Jack Fuller has gone on to become a Rhodes Scholar and work at an elite New York management consultancy firm since graduating from Indooroopilly State High School in 2002.
After studying Science at Melbourne University, the UK-born former Indro school captain did a masters and doctorate at Oxford University and has worked at Boston Consulting Group for the past three years.
He’s writing a book with his manager at BCG on the theme of imagination in business, and often looks back on his Brisbane high school as a place where creativity thrived.
“At Indro, I felt imagination was really fostered,” Dr Fuller says.
“So many organisations emphasise order and rules too much, and don’t leave room for fun and improvisation.
“When I think back to ISHS, it seems like a great exception to this, a place that really encourages student initiative, and balances rules with the inevitable messiness that comes from people trying thing out and being human.
Jack Fuller handing in thesis at Oxford 2016.
“Strangely, in some ways it’s like an Oxford college, which allows for eccentricity and quirkiness, too. I feel hugely grateful for my time there, and feel lucky to have had those years.”
Dr Fuller attended Indro from 1998 to 2002 after going to primary school at Montessori at Fig Tree Pocket.
“I love the ethos of Indro: its focus on allowing students to be themselves and discover who they are, to have autonomy, to explore and experiment, and participate in changing and improving the school,” he says.
“For my speech pitching to be school captain, I wrote a rap – all I remember is that it started, ‘Yo I’ve seen the world from assembly, check my clothes man, damn they’re trendy …’
“I did end up being school captain, I think because I made lots of promises to everyone, including that I would get permission to build a legal wall for graffiti. Many of them sadly ended up as broken campaign promises. One of my highlights of my time at Indro was being in the debating team and beating some of the larger private schools, who often didn’t expect us to be any good.
An Indooroopilly State High School debating team in 2002: Zachary Lurje, Nayomia Anderson, Aimee Gust and Jack Fuller.
Jack Fuller on a trip to Las Vegas trip last year to research his imagination book. The llama is the pet at the indoor/outdoor office of entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, who has a project to transform part of downtown Las Vegas.
After school I went to Melbourne Uni, where I chopped and changed a lot. I started out in Arts/Law, but I didn’t really know what I wanted. Two weeks into that I switched to Arts/Science, then years into that I changed to just Science, partly just to get it done. I also took a year off uni in the middle to go and live in East Timor.
“Some people know a particular, clearly defined career path that they want. But if you’re like me and interested in many things, I think it’s hard to know what you really care about in life, and what you want to pursue, before you just try things out, and that takes time. So I would suggest giving yourself years to try things out and explore if you can.
“I was lucky enough to win the Rhodes Scholarship in Victoria in 2010. There really is a lot of luck involved.
“A very helpful thing though was the skills I’d practised in debating at Indro. The first question they asked in the interview was `What is the role of business in society?’ So I had to think on my feet.
“Then I went to Oxford, which had been a dream of mine, and ended up staying for six years to do a masters and doctorate. I studied theology, which is something I never thought I would do, as I was an atheist. I thought of it like an anthropological adventure into religion. I also started taking psychotherapy – again as a kind of experiment – because I’d become intrigued by therapy as a thing not to do because you’re ill, but as a way to reflect on life, and your own wishes, drives and tendencies. Now I would say therapy is my main passion. My dream is to start a company which offers therapy as a normal thing to do, like going to get a haircut or going to yoga.
“After Oxford I applied for jobs in business consulting, because after spending time in academia, I wanted to see and do something more practical. For the last three years I’ve been working at the Boston Consulting Group in New York. This last year my manager suggested that we write a book together, on the theme of imagination in business, trying to clarify what is this capacity for imagination that we have, and how can it be better fostered, and not squashed, in businesses?”