MBA provides career boost for Pretorius
21 Apr 2020
Gaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at USC while seeking admission to practise law in Queensland could prove a game-changer for Werner Pretorius of Buderim.
Werner, who is an admitted legal practitioner in South Africa with extensive experience in civil and criminal litigation and debt collection, moved to Australia at the start of 2019 to join his wife, Karla, who is a professional netball player with Sunshine Coast Lightning.
While progressing through the steps required to be admitted as a lawyer in Queensland, Werner decided to study his MBA at USC and gained part-time work as a graduate law clerk with Argon Law in Maroochydore.
“Business and law go hand in hand,” Werner said.
“Many clients initially approach you for legal advice only, but regularly benefit from both sound legal advice and some form of business advice, be it about new marketing initiatives, increasing employee engagement or business innovation”, he said.
“It had always been a lifelong dream of mine to do my MBA. But when I was working full-time as a solicitor, I wasn’t sure when would be the right time to complete it in terms of my career,” he said.
“Making the decision to move to the Sunshine Coast full-time to fulfill both my interest in law and business, whilst supporting my wife’s dreams and ambitions, offered the perfect opportunity to start the MBA.”
After completing the USC degree late last year Werner, 30, is now working as a graduate law clerk with Argon Law and is undertaking further study to gain admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Werner’s enthusiasm for his study and for helping his fellow students resulted in him being awarded the USC Chancellor’s Medal. This is the University’s highest honour for a graduating student and recognises strong community involvement and high academic achievement.
Werner achieved a grade point average of 6.9 (from a possible 7) and volunteered across numerous USC leadership initiatives and student activities.
He recruited undergraduate and postgraduate students to join leadership groups at USC, ranging from the Student Representative Council, Students as Partners, and the Postgraduate Representative Council.
Werner was also a Mentor Pilot Project volunteer and mentor and volunteered his time to act as a judge for the bi-annual Sunshine Coast Mooting Competition held for students from local High Schools.
“I wanted to make the most of everything offered to me by USC and the greater Sunshine Coast community and I could see that getting involved was going to benefit me personally and professionally,” he said.
“I was meeting new people from across the Coast from local entrepreneurs, small business owners and adventurous start-ups, these connections made me feel at home. I think it’s even more important that as much as you’re receiving, you’re also giving back.”
- Megan Woodward
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