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Learning – a never ending journey

MVIL Chief Executive Officer Mr. Michael Makap during his graduation at Torrens University in Brisbane Australia in May. 

The term “learning never stops” applies not only to full-time students but also to working professionals.

The full meaning of this statement is evident for three (3) senior management staff of the Motor Vehicles Insurance Limited (MVIL), who graduated in April and May with postgraduate qualifications. Branches Manager Ms. Caroline Anselem graduated with an Executive Masters Degree in Business Administration (EMBA) from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). Executive Officer to the CEO Mr. Mosley Elly also graduated with an EMBA also from UPNG, while MVIL’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Michael Makap graduated with a MBA from the Torrens University in Brisbane, Australia.

In fact, Mr. Makap scored High Distinctions in all subjects graduating with a final GPA of 7 and was awarded the “Best Student” Award. We congratulate Mr. Makap, Mr. Elly and Ms. Anselem for achieving their goals of obtaining an MBA despite Covid-19 and juggling between personal, work and family challenges.

All three have higher tertiary qualifications and have been in formal employment prior to furthering their education. The management and staff of MVIL are proud of their achievements and congratulate them on their wonderful accomplishments “Strategizing gives you the best pathway to reaching your goal.”

MVIL CEO Mr. Michael Makap shared this after graduating with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Torrens University in Brisbane, Australia, on 28 May 2022.

Mr. Makap stated that the highlight of the course was strategic management. This includes financial analytics, financial statement analysis, management, human resource, systems thinking and project management.

“When you are at a leadership level, you need to understand what is strategic management. If you don’t get that, you will miss it.”

Mr. Makap said strategy is all about a leader or someone with a mental picture in the head, realizing it and coming up with step-by-step activities on a timeline.

He said the monitoring aspect of strategic management is very critical and that is why reporting is very important.

He said: “Have a vision or a mental picture of where you want to be, whether it’s your individual life, managing a group of people or your family. Vision gives you purpose, without a vision then you have no purpose in life. God gave us the ability of forward thinking to plan and accomplish. Once you have a vision, you need to have a mission – what you will do to achieve that.”

“That’s all strategy. When you strategize, you come up with the best pathway to reaching your goal. There are many ways to reach your goal, but the fastest or best way is through strategic thinking,” the CEO said.

The course was studied partly online and partly by lectures in PNG as well as in Australia. He began the course in 2020 but due to Covid-19, lectures had to be done online using the university’s online teaching platform. He completed the course in November 2021.

Mr. Makap received the Best Student Award for scoring a GPA of 7 after getting High Distinction in all his courses.

“Knowledge with technology advancement is not stagnant. It is changing, it is evolving and so you need to be up to speed with the changes that are happening around you. To be able to do that, a high learning institution needs to keep abreast because of the research that they do. Not all, but a few high-class universities that are involved in research keep abreast and up to date with the latest changes and so when they do that, they design syllabuses in line with the changes,” Mr. Makap said.

He further added that his motivation for enrolling for further studies was because of the work that he does, especially in the insurance space. He said had it not been for his job, he would not have achieved this.

Mr. Makap said: “When you are at this level, strategic thinking is top, and being a strategic leader calls for managing change and forward planning. Look at what’s happening around you as an institution, economy and country. Looking back, I’m glad I did it because it has placed me at a very good level. I have complete clarity and comprehension of strategic thinking and strategic management.”

The whole Covid issue and not being able to travel had made the CEO think about what he could do to keep himself busy. He revealed that he had wanted to further his studies some years back but had postponed it until when Covid-19 hit. It was about adjusting himself and looking forward to his second term with MVIL. “It’s about forward planning and setting goals. You need to set goals in life. Twelve months, one year, two years … those are short term projections that you can look to where you want to be,” Mr. Makap said.

Coming into his second term on the job, the CEO decided to upskill himself. This meant sacrificing time spent with his family, especially around his children. “It was quite challenging. It is not an easy thing. It is really difficult but I thank God that He gave me the grace to be able to do this and finish with flying colours.”

Mr. Makap said going forward, he planned to work through his contract period until 2025 and hoped to be on the board of some good companies and entities in PNG that could learn as much from him as possible. He mentioned that he had a lot to offer and wanted to help others and utilize what he had learnt over the years.

The CEO’s encouragement to, especially the younger generation, is that education does not stop wherever it ends, whether it be high school, university or polytechnic.

He said: “You have your aspirations to have yourself accredited. There are opportunities where you need to have a structured formal education as what I have done. Discipline yourself. That is a big requirement. Once you discipline yourself, you need to set goals. With education, you need to have in mind what you are going to use that education for. If you want to get educated, you must have goals in life. In pursuit of your goals in life, you need to get educated and upskill yourself. Set targets. It’s important to set goals in life and upskill yourself. You will upskill yourself through education. Work training is one thing but structured training is another.”

Mr. Makap gives all credit first and foremost to God for his achievements.

“All of us are brought into this world for a reason. There is a purpose for which you are created. I decided to follow Jesus at a very early age. I owe it to God for His grace over my life. Then it is my family, mother and father, who have actually invested in me, and finally my extended family … my wife and children. Without a good family, you would never progress in life. If the family environment is good, it fosters your growth and your progress.”

In conclusion, Mr. Makap said he had worked in various organizations over the past 37 years but he put MVIL right at the top in terms of human resource.

“The people that work for this organization give me a lot of encouragement and there is a real family feel about it. You get appreciated for the things that you do and we all do what we do proficiently and effectively,” he said.

He added that there was a lot of positive feedback, which showed how MVIL was adapting to change.

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