- 11 Feb 2019 12:24 PM
Fraser says he helps executives and managers strengthen their leadership skills, develop their careers, and grow their influence on the people and organizations around them. He works both with expatriates managing local teams and with locals looking to grow within a multinational employer.
He recently started teaching at the International Business School in Budapest, and also enjoys the opportunity to speak publicly on a variety of topics.
Fraser is married to Maria and they have two children in their twenties.
1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
After 20 years of following my career around the world, Maria and I moved to Budapest from Istanbul for a job she was offered.
2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I love living in different cultures, figuring out how people think and how to get things done. I’ve been privileged to be a foreigner all my adult life. Hungary is now the 14th country I have lived in.
3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
We had visited Budapest briefly in the winter of 1993 and coming back now two things particularly surprised me: the high level of English spoken and that winter here is not nearly as cold as I remember.
4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
I like to take guests around town by bicycle to get a real feel for this beautiful city. If they don’t want to cycle, we walk or take public transport.
5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
I’m always tempted by the smell of chimney cake as I walk past the stand at Oktogon.
6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Sárgarépa -- our wonderful Hungarian teacher spent the first lessons focusing on fruit and vegetables to help with shopping and I found this word both easy to remember and descriptive.
8. What do you miss the most from home?
It sounds corny, but I really do feel at home wherever I live.
9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I’d love to have a vineyard and try to produce wine.
10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
I think I would struggle as a butcher, but am really thankful there are people willing to do the job!
11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Skiing in Austria with my elder brother – we hadn’t skied together since 1984 and had a great time re-living our childhood antics in Canada.
12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Oh, that’s easy. Anywhere warm with good food. Andalucía always draws.
13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
I have to admit that I have already seen Bohemian Rhapsody four times…that should be enough of a hint!
14. Apart from temptation what can't you resist?
I can’t resist challenging other people’s thinking. I’m always learning myself and love helping others do the same.
15. Red wine or white?
White in Hungary…. Somlói is my favorite with its volcanic minerality and touch of oak.
16. Book or movie?
Book – we have a monthly book club in Budapest and I enjoy the chance to read and discuss other people’s recommendations. Our latest book was historical fiction by Ayşe Kulin -- “Last Train to Istanbul”.
17. Morning person or night person?
Night person…I can’t deny it.
18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
That’s difficult – I’ve always felt a pull to the challenges children face in the developing world. When we lived in China, Maria and I led groups from our church to work with underprivileged children in the Philippines. Connecting with those kids was a real eye-opener.
Closer to home, I try to take any opportunity I can to improve the imbalance between men and women in leadership.
19. Buda side or Pest side?
Pest definitely...having lived in Buda for 3 years, we moved into the 6th district in September and are loving the buzz and proximity of restaurants, cafés and everything else.
20. What would you say is your personal motto?
I am really inspired by the motto that was outside our children’s school in Shanghai: “Help others be the best they can be.”