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By Citizen Reporter


Facing ‘All Blacks tougher than my MBA’ – Adriaan Strauss

Former Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss triumphs with distinction in MBA from NWU, balancing academia with rugby prowess.

Former Springbok captain and firebrand Cheetahs and Bulls hooker Adriaan Strauss graduated with honours from North-West University (NWU) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) yesterday.

Strauss enrolled for his MBA at the NWU’s Business School in 2022, and can now add another qualification to his CV.

So which is harder: working towards an MBA or facing the All Blacks?

Facing All Blacks tougher than MBA

“An MBA takes a bit longer than a test against the All Blacks, but the All Blacks are not a team to be taken lightly. Perhaps if a test against the All Blacks lasted two years,” jokes the veteran of 66 tests, “I’d say the All Blacks…”

Strauss says he wouldn’t trade his journey into the world of academia for anything, but he doesn’t mince words about the demands of this internationally accredited course.

“It has been a wonderful experience; I have loved every moment and I have improved so much. It’s the best thing I could have done. I would advise anyone to do an MBA at the NWU.

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“However, it requires a great deal of dedication and work. My advice is to take in everything that is offered during the two years. But you must be prepared and know what to expect.”

Leadership skills valuable in academics

On the rugby field, he was known for his exceptional leadership and his performance, and the latter proved to be a valuable arrow in his academic quiver.

“There is a huge difference between sitting behind the books and being on the field. As a professional rugby player, you have to train every day and you have to constantly work on your physical conditioning. I think that work ethic has helped me with my studies. Then there is the matter of competitiveness. During my MBA I competed with myself every day and made sure that every assignment I submitted was a reflection of my best work.

“The workload is considerable and there is a lot of pressure, but I was determined not to deliver substandard work.”

It is an attitude that has paid off for him. He’s going to savour that distinction. “It’s quite nice. My goal was simply to pass, so to pass with distinction was a surprise,” Strauss says.

Match or surpass success on field

Now he is even better equipped to match or even surpass his success on the field in the business world.

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“The course is very relevant, and I have already applied it with great success. You learn not only book knowledge, but also how to work together in a group and how to improve your time management. It has changed the way I think and taught me how to solve problems. I have to say that the quality of the administrative staff at the university made it easy for me, and the professors were fascinating.”