Alum of the Month - February 2017

Brian Scullin

I went into the programme not only looking to enhance my skillset and brand, but also to challenge my own personal biases through diverse experiences. Brian Scullin

  • Programme studied: Executive Global Master's in Management (EGMiM)
  • Year of Graduation: 2014
  • LinkedIn profile

What's your current job? 

In the past month, I started a new position working in Business Transformation for a FinTech in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, where I am responsible for driving the success of large-scale corporate strategic initiatives. The company is in a high-growth phase and is looking to roll out a new suite of products, and I have been brought in to help guide it successfully to a target-state operating model.

Where have you worked previously? 

Most recently, I was a Vice President at Marsh & McLennan Companies, a financial services organisation based in New York City, responsible for Strategy and Continuous Improvement in a business unit that I helped bring from concept to successful implementation. It was essentially a start-up in a 100 plus year-old organisation, which made it dynamic and exciting while also supported by a strong, established company. My role in particular drove the processes which enabled the financial success of the group, which was on track for FY16 revenues of +$120M USD by the time of my departure.

Prior to a series of roles at Marsh, I was in Operations at Fannie Mae based in Washington, DC, where I was responsible for the analysis and improvement of the company’s Securitisation process (MBS, or Mortgage-Backed Securities) after the financial crisis. 

What is business transformation? 

In its simplest form, business transformation is the process of taking a company from point A to point B, where point B is a considerably different operating model as compared to the original state. Transformations impact any and all of the following: products, services, processes, technology, roles, geography, and more. It is a challenging process full of both risk and reward as they can cause significant amounts of stress on organisations due to the breadth of impact, so it is imperative that experts are engaged throughout the entirety of the initiative.

What do you feel is the key to success in business? 

When done properly, business can truly be uplifting to society, since principled systems of productivity and ethical operation can be beneficial to all individuals. I believe that a key enabler to success in business, or any aspect of life for that matter, is to hold true to a set of tenets that guide actions and thoughts in an ethical manner. Therefore, it is imperative that individuals define and maintain such tenets to which the person can always return in the face of complex decisions. My set is listed below, and I cannot speak enough about how my experiences with such an impressive and diverse group in the EGMIM programme at LSE helped refine these:

1.      All people are inherently valuable and worthy of our respect.

2.      Pursue a passion: I am a firm believer that success is an outcome of diligence, and diligence is enhanced by passion.

3.      Remain joyful: challenges will seemingly constantly present themselves, but if we maintain a level of joy in the face of difficulty, we can in turn remain above the fray and lift the team up during arduous times.

How has the programme you studied helped your career since you graduated? 

I went into the programme not only looking to enhance my skillset and brand, but also to challenge my own personal biases through diverse experiences – and the programme did exactly that. Having grown up near Washington, DC and going to college at Dartmouth in New Hampshire, I spent the first 22 years of my life in a very narrow corridor, so it was critical to expand those horizons.

Fast forward a few years to when I was living in New York City, the chance to supplement that experience with attending classes on a modular basis in London, Istanbul and Singapore with a group of about 30 classmates from 20 different countries was one of those rare opportunities that tugs on your heart and is undeniably exciting, as it represented a chance to be in the centre of the worldwide phenomena surrounding globalisation. All while learning from some of the top professors in the world – does it get any better?

Overall, through the LSE's mission of understanding the causes of things and, more broadly, its diverse and global nature, my time in the programme increasingly made me a more well-rounded, thoughtful leader who approaches all activities with joy, passion, and respect for others.

If you had to give one piece of advice to a current Management student, what would it be? 

Beyond the fantastic classroom learnings, be sure to take the time to learn as much as you can from your classmates and professors because investing in hearing about their unique experiences and perspectives will teach you more than you realise. Being a couple years removed from the programme now, I am able to look back and marvel at the people with whom I interacted during my studies – working with such a diverse crowd helped me become a stronger leader who is more well-rounded and open-minded.