Mark Fuller, Executive MBA
Former professional squash player, Mark Fuller is Head of Performance Squash at the University of Nottingham, entrepreneur and Executive MBA student at Nottingham University Business School. Mark started his own business in 2010, setting up the UK Racketball Series of tournaments, offering new opportunities for the sport’s enthusiasts to test their mettle in organised competitions.
Mark explained: “Fostering the community spirit was really important to me. “UK Racketball is all about encouraging people to take part and to have something to aim for. We cater for all levels – from beginners who have recently taken up the game, to those at county or national level. Our youngest player this year was 11 – while the oldest was in his 80s - showing this is a sport that can embrace all ages and abilities.”
Since its inception the business has grown from strength to strength. From five tournaments in the UK in 2010, there are now 12, as well as an online shop and community development activities. The business took off so fast that Mark realised that he would need help if he was to grow the business in a sustainable way to ensure its future success.
“I was struggling to keep the business ticking over and asked myself how I was going to structure it going forward?” Mark said. “I decided to enrol on an Executive MBA as I felt I could try to do it by myself, but that would be a long way round to learning the skills I needed. I chose Nottingham University Business School as it placed an emphasis on enterprise and entrepreneurship. I thought it was the best way to learn what I needed to take the business forward, rather than learning by my own mistakes.”
If running his own business and studying for an MBA wasn’t enough, in September 2021 Mark took on a new role as Head of Performance Squash at the university. As well as supporting elite players, he has also developed opportunities for students who have never played squash before to take up the sport.
My MBA studies have helped me to identify new markets for the programme,” Mark added. “It helped me to understand what people new to the sport wanted – not just to get fit, but also to have a social aspect to the activity. As a result, I was able to develop taster sessions and structure materials for this group. We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people joining the club as a result.”
Although only halfway through his MBA studies, Mark is already implementing his learning in his work and businesses.
“The course has really helped me with how I approach my business,” Mark said. “From managing people, and how to approach meetings to developing products, pricing structures and developing new markets, all the modules so far have been really useful, and I’ve had brilliant support from my mentors and tutors.”
“The group work with my fellow students on the course really is invaluable - it has been a massive benefit to me, my business and work already, and I look forward to continuing my studies.”