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Karen Nelson-Field

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Karen Nelson-Field

My company is at a pivot point for global expansion and the next few decisions I make will have the biggest impact on the trajectory of this company to date. I looked carefully at a number of courses that could help me navigate this growth and the Harvard Driving Profitable Growth course offered the perfect curriculum (https://www.exed.hbs.edu/driving-profitable-growth/).

The Harvard application process was seamless, albeit as you would expect from Harvard, rigorous. I know that not all applications were successful, we were handpicked. To me this adds value to the parchment I received.

The Harvard brand did not let me down. The live-in facilities were world class, the cohort ranged from Investment Bankers to CFO’s to younger businesses with innovative technologies, which meant that everyone had different things to offer to group discussions which was great. I was nervous about the Harvard Case method as I am trained quantitatively (which means generalisation across many sets of data). But the case studies were used only as a demonstration of the Professors’ own research – this made for a good balance of real-world and empirically supported. (https://www.hbs.edu/mba/academic-experience/Pages/the-hbs-case-method.aspx).

I cannot express how valuable this was for me, for my business, at this very point in time. I gained so much clarity around which direction I should take to grow and the things I need to do to support the business during this time. I have already started my ‘growth plan’ and thought about ‘what game we are in and how we win’ (something we were taught to think about). I have also been in early conversations about partnership and extending my core technology into a completely different sector – time will tell on this one, I have so much to do to disrupt our own sector.

From someone who has 5 parchments and 3 degrees I wondered what I might learn, but as Michelangelo said at 87 “Ancora Imparo” – I’m still learning. I commend the ILF for supporting South Australian business owners in this pursuit of learning – this was definitely a life changing experience for me.