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Studying at Harvard Business School – David Hall returns from world renowned course

Studying at Harvard Business School – David Hall returns from world renowned course

Arriving at Harvard Business School in Boston in early April with snow on the ground and the chill off the Charles River, I commenced studies in the Advanced Management Program 180 (AMP) at Harvard University together with 164 colleagues from across the globe – and what an experience we had!

What a unique and enriching opportunity to invest two months away from the workplace for personal development and growth and to join the Harvard Alumni with over 20,000 international executives who have previously graduated from the AMP since its inception in 1947.

The initiative for my attendance at Harvard came from our founders Michael and Andrew Buxton who are both graduates of Harvard Business School. My attendance at Harvard is a further example of MAB’s investment in training and development of our people – a fundamental component of MAB’s growth strategy.

In the beautiful surrounds of Harvard University with 12 other Australians (the second largest contingent from any nation following those from the USA), we undertook an intensive programme of learning across a range of disciplines from leadership, innovation, financial management, corporate accountability, negotiation through to global economics. The program was enhanced with lectures from some inspiring speakers including Professor Michael Porter and Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI. Professor Porter focussed on competitive strategy while Robert Mueller outlined the change management process for the FBI following the events of 9/11 – an amazing story about transforming an organisation.

During the two month programme, we studied, debated, networked and expanded our knowledge. The AMPers lived on campus in Living Groups of around 8 people who supported each other through the intensive (…Monday to Saturday which was a struggle!) study program.

I was the token Australian in a Living Group comprising colleagues from Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, Spain, Japan and the USA. Dealing with some complex and at times abstract topics was complicated further with our different skills in English – I am still in awe of my Living Group colleagues who contributed actively in the program, even though English was not their first language – simply inspiring!

With representatives from companies including The Boeing Company, Microsoft, DIRECT TV, the BBC, Citigroup and Westpac (…and MAB), the AMP program brought together a group of executives with an average age of 45 years, around 20 years of management experience of companies with a turnover of more than $250M. The depth and breadth of experience and expertise provided a unique platform for learning and development.

Around 20,000 people were in Harvard Yard on the week of our graduation on late May. A wonderful experience to be part of the celebrations. Indeed, an enriching experience, that’s for sure.

David Hall

For any of our MAB stakeholders who
have an interest in the Harvard Business
School Advanced Management Program,
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