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Mr Nicolas Boulgaris reflects on his time as an Executive-in-Residence

Mr Nicolas Boulgaris benefits from more than 17 years experience in Finance / Asset Management as decision maker, solution provider and team leader.

After many years in management functions in the private sector, I had the great pleasure of joining the Executive-in-Residence programme at the GCSP for the past eight months. The time has come for a new challenge in the world of finance. But before that, I would like use this opportunity to make an assessment of my wonderful time here by focusing on what this experience brought to me.

From the first day, I enjoyed experiencing an abundant amount of autonomy in what I wanted to achieve. Not only was I able to freely select the subject I desired to focus on in my personal development, but also how I would accomplish my ambitions.

As a natural outcome from my professional experience and previous studies in International Relations, my personal objective was to focus on the links between the private and public sectors.

One of the means of achieving this goal was the redaction of a paper on decision-making differences between public and private entities. Even more importantly, what they could learn from each other. This document was eventually published by the GCSP.

In that process, I took full advantage of the opportunity to attend high-level courses on relevant and diverse subjects, important to both sectors such as leadership and crisis management. Beyond that, I also joined modules with themes relating to security issues of increasing importance for both public and private entities such as cyber warfare and artificial intelligence.

Another very important part of my stay here was the intellectually challenging daily face-to-face interactions with other fellows (public officials, security experts, military officers, scholars, and even fiction writers, all functioning at a very high level). This in a conducive and thoughtfully laid out environment on the seventh floor of the Centre:  the “Creative Spark” open space.

These courses and interactions, combined well with having more time and a proper environment to read and reflect. Furthermore, the genuine internal support and guidance from the GCSP staff also greatly enabled the fulfillment of my goals.

The GCSP also gave me the opportunity to teach a class for the first time. Taking time to find the best way of sharing my experience in the private sector with public officials was a new and thrilling experience. It made me realise differences between pitching a product (which I was more used to) and teaching students about a particular subject, which is even more intricate.

I was also glad to be given the opportunity to give something back to the GCSP beyond writing and teaching. My contributions, with a view from the private sector, to the marketing and positioning of the Centre, as well as my discussions with other fellows and staff hopefully brought a new angle to their own reflections.