Jay Foard

MBA '09

Vice President
SAP

What do you do professionally?

I work as a business strategy consultant. This usually includes doing 'top down' business analysis and helping align different strategies and objectives from board executives with ways to execute throughout the work force to ensure the strategy brings value to the organization. I also run a family business focused on consumer products, along with running a non-profit organization.
 
I write professionally and do many seminars on work/life balance and health strategy for corporations.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

I enjoy helping companies and individuals become more successful and to incorporate 'out of the box' thinking so that they consider new and interesting ways of tackling different types of problems and challenges.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

Keeping up with the rapid changes in technology and the impact it has on businesses. 

What sorts of interesting places has your position taken you? Do you have a favorite?

I have travelled and lived all over the world, including: Australia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Turkey, Peru and the United States. Our favorite was Thailand. We lived on the island of Phuket for two years on a mountain overlooking Patong Beach. I trained for two years in Muay Thai and spent many weeks researching the life routines of Buddhist monks in order to learn more about their living habits. The goal was to understand why Buddhist monks are some of the healthiest people in the world and incorporate this into healthy living habits for westerners. I write about this in my new book, Run your Body like a Business. The people and culture are amazing and interesting.

What is the best professional advice you've received?

Success is learning how to think exponentially! 

Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?

I would like to go back for my doctorate and focus my research on neurobiology. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

I write as much as possible. I also like to collect musical instruments and have a broad collection from all over the world. The interesting thing about my collection is every instrument is hand made. I buy them only from the person or people who make it. This ensures every instrument unique and not just mass produced in a factory.

What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?

I learned the importance of being able to think and act outside of your comfort zone. I think it is easy to get stuck in certain mindsets and routines in our professional careers, and Fuqua helped me work through some of those mental barriers I had built up unknowingly so that I could continue to grow and prosper professionally and personally.

Who was your favorite professor?

I enjoyed Bob Clemen's course on decision making. He helped me understand that every decision can be quantified if modeled correctly and that decisions need to be grounded in facts. Too often we make decisions based on hunches in our careers without doing the necessary due diligence. This can lead to unexpected results which can be avoided by thinking through the problem analytically. 

What is your favorite Fuqua memory?

I enjoyed the courses but also the down time and ability to bond with my fellow Fuqua friends and alumni during the residencies outside of studies. I have great memories of playing late night pool in Budapest, having vodka with our Russian students in Istanbul and riding camels in Dubai. 

What does Team Fuqua mean to you?

It means creating a network of friends and colleagues that have the same drive for knowledge and experience. I think it means bonding with others who are willing to take their life beyond being average and find new and interesting ways to express their talents and ambitions. It also means making new lifetime friends with common interests in business and social responsibility.