Erin Lorenzini already has many impressive runs on the board. As an elite athlete, she was a professional basketball player for over 10 years with the Dandenong, Adelaide Lightning and with the Sydney Flames in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), before switching to play AFLW for the GWS Giants. 

And in 2020 Erin joined Cricket NSW as a Player Development Manager before being recently promoted to Head of Operations - a role she is relishing. 

“It’s Australia's summer sport, so to speak and I've always loved watching cricket. I think NSW are probably the best performing state in the country,” she said.

Erin is also focused on completing her AGSM @ UNSW Business School MBA Executive (MBAE) program by 2023, helping to turn her love of sport into a business career. 

“To have the chance to work first across player development and now, the operations side of matches, and to bring in all my AGSM MBA learnings into my career and see it all come together is quite rewarding.”

Investing in her own development

As an accomplished company director, with proven success in the health care industry. And with a demonstrated history of developing strategic leadership, it’s no surprise that pursuing an MBA was always on Erin’s play sheet. 

As she rapidly climbed the ranks in the elite sports administration sector, Erin needed an MBA that would offer her core leadership skills and the chance to network with leaders across different sectors to broaden her knowledge base. She also needed flexible study options that fitted around her work commitments at Cricket NSW and the GWS Giants.

“So far, I’ve enjoyed doing my AGSM MBA (Executive) program so much. Whatever subject I’m doing, I seem to be thrown a challenge in my job that relates to what I’m studying. Whether it be finance or strategy or business analytics, there’s just so much amazing crossover.”

Erin comments that the AGSM MBA has deepened her ability to articulate strategy better and has given her a greater understanding of how the decision-making process in business revolves around structure and goal setting.

Strategic learning for optimum benefit

One of the things Erin loves most about her AGSM MBA is the opportunity to learn alongside other business leaders who work across many different industries and professional sectors.

“Having different people from other industries helps you really cement your knowledge and understand the practicalities of it. It's one thing to understand accounting, but in practice that may play out very differently across different organisations. Working in sport, they're generally not-for-profit, which is very different to how you might manage your finances as a private company.”

Erin has also loved stepping back a bit from the whirlwind of life to focus on the joy of learning once again. One of the surprise bonuses of her time at AGSM has been a deeper sense of self-awareness which she believes will only make her a better leader.

“I just finished a course on strategy. And I think that's been a phenomenal subject that brings everything together. It has helped me to look deep into myself, to see my professional and personal blind spots, and how other people see me. You can't help but grow as a result. I think this course as part of my MBA has really opened my eyes.”

Going into bat for her team

When Erin was a Player Development Manager at Cricket NSW, she was responsible for implementing the Game Plan Wellbeing and Education Program for NSW players across the Women’s Big Bash League, focusing on education, resilience, social responsibility, and wellbeing. 

Keen to develop her player’s leadership skills, Erin partnered with AGSM after her own positive experiences completing the “AGSM Certified Business Professional Master Executive Business Management” and the “AGSM Operational Risk in Financial Services –becoming Risk Practitioner” courses in 2020. 

Erin approached the AGSM @ UNSW Business School Executive Education team with the idea of establishing a Certificate in Executive Management and Development (CEMD) program which ensures the state’s best cricket players can also become the best cricket administrators – fostering ongoing participation in the sport they love. 

Eager to help, AGSM developed an online course to cater to the many players who are on tour for most of the year. The initial cohort involved 15 players across both the women’s and men’s teams, including Erin. 

“The AGSM CEMD pathway also allows you to gain credits towards an AGSM MBA, which is obviously quite appealing to a lot of people. I loved the courses we completed – they were some excellent subjects like Finance for Non-Financial Managers and Accelerating Innovation in your Organisation, which I have found so useful in my daily working-life.”

And in May 2022, Erin competed her own leadership development through AGSM’s Executive Education courses, earning an AGSM CEMD digital badge certification.

After the success of the first round of students, Erin took the idea to the Australian Cricket Association (ACA) to pitch the development of an MBA in Sports Administration, something they enthusiastically embraced and offered to support. 

Knowing AGSMs love of innovation, Erin then approached AGSM’s Recruitment and Admissions teams, with the idea. And today, Erin and AGSM are working together to develop this course.

“Players will still do core subjects, like any normal MBA, then add in elective subjects developed in conjunction with ACA and Cricket Australia. It’s incredibly exciting as this offers a road for our best athletes to become great administrators long after they finish playing the game at an elite level,” Erin says.

Inclusion, health and wellbeing

Erin has used her AGSM MBA learning around Responsible Management and Sustainability to shape her approach as to how she provides player support. 

“It’s really important for us to encourage our Cricket NSW athletes, if they’re performing well on the field, to make sure they also have a really good balance in their life, whether that be study, healthy positive relationships, time away from the sport, social time, it all ensures a good sense of wellbeing and a sustainable career.”

Erin is also using the skills she is gaining from her AGSM MBA to support the NSW and Australian team cricketer Ashleigh Gardner, a proud Muruwari woman, to set up her own business and supply Indigenous painted shirts and boots to the GWS Giants AFL team. 

Championing Indigenous leadership and inclusion, Erin works alongside Ashleigh to set up the Ashleigh Gardner Foundation which helps to promote sport, education and the arts to empower more Aboriginal communities to become future leaders. 

“Ashleigh’s passion is education for rural Aboriginal children. It wasn’t hard to jump on board to support her. We need to look at gaps in our diversity that we aren't supporting. These children will be the next leaders of Australia and the more exposure we can give them to education, the more they’re going to thrive.”

Putting theory into practice

As busy as she is with a full-time job, an athletic career, a young family and her MBA, Erin puts her calm exterior down to careful planning. She also credits the strategic tips learned during her first AGSM courses for helping her stay on top of things.  

Erin is looking forward to completing her Executive Year towards the end of her AGSM MBA (Executive) and hopes to include an international exchange component into her program as well. 

She’s excited about the opportunities to come and is relishing everything her MBA has to offer.

“I've heard amazing things about the networking opportunities in the Executive Year. I’ve already had a good foundation with all my subjects, and I can’t wait to embrace everything the final year has to offer.” 

“Completing the MBA from a practical sense as well as from a personal development point of view has been fantastic. AGSM has been so supportive, and the subjects are so clever. Offering practical learning and helping you understand yourself better so you can be an empowered leader.” 


To learn more about AGSM’s globally ranked MBA (Executive) program, click here.

To find out more about AGSM @ UNSW Business School, click here.

To hear more, listen to the AGSM Business of Leadership Podcast: The Business of Sport with guest speaker: Danny Townsend, CEO of Sydney FC, on how he adapted and grew Sydney FC during the pandemic and found opportunity amidst challenges.