I'm Michelle McPherson, I'm the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO of a private health insurer based in Australia called NIB Health Funds.

We talk a lot in our organization about the status quo is death. That if we don't make change, if we don't innovate, if we don't continue to grow and evolve, we won't be successful into the future. So why as a senior executive, should I say, "I don't need to grow anymore? I don't need to learn any new things." So I turned 50 this year, so I've been working in a corporate environment for 30 years. So yeah, I think I have a fair amount of experience, but I've still got a lot I can learn. So a program like this keeps opening me up to new ideas, to different ways of thinking, so that I can face the challenges.

So what's most attractive about programs like the Advanced Management Program at Columbia is we get to spend time with the people who've done the research, not just learn about it from somebody else who studied it and understood it. And, while that can be a great experience, that access to the experts in the field is an amazing part of the program and what makes it so attractive. It's also the opportunity in an increasingly global world to work with people from all around the world because our businesses are going in that direction.

I did a lot of research before I decided which program to do. So I am aware of the other advanced management programs that are available. And, what was so attractive to me about the Columbia program was the combination of classroom based learning, combined with learning through experience. And, I have had the opportunity to attend other programs that are more heavily focused on say, case studies or those things, and incredibly valuable. However, I think as a leader of an organization, I need to be incredibly versatile and have different tools and techniques for different situations. So having those different learning approaches fits with that, which I think worked really well.

Michelle McPherson