Coming from a family of teachers, Freehills' Business Development and Client Relationship Manager, Mr Lindsay O'Sullivan said lifelong learning was second nature to him when he completed an Executive MBA with the UWA Business School.
"I've done some form of formal study every three to five years, so the timing was good and I was looking forward to the intellectual challenge," Lindsay said. "I'm also at the age and stage of my career where I'm keen to make a larger scale impact, and the EMBA was a way of getting some additional formal foundation in leadership and management theory and its application in different contexts."
An avid reader, Lindsay made the tough decision to switch from reading for pleasure to the many academic readings required for the EMBA.
"The EMBA coincided with a really busy couple of years at work and at home. After I finished, I took some leave and spent more time with my family (I have a young son and baby daughter) and started getting fit. Then I renewed my love of reading novels, which I'd given up while I completed the EMBA, knowing the academic reading load was high." Lindsay said.
"Since then I've been working to blend more of what I learnt into my work with Freehills," he said.
Lindsay said the EMBA did make him reassess his career and be more self-aware of his leadership style and affect on others. "Initially, by giving me some insight into what kind of leader I am, and want to be, it allowed me to understand the impact my style and behaviour has on others. It has also helped me be clearer on what my skills are and what sort of work I want to do in the future," he said.
"The units of the EMBA are very well designed and target people in more senior roles. I felt the content was designed to help you make better decisions, as opposed to simply being task oriented," he said.
"The value of the Cohort approach (where you start and finish the course with a single group of people) can not be underestimated. We got to know each other very well, and I learnt as much, if not more, from those around me as I did from the Professors, with the added benefit of making some life-long friends," Lindsay added.
At Freehills, Lindsay's role covers a range of activities from strategic planning and project development - to the establishment of internal systems, coaching of partners in the execution of plans and project managing pursuits.
"Essentially I help the partnership generate more sustainable and profitable work from its clients, making sure we deeply understand our clients," he said.
"All the work I've done over the last 10 years has focused on generating more long-term profitable revenue by aligning what people actually do with strategy at the enterprise level. But my most important achievement has probably been continuing to have fun while still learning something new everyday - a terrible cliché I know," he said.
"The EMBA provided me with a number of frameworks to understand our strategy and the strategy of our clients. This helps me identify opportunities for new work and improving our efficiency," he said.
Lindsay says his next career step will involve making a difference leading a larger team.