After initially joining as events marketing manager in 2011, he was soon appointed marketing manager for the entire business, before taking on the role of general manager in January, 2013.
By the time he completed his MBA studies two and a half years after he started, Josh was co-owner and director of Riverlife.
“I had been thinking about the future direction of the business around the time I started, and my MBA studies certainly strengthened my ability to run the business,” he says.
“I found myself in a great position to put into practice some effective strategies and cool ideas I was taking from the classroom. Being able to apply and trial this knowledge allowed me to help move the business forward.”
MBA brought new focus
This was achieved in a business climate that brought its own challenges and restrictions. “It would have been easy to be distracted, but the MBA helped me to get my eye back on the ball.”
Josh’s ‘5 Flavours’ initiative emerged from this time, a Riverlife enterprise with a local focus that combined street food, boutique beers and live local entertainment.
“This kind of innovative thinking was both encouraged and also required. You can’t sit on your hands wondering what are we going to do with our business to draw people. If you can first learn what’s needed, put a good business strategy into practice, identifying its tangible value, you can be successful.”
“I would feel far more uneasy going without my MBA. I’ve moved to an incredibly competitive environment where some of the biggest companies in the world are based. I feel I have the education now to go with my personal drive.”
He also has a network of contacts he will keep live, not least the cohort of business leaders he shared MBA classes with.
“I think about the classroom discussions with my peers and how we would ask each other what we would do in different situations. Responsible leadership was linked back to every course in the Griffith MBA, and was always very much part of those discussions. I will continue to keep in touch with that group, and I expect responsible leadership to be part of our conversations in the future.”