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Thirty years of Executive MBA experience
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James Fyffe '76
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Beth Hayden '05
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  Beth Hayden '05
  Photo © Nathan Mandell

EMBA Profile: Beth Hayden '05

People power

At Jones Lang LaSalle, Beth Hayden helps align human resources with company's enterprise-wide strategy

By Kari Richardson

Beth Hayden '05 is similar to many Kellogg School alumni who excel, catapulting to new heights and more challenging professional roles with help from connections forged during their business school experience.

But unlike some of her peers, Hayden says she wasn't really looking to make a leap when a classmate approached her, after believing her the ideal candidate for a senior human resources position with real estate services and money management firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

In fact, the Kellogg Executive MBA Program graduate had declined the very same role when a search firm contacted her about the opportunity a few weeks earlier. 

"I asked my classmate if the company had filled the position yet and he said, 'You would be absolutely perfect for the job,'" Hayden recalls. "He called the CEO and that's how our discussion started. It would never have happened if [this classmate] hadn't intervened," says Hayden, now the firm's senior vice president and regional director of human resources for the Americas, a role that finds her aligning human resources strategy with the company's global objectives.

Since graduating from Kellogg last January, Hayden has put her insights and energy to fine use. Her weeks are filled with travel and the drive to meet new goals to help Jones Lang LaSalle build a more comprehensive talent recruitment system and further strengthen training and development.

"We've hired more than 1,200 people in the Americas so far this year," Hayden says. "It's a huge opportunity to make a difference by creating a human resources platform that allows our company to grow as quickly as the marketplace has." She notes that Jones Lang LaSalle is a client-focused company whose investments in people, research and technology "not only help us create and expand enduring client relationships, but enable us to continually strengthen our service capabilities."  

She says that the business prizes people and talent. "People generate revenue for the firm. Our turnover rate is low relative to other professional service organizations because the organization is good to its employees. However, speed to market in converting talent pipelines is critical to our growth strategy."

Hayden's previous positions were with a real estate investment trust, a healthcare organization and a Fortune 500 company. The ability of her skills to transfer to many different organizations, she says, has allowed her to see businesses at different points in their life cycles.

She says her Kellogg skills, particularly in finance, marketing and operations management, have helped her confidently address the latest business challenges at her firm. Adding quantitative heft to her liberal arts undergraduate background was one of the driving forces behind her desire to earn a Kellogg School MBA. Her most memorable class was Professor Steven Rogers' Entrepreneurial Finance, where she learned practical ways to apply the principles of finance. She particularly enjoyed Rogers' emphasis on job creation and its economic impact.  Most of all, she valued the Kellogg culture of excellence, leadership, inclusion and collaboration — cultural values that also attracted her to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Though Hayden's arduous schedule and professional demands keep her fully occupied, she still manages to find reminders of her executive MBA experience among everyday events, which will prompt a phone call or e-mail. When stress creeps in, for instance, she thinks of a classmate nicknamed "The Sage" for his calm demeanor. At other times, classmates call to inquire about job opportunities with her firm or to plan lunch when they are visiting Chicago.

"The Executive MBA Program at Kellogg was an amazing journey and a world-class learning experience," she says. "There's real strength in the network we built."

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University