2022 MBA To Watch: Campbell John Brown, IMD Business School

Campbell John Brown

IMD Business School

“Father of two, hoping to raise my children as adventurous, happy, global citizens.”

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Fun fact about yourself: Outside of my consulting career, I work as a non-executive board member with Japan First Developments, which has developed and operates Asia’s highest ski-in/ski-out residential apartments.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Macquarie University: Bachelors in Economics, Bachelors in Applied Finance

Fudan University: Masters in Regional Economics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school?

Prior to my MBA, I worked at Decision Inc., a boutique data and analytics firm as a Client Partner.

Where will you be working after graduation? I’m looking forward to joining Bain & Company as a Consultant.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I was honored to be nominated and elected as an Ombudsman for the class. I also really enjoyed working as a member of the speakers committee and was delighted to be able to give the valedictorian class speech at graduation.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m proud of my team groups over the year and how engaged everyone was to excel. One of my favorite outcomes was presenting a growth strategy at a board meeting of one of the largest global executive search firms. We did this presentation as a team, the day before our graduation ceremony, and everyone was sharp, well prepared and enjoyed the time despite multiple other competing priorities.

Everyone, in every group I was in during the MBA, was eager, smart, and keen to contribute strongly.

It has been an inspirational year.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During the first few months of the pandemic, I worked with clients to initiate and drive several key projects, including building analytics on covid-19 statistics for our government clients. Having built the trust to be able to initiate critical projects for clients during a time of turmoil was noteworthy for me. These consulting engagements also allowed my team to remain staffed on paid work despite the upheaval. During the lockdown, any semblance of normalcy was important, so this was something that kept our team focused during a difficult time and meant we had a solid runway for the early days of COVID.

Why did you choose this business school? The personalized leadership stream, and the joy of working with a small class. The leadership stream at IMD is the core focus of the program. Having worked in leadership positions prior to the MBA, I knew how challenging they can be, so this was something I really wanted to get more insight on. IMD has a holistic approach that seems to kick-start continuous development for most people. Whenever I spoke to IMD alumni, they were clear about the impact it had on their careers and personal progression. It has quite a unique flavour when added to the program size.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I can’t help but mention Professor Ralf Boscheck, whose economics lectures were extremely wide-ranging, complex yet inspirational.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I think it was the leadership experiential week at the start of the year. This pushed us all to be better team collaborators and to have fun at the same time. The care and detail which goes into organizing the Module One teams, and the structured reflection and insight that is gained from this week, cannot be underestimated. This is the first real exposure to the benefits of the leadership stream and is an unforgettable experience.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I think I’d have spent a little more time engaging with the outside world. The experience at IMD is intense, and so I didn’t quite manage to get to learn anywhere near as much French as I would have liked. I also would have liked to spend a little more time with my family.

What surprised you the most about business school? Just how established and inspirational my peers were. I still feel extremely lucky to have attended in 2021.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I spoke to many and varied alumni prior to the application. This gave me solid insight into the best approach to the school. Speaking with the IMD alumni also made me even keener to attend.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I was grateful to engage with Harita Byluppala on several issues as we were both Ombuds for the class, and I really admired both her tenacity and approach to situations.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I’m inspired by people who work to give back, and who build great teams. I’d love to work on projects around economic development to give back and to drive meaningful results for the world at scale. I’d also love to play a small part in building and enriching world-class teams.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? Prior to the pandemic, I was more reserved about sharing my personal life, and challenges at work. During the last 18 months, I think we all saw just how important it is to bring your full self to work.

What made Campbell such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Campbell Brown was invaluable because he demonstrated what a leader is. He quickly became a role model for the classmates. He demonstrated through his actions big picture perspective, work ethic, concern, balance and bravery. He was a very fair ombudsman with whom to deal with on a regular basis during another challenging COVID year.”

Professor Seán Meehan
MBA Dean, 2021


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