How Millpond were instrumental in re-shaping the Professional Consulting Engagement within the Online MBA at Otago University


The Otago University (OU) MBA program, the oldest in New Zealand with nearly 50 years of history, has continually evolved over the decades. Now, professionals all over the world opt for the highly regarded Online MBA offering at Otago University, ranked #1 in the world for class experience (QS World Rankings).

The MBA leadership team sought a fresh approach for the second phase of the Online MBA program and turned to Millpond for assistance.

Facing a growing number of students in the Professional Consulting Engagement (PCE) phase, the MBA wanted to shift from individual projects with academics to a group learning setting with a combination of Project Management training and ongoing professional coaching.

Ian Lafferty, Director of Executive Programs at the University of Otago, appreciated Millpond’s approach, “One of the things we liked about Millpond was that we started the process by telling them what we wanted and they asked quite a few questions.” Ian appreciated the collaborative nature of the engagement, leading to Millpond becoming instrumental in the shaping of the offering that was going out to students.

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OU recognized the following key attributes in Millpond:

  • Millpond’s experience in both education and expertise as practicing project management professionals.
  • Willingness to lead and take responsibility for delivering the PCE on behalf of OU.
  • Establishment of professional relationships with students, the administration team, and academia within the MBA program.
  • A consultative approach involving the right questions, producing a tailored solution.

Millpond successfully introduced a new approach, addressing OU’s requirements. Seven years later, the PCE continues to evolve, requiring less input from the OU Executive, demonstrating Millpond’s capability and accountability for program success.

Ian also noted an unexpected strength in Millpond’s ability to quickly understand the project intricacies across various sectors and topics. “Millpond can give input to every student along the way. So the level of understanding of the content of the projects by Millpond Consultants has been excellent” says Ian Lafferty.


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Instrumental in shaping the PCE offering, creating something new

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Took the lead and willingly assumed responsibility for delivering the PCE on behalf of OU

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Established strong relationships, demonstrated accountability, and became partners with the University


When asked what OU enjoyed most about working with Millpond, they highlighted that it was mostly the way Millpond approached the opportunity. “It was really a consultative process, as Millpond asked the right questions, then they gave us the right solution.”

Given the partnership and the continuing success of the PCE within the Online MBA program, Millpond continues to develop and deliver the PCE section of the Online MBA for 2-3 cohorts each year.


What Otago University MBA said

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