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Winning Voices: Gareth Kourie, Senior Legal Counsel, Americana Foods

Winning Voices: Gareth Kourie, Senior Legal Counsel, Americana Foods

Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA

PLEASE SHARE MORE ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE AND RESPONSIBLITIES.:

As the senior legal counsel for Americana Foods, my role encompasses a wide range of legal responsibilities and tasks. I act as a primary legal advisor to the company’s executive team and oversee the company’s legal compliance, manage contractual risk, and administer any disputes that may arise. Much of my day is spent reviewing or negotiating agreements, assisting in corporate governance issues, and collaborating with other departments such as finance, human resources, and marketing to ensure a unified approach to legal and business strategies.

WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?:

As a legal professional, my understanding of the different functions that operate within an organization was fairly limited, outside of the legal department. I wanted to gain a working knowledge of what makes successful companies tick, as well as acquire additional tools and techniques that I could utilize within my team. In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, professionals who seek to elevate their career trajectory must constantly adapt and expand their skill sets. Pursuing an MBA was ultimately a strategic step toward achieving that goal.

HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?

I transitioned to Americana Foods after starting my JWMI journey. The move was a shift in the sector for me and is not an opportunity I would have readily pursued had it not been for the insights gleaned from JWMI. Thankfully, I stepped out of my comfort zone and could not be happier working with a fantastic team for a dynamic, innovative organization. Completing my MBA at the JWMI has been a transformative experience, both personally and professionally. The program not only enhanced my understanding of core management concepts but also molded my perspective on leadership, skills I now tap into daily. Moreover, the name “Jack Welch” resonates with leaders in organizations and adds a level of credibility to one’s voice and resumé alike.

DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:

The JWMI MBA places a significant focus on imparting knowledge and skills that are immediately applicable, which becomes apparent relatively quickly after starting the program. The program hones strategic thinking, enabling graduates to analyze complex business scenarios and develop effective strategies. Financial and analytical skills gained through MBA coursework allow for more informed and impactful decision-making, directly applicable in roles that require budget management, financial forecasting, or data-driven insights. Leadership and team management skills, a cornerstone of the JWMI MBA, equip graduates to lead teams, manage projects, and navigate organizational dynamics effectively.

LOOKING BACK AT WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT AN ONLINE PROGRAM WHEN YOU FIRST EMBARKED, WHAT WAS YOUR OVERALL IMPRESSION NOW? DID IT MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS VIA DQ BOARDS, EOP VIDEOS, FACULTY ETC?:

Although I had previously completed an online master’s degree through a European university, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the JWMI platform. Through research and speaking to alumni, I was hopeful that the program wouldn’t disappoint. In the end, the online delivery of the JWMI MBA program, featuring discussion boards, EOP videos, and active faculty engagement, created a dynamic and interactive learning environment that caters to the needs of modern professionals such as myself. The discussion boards were crucial for fostering a sense of community and peer learning. Participants can engage in thought-provoking discussions, share insights, and debate key concepts at their convenience. The high-quality EOP videos offered real-world case studies, making complex subjects more digestible and engaging. Perhaps the most impressive part of the experience was the role of the faculty. Instructors actively engage with students through discussion boards and personalized feedback. This direct interaction ensures that students are not just passive recipients of information but are actively supported and mentored throughout their learning journey.

PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.:

Embrace every moment of this transformative journey. Don’t just aim to pass assignments; instead, internalize the teachings. Engage in class discussions, network with peers, and never hesitate to challenge established notions. Remember, the program’s true value lies not just in the degree you’ll receive at the end but in the personal and professional growth you’ll experience along the way.


Connect with Gareth Kourie on LinkedIn

For more information on the Jack Welch Management Institute, visit us.

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