA programme at Massey University and believes his background in human resources, management and training will be perfect for the role.

Mr Barney says taking calculated risks is necessary to test oneself and unlock true potential and is looking forward to meeting the latest intake of MBA students who he sees as "kindred spirits".

"The MBA represents a real challenge - financially, and in terms of completion time - and the kind of people who voluntarily choose this tough option are always interesting," he says.

"Business and outdoor adventure have a lot in common: it's all about assessing the risks as best you can, trusting your abilities, and giving it a go."

Mr Barney has climbed most of New Zealand's significant peaks and kayaked many of its white water rivers. "The only way you'll ever know your true potential is if you throw yourself in the deep end," he says.

"When they start, MBA students don't know where their hard work will take them, but they swallow their fear and take on the challenge anyway. I admire that."

After gaining his Bachelor of Arts Degree and Masters of Philosophy, Mr Barney worked for the Employers and Manufacturers Association as a consultant. Prior to joining the University in 1993, he also worked on experiential (outward bound-style) training programmes for young managers, and has been teaching human resource management and organisational behaviour on the MBA programme since 1998. Mr Barney is also director of an active management consulting company. He says he is now looking forward to devoting his time to teaching, as it was his passion for education and training as well as natural affinity for practical problem solving and imparting information that first drew him to the MBA programme. "It is the longest running and one of the most flexible courses around and its quality has been recognised with accreditation by the Association of MBAs," he says. "On top of that, the College of Business has international accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the calibre of students we get at Massey is exceptional."

Mr Barney will judge his success on his ability to put in place structures that give students the most effective educational outcomes, the satisfaction of the students themselves and the positive feedback from their employers.

"That's what the students deserve - I've not met an MBA student I didn't like or admire, because they have achieved such remarkable things. I hold them in very high regard and they are very carefully selected, so they will learn as much from each other as they will from us," he says.

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