Scholar Spotlight: Pearce Watson (MBA, 2014)

Pearce and his wife Kate

Pearce Watson is a recipient of the Pettman Scholarship. Here he talks about the impact the scholarship has had:

My name is Pearce Watson and I completed my full-time MBA at Cass in 2013/14. I chose the course because I’ve always wanted to complete an MBA and, having had seven years experience as a rural banker back home in New Zealand, it seemed a good way to prepare for the next step in my career.

Completing the Cass MBA gave me the added nuance of doing it with over forty different nationalities in my cohort – and no other Kiwis (or Aussies)! This has given me a network all over the world and lifelong friends that I otherwise would never have crossed paths with.

My time at Cass was pretty intriguing. It had all the interesting aspects of any other MBA, but the central London location and diverse range of cultural and occupational backgrounds made it pretty unique. For me, the easy access to continental Europe was also an advantage as it allowed me to also enjoy overseas experiences during my time in the UK.

The scholarship I received from Barrie and Maureen Pettman was the difference between doing the MBA in London or in New Zealand. It allowed me to justify living unemployed in London while studying an MBA, whereas without it I would have chosen to do the course back home. So really, the scholarship allowed me to complete a course ranked in the top 40 in the world instead of one back in NZ which would’ve been outside the top 100.

Since completing my MBA I spent two years trading dairy futures on the NZX, as well as working with the exchange to launch a new futures contract to help the NZ dairy industry manage price risk. I’ve recently moved to a new role as Head of Assets for a $500m farming group. This gives me oversight of all development, sustainability, value add projects and new acquisitions. The business has a direct connection to our key consumers in China through our ‘Theland‘ consumer products, selling over 50m litres of milk and other products there each year.