50 MBA Stories: part 32: Juliet Hammond

 Juliet Hammond had been in strategy and leadership for 15 years. She is passionate about supporting businesses by aligning learning with strategic goals. She also has achieved a BSc in Economics and an MSc in Econometrics. To further complement her MBA, which she competed at SDA Bocconi, she achieved a degree in Psychology. She sites this, and her background in businesses strategy is what led her to leadership.

Explain your current role?
I work for LIW, a global leadership development consultancy, based in Sydney, Australia, although I am located in Yorkshire, UK.  My role is Global Impact lead – so my key responsibility is to develop and maintain methodologies for aligning our programs to our clients’ core business needs and develop measurement strategies for reporting business impact. I also lead our research activities, including in-house research and projects in partnership with academic institutions including University of Sydney Business School and London School of Economics.

When and where did you achieve your MBA?
I studied the full time MBA at SDA Bocconi in Milan in 1991-92. I graduated summa cum laude (the only female to do so).

What is the most interesting thing you learnt from your MBA?
Of course there were interesting theories in all subjects: marketing, finance, organisation behaviour and so on; but the biggest learnings for me were the cultural differences among the class participants. We were lucky that our cohort was very diverse, with students from Italy, UK, USA, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Turkey, France, Norway, Croatia and more. Working with them for one and a half years, we all learned about the challenges and ultimately the richness of different perspectives, how differently people can see world events, and how that impacts the way they develop relationships and make decisions.

How has the MBA made a difference in your life? In particular, your career path and leadership journey?
The MBA put me into a different hiring category – I was able to apply for roles which would not have been open to me without it. My first job out of Business School was in investment banking, but it became clear to me pretty quickly that it wasn’t for me. I moved to a strategy role, and then into strategy consulting which I found hugely rewarding, and where I learned a lot about businesses and how to create value through aligned strategy and effective execution. I took time out with a young family to go back to university where I studied Psychology. This combined with my business strategy background led me to leadership. I am excited about the way businesses seem to be creating a better balance between the needs of the business and engaging the interests and skills of the people in them. Never before has the work environment been faced with such dramatic and rapid change, and leadership is essential for people and businesses to cope with, and indeed embrace these challenges.