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Leveraging education to bring a legacy company into the digital age

Graeme Holdsworth is a 10-year veteran in the business community with experience in risk management, employee development and employee engagement. Despite his experience and current role within the insurance industry, he wanted to broaden his perspective on the many functions of the business and position himself to lead others toward company goals. He knew earning an MBA would be a way forward.


In his search for the right school to help him advance his education, the University of Fredericton popped up. Because it is an accredited and renowned online institution, Graeme looked into it further.


“It fit my schedule perfectly for how I wanted to learn,” he said, adding that the Innovation Leadership specialty stream piqued his interest since it involves the process of moving from a legacy company to the digital age and beyond.


Graeme is thankful he chose UFred in part due to the network he built. So much so, he considers the strong relationships he formed a highlight of his experience. He says his peer group’s diverse background ranged not only from several professional fields but multiple continents as well.


“This diversity brought valuable perspectives from different geographical and cultural locations and married them with my North American experience,” he added.

“There have been many connections made over the last three years that will last a lifetime.”

In addition to his peer group, Graeme appreciated the diversity of the professors as well, which include Canadian and American professors and entrepreneurs.


“How we interacted was favourable towards the learning style and requirements of each course. I especially found it interesting when the professors brought in third-party guests to conduct a lesson that pertained to real-world application.”


Beyond connections, though, Graeme says the most important thing he learned was that everything in business should be a system that feeds into another, adding that connecting metrics allows the company to be viewed holistically and drives efficiency. In his current role, he is reviewing workflows and job roles.


“Within that process, I was able to connect onboarding, development and performance appraisals into a system that all loops into each other. What we teach at onboarding drives development, which is measured through performance appraisals,” Graeme said.


Graeme says it’s not only the education from which he gleaned value.


“The entire process is a learning experience, not just the work itself. Interact, collaborate and learn from your peers as much as you can.”


Graeme’s focus is to work his way into a Senior Leadership role in a team that changes the way the insurance industry operates.


“I want to change my current company for the better and become an industry-leading insurer from talent attraction, retention and performance perspectives.”


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