Celebrating Nexford learners 4-year journey on our 4th birthday: Ryan Marais’ story!

Mark Talmage-Rostron
February 20, 2023 · 3 min read

To celebrate Nexford’s 4th anniversary, we decided to chat with learners and graduates about where they were 4 years ago, where they are now, and how their Nexford journey has gone. This is a short look at Ryan Marais’ story.

Ryan Marais is one of our South African learners living in Cape Town, otherwise know to locals as ‘The Mother City’. He is so excited that he has just graduated from Nexford, with a first-class MBA, that he is still on Cloud 9 and 100% unable to hide the smile that is pretty much a permanent fixture on his face for the foreseeable future.

About his graduation from Nexford Ryan says, “To be honest I am still in shock. It hasn't sunk in that I've actually graduated. I am waiting for that penny to drop. I've ordered the paperwork and can’t wait for it to arrive. When it’s in my hands, it's going to feel real.”

Ryan is not only looking forward to getting the paper that’s more than just three letters, he also says with a look of relief and excitement that he is also looking forward to getting his social life back again.

He reaffirms his statement that a Nexford MBA is more than just three letters when he tells us that Nexford is not just the MBA education. In his opinion it involves the value that you get from experiencing a next-generation education that equips you with all of the vital skills necessary to make it big in the business world.

He goes on to say, “I don't think people in a traditional university can conceptualize the fact that they can get an actual education online. I am proof that it can happen. I experienced it. I'm telling other people about it. I'm blowing their minds.”

A look back at the past

That is all the here and now, but we were somewhat curious of the four-year journey that Ryan has been on to get to this auspicious point in his life.

Reflecting on the time with another one of his infectious grins, Ryan looks straight into the camera telling us that four years ago he was finishing his undergraduate year. He says that at the time he was looking to get into psychology and it was the alpha and omega for him but as a smart young man he realized that he wanted to ramp up his business acumen and also decided to do his honors in marketing.

Then Covid hit and it hit hard for pretty much all people on this planet. Including Ryan. He still wanted to continue his studies but realized that he could not go back to a traditional university, nor did he want to.

Plus, he also wanted to start his career, start earning money, and start making a name for himself. So, he accepted a permanent position and thought that his dream of further studies was dead in the water. Then came a life changing week in January of last year. He applied for Nexford and was accepted. It was the best New Year’s resolution ever.

Ryan says, “In my opinion traditional universities can’t hold a candle to Nexford. They don’t have the systems in place to offer a world-class 100% online education, nor will they ever, as they have been reactive to Covid and were never born online. Plus, most still teach theory and the curriculum is not competency-based.”

The then and now

Ryan tells us that four years ago his career entailed working for the university from which he earned his marketing degree. He says that he was working as an information champion in the administration office, which he mentions was a lot of fun. But he wanted more, so he decided to pick it up a notch to improve his career while still at university. With hard work it didn’t take long to become an international exchange student representative.

In September he decided to reduce his hours to two days a week because he wanted to get greater experience and growth than what the company was offering him. So, he started working part time for a UK company where he became the Operations and Partnership Manager. It was a great experience but somehow, he decided that they were going hinder his career and hinder his growth dramatically. That said, he is still working part-time for the company and started consulting for two clients. That experience has led to him wanting to start his own consulting business.

When asked if he believes that his MBA has been instrumental in his success Ryan reflects of his time at the university saying, “If it wasn't for me going through the Nexford education, I probably wouldn't have taken this big step. I think one of our modules required us to make a business plan and I actually made the business plan as realistic as possible and aligned things to it with regards to my business plan. If it wasn't for Nexford, I wouldn't have the skills and confidence to say, OK, I want to start my business.”

A look to the future

Although none of us are fortunate enough to have a crystal ball and so we can't obviously predict the future, we had to ask Ryan the inevitable question about where he thinks he will be in four year’s time. His answer? Career growth and lots of it.

Now that he has his Nexford MBA, Ryan firmly believes that he is no longer limited within his field. He says that he is now able to explore more fields and have the qualification behind his name and it’s not just because he knows the theory, he also has the practical skills that he can take straight into the workplace.

Of his career future Ryan says, “Without a doubt I definitely see a launch in my career, and currently I'm putting a proposal together that will land me a promotion thanks to those new business skills that I have procured at Nexford. I have witnessed tremendous growth, so I can't wait to see what the next month will hold, never mind the next four years.”

With Ryan’s drive and ambition, we all know that he is going to go places. We look forward to seeing him go from strength to strength in the next four years and hearing of his several new achievements in both business and life.

Watch his video on YouTube.

About the author
Mark Talmage-Rostron
Mark Talmage-Rostron

Mark is a college graduate with Honours in Copywriting. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Nexford, creating engaging, thought-provoking, and action-oriented content.

Join our newsletter and be the first to receive news about our programs, events and articles.