Bronwyn Fulton

What and when did you study at INSEAD? 

MBA 2003D, Fontainebleau.

Initially I was offered Singapore, but I asked for a place at Fontainebleau. My philosophy was quite simple: I planned on staying in Europe (there 8 years already) and wanted to enjoy the French countryside.

Tell us about your career to date.

I worked for 8 years in strategy consulting with Accenture in Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands before INSEAD. After graduation I spent 4 years in banking until 2007, when a friend from my MBA class who was with Egon Zehnder in London proposed I join the business. So, I ended up in executive search in London – coincidentally starting in mid-2008 during the banking crash (good timing!) – and later I moved back with Egon Zehnder to Australia. I am currently a Partner with Sheldon Harris, an advisory firm that works with businesses on senior executive and non-executive talent (talent acquisition, succession planning, executive assessments and remuneration advisory).

How did INSEAD change your life?

INSEAD had tremendous value to me from a career and friendship perspective, perhaps even more than the learning. I went to INSEAD to change the direction of my career and moving into a new profession was much easier with an MBA. My third career – in executive search – also happened because of my INSEAD connections. So where I’ve landed today wouldn’t have been possible without INSEAD.

I remember a conversation with one INSEAD alumnus in Germany in around 2000. Ahead of applying, I was thinking too hard about the cost of the program (fees, living, lost income), and she told me that the decision to do the MBA should not be about the NPV. And ultimately, it wasn’t about that for me. INSEAD for me was about friendship, career change and a whole life experience.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about people’s careers and their potential. I find that absolutely fascinating. Well, and I love company strategy (not writing it or doing it but discussing it). For me, executive search at senior levels is all about understanding the critical business problems that need to be solved and looking for candidates with the capabilities to tackle these. Our firm focuses on mid-sized companies as well as those ramping up – we love nimble organisations, challenger brands and start-ups that are at the stage of re-calibrating their leadership teams for their next stage of growth – so they all really tick that strategy box. Our clients come from diverse industries so it’s also fascinating to get to know about everything from financial services to salmon farming through to beauty retail and education. A small number of NFP clients (often Board level) also enable us to give back to the community. Getting to know the whole person and understanding their journey to building their experience and capabilities, not just focusing on their experience, is also a bonus of the job.

Have you got any hidden talents?

I am a horse and dog lover. A good weekend is spending time at the beach with my dog, a 1.5yo Murray River Retriever, chasing sticks or the occasional seagull (the dog, not me). I also love art and have an eclectic little collection I’ve gathered over my travels (mostly landscapes or horses). I also make my own jewellery, but it’s more of a hobby.  

How do you participate in the life of INSEAD Community? 

I think it’s important to be a good INSEAD citizen. I love to be a part of these new WhatsApp groups, especially the one dedicated to the job search. I try to give our alumni some advice or brainstorm with them, whether it’s moving to Australia or finding a job, or figuring out why they’re not successful in their job searches.  I now have 15 years of executive search experience across a range of different sectors, industries and geographies, and it’s my give-back to the Insead community to help people as they navigate their careers. And of course, if anyone needs some advice about navigating search firms or thinking about search support for their company (doesn’t need to be us doing the work), I’m available for a chat too…