4 MBA graduates who have lit up the world

Do you have a professional role model?

Do you have a role model? For many of us, there are people directly or indirectly involved in our lives who we aspire to emulate and respect greatly. This could be our mother, father, sibling or even a famous celebrity.

However, in recent times, a new trend has emerged – professional role models. As we begin to shape our careers, these successful individuals show what is possible and the levels of energy and effort needed to reach the top. As such, if you are thinking about starting a Master of Business Administration (MBA) – the most internationally-recognised business qualification – there are plenty of great people to look up to.

Read on to read about four MBA graduates who have built a true business legacy.

1) Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi has been the CEO of Pepsi since 2006.

You've probably heard of Pepsi, one of the most popular drinks in the world. Well, Indra Nooyi has been the CEO of this multinational since 2006 – supporting the company through several economic depressions and challenges in the market.

Nooyi was born in India and graduated university with a Bachelor of Science, before deciding to pursue an MBA. To explore her career options, she moved to the United States, undertaking a number of internships and strategy positions before joining PepsiCo in 1994. Nooyi's internal success at PepsiCo has been well documented and she was even named 14th on Forbes' list of the world's most powerful women in 2016. As an example of someone who is constantly improving their own personal skills, Indra Nooyi would make a great role model.

2) Phil Knight

While Blue Ribbon Sports might not ring any bells, what MBA graduate Phil Knight achieved is nothing but remarkable. After receiving an MBA from a US university, Knight's quest for his own business resulted in Blue Ribbon Sports – a company that in the following years would turn into Nike.

This was 1971, with Phil Knight at the heart of the extraordinary progress of both the brand and business. After 52 years, he retired as chairman of the shoe giant in June 2016 aged 78 years, bookending a career in which he held almost every senior management position within the company.

3) Shaquille O'Neal

Also known as 'Shaq', Shaquille O'Neal enjoyed a great NBA career over 19 years – winning four championships and earning three NBA Finals MVP awards. However, what is less well-known about Shaq is his business knowledge, earning an MBA online at a US university.

Since his retirement from basketball in 2011, Shaquille O'Neal has developed a wide business portfolio including real estate entrepreneurship, enterprise investment and television production. The former basketball star is a true example of how a career change can be successful, if you obtain the right skills in the process.

4) Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman was named by Forbes as the world's 9th most powerful women in 2016.

What do eBay, Walt Disney Company and Hewlitt-Packard have in common? As well as being some of the biggest businesses in the world, they've also had the honour of having Meg Whitman among their senior management.

The 1979 MBA graduate was most recently CEO of Hewlitt-Packard and has also been involved in the political scene in California. Whitman was also named by Forbes as the world's 9th most powerful women in 2016 and the 93rd richest person in technology – two accolades that place her among the top businesswomen in the world.

Learning more about the MBA at AIS

An MBA with the Auckland Institute of Studies might not guarantee you a place on this list in the future, but it will give you a solid base to start your career either in New Zealand or overseas. With industry-leading teachers and faculties, you have the opportunity to be the role model that you always looked up to.

For more information, feel free to reach out to our team today.