I thought you might like to hear the answers to five questions I am asked regularly.
‘Have you moved to Scotland?’
I am asked when I bump into people that I haven’t seen for a while. The answer is yes, I have moved to Scotland, but it feels more like I have moved to Heathrow. That is the reality of leading a truly global business school with over 10,000 students studying in over 160 countries. I am not trying to visit all those countries, but you would be forgiven for thinking that was my mission – since the start of October I have visited the US, Trinidad, Canada, Nigeria, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Dubai and Malaysia. Before the end of the year I will have added Australia and Hong Kong to the list.
‘Did you know there would be this much travel?’
This is often the next question. The answer is no, but the travel is absolutely fundamental to being effective as a leader, because it is where I get to meet our students. Hearing what they have to say about our courses, our teaching, and their own personal learning journey is incredibly useful feedback.
‘How can I get started on my DBA or PhD?’
This is a question I am asked by lots of our alumni as I travel around the world. If you are interested in doctoral research then the best place to start is probably the blog of my colleague Robert Macintosh
, the head of the school of Social Sciences here at Heriot-Watt. You will see that he commends our pre-doctoral programme, which people can buy unit by unit, just like our MBA, and which will help you get to a compelling research proposal, which in turn will allow you to progress to a DBA or a PhD.
‘Who inspires you?’
In Dubai and Malaysia during the last week I have been privileged to meet many of our students who inspired me greatly. Just to single out one particular story, Charlene Johnson graduated in Malaysia on December 3rd, having come over from her home in Brunei.
She is a former cabinet minister in the Newfoundland and Labrador regional government, who has spent some time in Brunei while her husband was posted there and did an MBA with us while she was there. Charlene studied by distance learning, attended campus in Malaysia for two courses. She has just been named the CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (Noia) and you can read all about her here
‘Can you give me any career advice?’
Last month I did an online CV workshop and plan to offer that on a regular basis – the next online careers workshop will be about how to write a great covering letter on 21 February. Registered EBS students will be able to sign up for this free event from early January - please look out for an email in the New Year. I have also recently started writing short essays that I record for the BBC World Service and which are used in their Business Daily programme. You might like to listen to my broadcast
on the impact of non-verbal communication, before you go to your next job interview – it is the first five minutes of the programme.