Up close and personal with ... William W. Kooser

Based in Hong Kong, William W. Kooser is the Associate Dean for Global Outreach at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he develops relationships with key government, business, and media leaders to promote the school, and identify ways to further raise its profile. During more than 25 years at the University of Chicago, Mr. Kooser has held a variety of positions including Director of Admissions, Director of Career Services, Associate Dean for Executive MBA Programmes and Adjunct Professor of Management.

Mr. Kooser received his BA from Yale University in 1978 and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1981. He also holds an MBA from the Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.


What do you like best about your job and why?

I am constantly learning new things. As a regional role, the job requires extensive travel throughout Asia where I get to meet all kinds of people and explore extraordinary new places. I have the chance to meet up with alumni who are running important businesses across the region. I interact with companies both large and small and get an insight into what they think about the current business and economic climate. I have the opportunity to experience cultures that are very different from my own. All in all, my job provides me with a unique view of the world – one that is informed by my American roots, but is also stretched, pulled and redirected based on the people I meet and the places I visit. I am no longer the same person I was when I arrived in Hong Kong four years ago, and I hope to continue growing and developing during my ongoing journey of discovery.

What is your current country of interest and why?

From a business standpoint, China has been and remains our key market in the region. It’s hard to ignore its economic impact and potential no matter what your business. On the personal front however, I have become very interested in Vietnam. I have only traveled there for short periods so far, but it strikes me as a fascinating mixture of old and new and with tremendous potential. It’s a growing business centre which is important to my role at the University, but I am also intrigued by its history and resilience. As an American of a certain age, I remember well the war and now welcome the chance to learn more about a country that we heard so much about every night on the television.

What is your greatest challenge?

The market for business education is increasingly complex and competitive. Even for the world’s top schools, like Chicago Booth, we face challenges every day to become better known and meet the needs of the business community. Companies and individuals have many choices, and it is increasingly challenging to demonstrate what differentiates us from other schools and programmes while being able to reach the students who will benefit most from what we have to offer.

What keeps you up at night?

Given all the travel and the demands of the job, I fall right asleep and stay asleep! I need the time to recover. But, the thing that we focus on is how do we continue to remain on top of the educational needs of the business community. What topics are of interest? What delivery methods are most effective? What new pedagogies should we adopt? We want to remain at the forefront of management education and continually need to assess ways to do so.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I don’t really have a guilty pleasure. There are many things that I like to do, but I spend a great deal of time swimming. I was a competitive swimmer for many years (and still compete a bit today), so, you’ll often find me training at the pool or beach. I guess the guilt comes in when I miss a training day!


20/11/2017 - 04:40