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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. David Bush

Dr. David Bush is the founding Director of the MS program in Human Resource Development at Villanova University.  His research, teaching, consulting and speaking activities revolve around developing HR metrics for measuring talent and performance and how they change over time and through transformation processes.  He has worked with change management for three decades in a variety of industries from pharmaceuticals to chemicals to transportation to manufacturing. 

Click below to read more about Dr. Bush's sage advice for students and a new professional adventure he's embarking upon!



Q: How many years have you been teaching at Villanova (how many years have you been teaching in general)?

A: I started the HRD program 32 years ago.

Q: Where did you begin your teaching career?

A: In between getting my Master’s and PhD, I taught at Hiram Scott College in the Nebraska Panhandle for a couple years. I was roughly the same age as my students. I taught most of the Psychology courses and received the teaching and service award.

Q: If you had to pick just ONE area of Human Resources in which you would label yourself a rock star, which function would that be?

A: Coaching and team development.

Q: Would you share something New/Good in your professional career?

A: I’ve been invited to speak on a panel to the government of Ethiopia on innovation and talent development.

Q: How do you balance your personal life/interests with professional work & teaching?

A:  I make sure that family events get top priority. What gets neglected are things like going fishing, playing golf.

If you look at the array of activities that you might engage in, the stuff that really counts are your career and your family. The most important aspect of your work is strong relationships you build with people. Whether it’s the people you’ve worked with on projects or people you’ve worked with in an educational setting, you look back and recall great people and memorable experiences. Hearing from former students, many of whom entered my field is a real high.

Q: Do you find that experiences you have in your professional career prepare you for the courses you teach in the HRD program or vice versa?

A:  To perform well  in management, people need to go beyond concept learning and be capable of doing, of performing specific tasks and procedures and of making judgments that have real consequences for the lives of people. Experience is required. Experience is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for excellent performance in managing HR.

Q: You work full time and teach at least once class term could you share tips/tricks you use to stay organized on top of all of these commitments?

A: The most useful tool is the simple checklist. I strongly recommend the book, The Checklist Manifesto. It shows how checklists can save lives. Tools like checklists help you stay organized, but you must use these tools consistently. They must become a habit.

Q: Any words of advice that you would offer to students searching for new jobs or internships?

A: Stay actively involved in organizations that will steer you toward opportunities: volunteer or offer your services to organizations that serve your interests and concerns.

Q: What is the best way to network with you  (LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+)?

A: I’m on LinkedIn – I think that’s an appropriate business tool for finding connections.

Q: How do you stay connected to colleagues and former students?

A: When I think of people, I send them an email, call them or somehow reach out to them. I’m not convinced that social networking sites are the best way to stay connected.

Q: What is the best word of advice that you’ve ever received?

A: Make sure your shoes are always shined. In other words, it’s always important to be presentable because you never know when you’re going to encounter somebody where the impression you make will change your life.

Q: And one last question - what event are you looking forward to most during the summer Olympics?

A: Watching people in the events that I used to do, but didn’t make it to the Olympics; track and field events – particularly sprints and long jump.

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