For those of you who don’t know me, just a little bit of context: I was born and raised in southern Africa and have since lived, worked and traveled to over 40 countries, and I currently spend over 50 percent of my professional life in New York, London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and countless other global cities. As someone heavily involved in global finance, strategy and innovation, on the face of it, you can see how DSM was not in the plan. So how did it all change? Simple: I spent time in DSM.
My relationship with DSM started over 23 years ago, when I was a senior in high school and looking for a university. Ultimately, I selected Drake University. Immediately after graduation, I headed to New York City, and while grateful to DSM, I never expected to be back, except for the odd meeting at Drake and the annual Relays celebration. And then in 2014, I was invited to take a sabbatical from my global advisory business to come spend a semester teaching at Drake. And wow, what a semester! The DSM I got to know in 2014, and since, is definitely not the DSM I knew in the mid-'90s.