Yesterday, 1st September 2016, will always be a special day to me. I am enormously honoured to become the Executive Dean of such a prestigious business school.
Before anything else, I want to pay tribute to Keith Lumsden, the founder of EBS. Professor Lumsden was a visionary before his time, and he gave us the basis of a great school. Now it is up to us to take it to the next chapter.
Undoubtedly there will be challenges in the future, ones that we cannot foresee right now. But I am encouraged by two things; firstly, we are not starting from scratch, we have 25 years’ experience of successfully delivering top quality management education to build on. Secondly, we are not alone.
EBS is part of Heriot-Watt, a well-regarded and well-resourced university and we will continue to develop and expand our courses in partnership with our parent.
You may be wondering what kind of person I am. I am coming from the private sector where in theory it is about profit not about mission. But I am also someone who is committed to education, training and development for all. I believe in creating opportunities for everyone, regardless of race, colour, sex, age or educational level. In the last 16 years I have built my executive search business out all over the world, but at the same time I have chaired the UK's biggest educational employment charity, Career Ready, which has done a lot of work in Scotland. I also helped Helena Morrissey found the 30% Club, which campaigns for more women on boards and in the pipeline, and I have donated a large part of the profit of my business to the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which works with black and minority ethnic graduates to help them find their first jobs. I am also a wife, (my husband is Australian and a professional cricket coach), I am a mother of three sons, and a writer and broadcaster. Most of all, I am now the Executive Dean of EBS and I am committed to its future development. This is my new home, and my new family, and what a family! It is not just our 12,000 current active students but also our 18,000+ alumni, our 24 teaching partnerships, our 500 tutors. I am here to serve every single one of them.
I plan to write here every week, and let you know what we are up to, and what interesting things I have read or seen each week. I also plan to showcase an alumnus each week. I am going to start this week with Charles Street, who won’t be an alumnus until January, because he remains a current student, part-way through his final two electives to complete his specialisation in Strategic Planning.
Charles is a former semi-professional rugby player who eventually left sport for banking, and now works for the Commonwealth Bank, the largest bank in Australia. Based in Sydney with his wife and two young children, he blogs for the Financial Times as one of their roster of MBA student bloggers. He started his MBA five years ago, and chose EBS to give him the maximum flexibility on when and where he could study. That decision served him well when, in between banking jobs, he was working as an independent consultant while also leading a technology startup for 18 months and started a family, all at the same time.
We look forward to welcoming Charles to our community of alumni, just as I have been so warmly welcomed to EBS. In the meantime, as a 17 year veteran FT columnist (and podcaster – check out my podcast on how to get a pay rise) I am delighted to be reading his blog.