This week, the HDS Office of Admissions caught up with one of our MTS students, Jim Hackett. Known for both his business acumen and for his cheerful and friendly disposition around campus, Jim participated in the Special Students program and is now an incoming MTS student. Below, he shares his reflections on what his HDS experience has meant to him so far.
HDS Office of Admissions (HDS): Can you tell us a little about your background? You’ve been in the workforce for a number of years–how have you spent your pre-HDS years?
Jim Hackett (JH): I was fortunate to be able to spend my career in business, leading several large global enterprises in the energy field. …I taught as an Adjunct Professor at Rice University’s graduate school of business, which re-kindled a continuing interest in teaching. I suspect, any good person who leads others becomes a teacher, no matter what profession they pursue.
“While HDS is rigorous, it is also a special place for reflection, learning, and improving as an individual and a group.”
(JH): Since the Air Force Academy, I have had a strong interest in studying comparative theology, but only as an amateur. What brought me to HDS (and formal theological training) were primarily two events–the failure of a major corporation managed by Midwestern Christians like me (i.e. Enron Corp) and the comments from a successful business man at a Harvard reunion: he told me that he read the Bible every day…but didn’t believe in God. It then struck me that more research and teaching needed to be conducted about integrating spiritual and intellectual values within secular professions.