Derek Jansen (MBA)

Meet Derek – the founder, Chief Coffee Maker and general problem fixer at Grad Coach.

In addition to keeping the SS Grad Coach ship afloat day to day, Derek’s involved in coaching students on the coursework aspects (assignments and exam prep) for specific business management programs.

Derek Jansen

Background & experience

Derek is not your typical coach. In fact, his path to Masters was far from typical. Sans access to the capital needed to head to university straight after school, Derek dove directly into the world of work by starting an event production company. Over the years, he enrolled in multiple business-related courses to gain specific skills or knowledge need at the time.

After many years of ‘winging it’, having built and sold a business or two, Derek decided to complement what he had learnt ‘in the field’ with the coveted MBA.  Seeking an international perspective, he enrolled in the Henley MBA (University of Reading). He completed the program ahead of schedule, earning full distinction, along with multiple prizes for ‘outstanding academic achievement’.

While undertaking the MBA, Derek had the opportunity to help numerous students – some failing, some borderline, some doing well. This experience revealed an underlying passion for teaching and this is where Grad Coach was born.

Professionally, Derek has built and managed numerous businesses across a range of industries, from entertainment to marketing and even financial services. He has also presented as a guest lecturer at the Vega School of Branding and the University of Johannesburg.


Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK

Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Distinction, Henley UK Prizewinner, Henley SA Prizewinner.

Digital Marketing Institute (Ireland)

Diploma in Digital Marketing – Distinction.

Other courses:

Financial Services Board: RE5 & RE1 / University of Stellenbosch: Digital Marketing Course / Vega School of Brand Leadership: Digital Strategy in Building Brands / Duke University: Probability & Data Course / University of Stellenbosch: MBA Foundation Program / Udemy – Inferential Statistics in SPSS, Data Analysis in SPSS & Data Analysis / Google: Adwords Certification Program / Henley Business School: Finance for Non-Financial Managers