Collaboration is Key Headshot

Denise Lawson

MBA 1989

Strategy Consultant and Faculty Advisor, Carnegie Mellon University

After achieving her MBA from Edinburgh, Denise spent more than 20 years in management consulting, focusing on business strategy, creating and delivering innovative solutions for a wide range of clients in the government, healthcare, education, commercial, and non-profit sectors.

While at the University, Denise enjoyed the case study approach to learning, highlighting the unique opportunity to work and collaborate with fellow students from around the world as a key part of her experience.

"The diversity in backgrounds and life perspectives was the perfect learning ground for effective teamwork. I have taken and applied these early lessons over and over again in my career."

Spending almost 15 years at Booz Allen Hamilton, Denise managed multiple client engagements, enjoying the fast-paced environment and thriving on being able to quickly identify the critical success factors of a project.

Taking what was learned at Booz Allen, Denise took on the role of Senior Vice President of Strategy at a startup technology company, helping the firm grow from $1.5 million in revenue to over $40 million.

"I enjoyed working in an entrepreneurial environment where I was able to build a team to deliver a wide range of multimedia solutions."

While working as a consultant, Denise was asked to join the adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in the Masters of Public Policy programme. She enjoys working with a small group of students each year on semester-long industry projects.

"When I am teaching, I often think of what I learned from case studies at Edinburgh. Project-based learning is such an effective learning tool."

More recently, following a dog sledding expedition in Alaska, Denise has written a number of children's books entitled the Black Bear Sled Dog series, including Black Bear Goes to Washington. These are sold around the world with proceeds from the book sales going to support the sled dogs.

The diversity in backgrounds and life perspectives was the perfect learning ground for effective teamwork. I have taken and applied these early lessons over and over again in my career.