“The way I would’ve led people before is very different from what I would do now.”

What’s the one thing you’re most excited about learning at HBS?

That would be the macro problems of a constantly changing world. In one class, we did one case on the Ukraine and others on the region around the Crimea. It was fascinating to see how some of the outcomes we talked about became news a week later. What should the Ukraine do? What about other countries in the region? What about the world? At the end of the week I read an article that addressed one of the options we discussed, the possibility of other states in the Ukraine going into open revolt and holding referendums about becoming part of Russia. Our discussions in class became subjects for headlines.

How do your HBS ambitions fit into the big picture of the world beyond?

I have a background in engineering and science, mostly in sales, product management and marketing. Now I’m getting more tools for my tool kit to make me a more effective, a more influential leader. I’m gaining insight about the kind of leader I can be. The way I would’ve led people before is very different from what I would do now. I have more self-awareness, a broader understanding of what influences and motivates people.

How are you pushing yourself?

I’ve always been most comfortable with technology and engineering. Just by having great interactions with my finance professor has pushed me toward going into finance, which I wouldn’t have considered before coming to HBS. In my free time, I’m learning about how financial markets affect companies, about how to set up finance and debt structures to serve multiple parties.

What might people find surprising about you?

If you drilled a hole straight down the earth under HBS, you’d come out about 200 miles from where I come from, the southwestern part of Western Australia. Of all the students here, my home is the farthest possible place from HBS.