Lessons in Leadership Gleaned from International Business Development Course

Through the Haas School’s experiential learning course, International Business Development (IBD), teams of Berkeley MBA students have begun work on projects in sectors that include airline, consumer products, education, energy, healthcare, high technology, mining, paper, poverty alleviation, and wildlife conservation. The students will work remotely for the rest of the spring semester, and then spend three weeks in-country. Projects will take them to the countries marked in red on the map above, including Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Finland, Mongolia and South Africa.

IBD yields lessons in leadership, as gleaned from the experience of Peter Hajdu, MBA 05, who journeyed to the Canadian wilderness in 2004, along with his three IBD teammates. Their IBD project focused on alleviating some of the major social and health challenges affecting a community of Native Americans. Landing onto the terrain aboard a very small hydroplane, Peter and his teammates encountered what it means to be a leader within the context of a remote, rugged landscape.
peter hajdu
Peter Hajdu, MBA ’05

Peter reflects, “One expects leadership to happen in boardrooms and presidential palaces, however my IBD experience proved this common belief incorrect. In the middle of the Canadian Pacific Rainforest we found unparalleled leadership, embodied in the community’s visionary leader. He had sacrificed his successful, urban business career to return home and lead his community in overcoming very significant societal challenges. This experience changed my beliefs about leadership: you can find it anywhere, anytime and under any circumstance. Very often leadership involves personal sacrifice as well.”

Today, Peter serves as the General Director of Cisco’s South Eastern operations, a region that contains 10 countries. Prior to this role, he directed strategy and business development for emerging markets, such as Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East – also with Cisco. Prior to Cisco, he worked for McKinsey and Company, leading strategic and operational projects across Europe. In addition, Peter has been instrumental in securing IBD projects for our MBAs over the years in Eastern European markets such as Albania, Macedonia, Georgia and Bulgaria. We recognize Peter for his continued demonstration of leadership in the technology sector, and are thankful for his ongoing involvement with the IBD program.

One thought on “Lessons in Leadership Gleaned from International Business Development Course

  1. The world today needs true leaders from government to enterprise. Nevertheless, changing times require a change in chip that conventional university education isn’t providing. Either the change is done at the institutions, there is no possible transformation in the leadership style that has brought the world to the brink of nowhere in this the first decade of the 21st. century.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s