The Scholars podcast is a show featuring scholars from the General Sir John Monash Foundation. Hosted by CEO of Mojo Media, Justin Kelly, he interviews the best, brightest, boldest and bravest across all fields of academia, business, science, humanities, and the arts. On today’s episode, Justin interviews professional coach, venture partner and lawyer, May Samali.
May Samali is a 2014 NSW Premier’s John Monash Scholar and is passionate about investing in people and ideas that can change the world. As a trained leadership and personal coach, May works with executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals to unlock their purpose, power and potential, and to unleash the career and life of their dreams. She has extensive experience advising startups and CEOs across the US and Australia. May was formerly the CEO, Ventures at High Resolves, where she built a portfolio of technology ventures in the education sector. In addition, she was a founding investor at the Urban Innovation Fund, a venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs shaping the future of cities. Prior to that, she was a Director at Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator in San Francisco. She has also worked as a strategy consultant at an advisory firm and as an attorney in Sydney. May is an Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue Fellow, a Member of the Board of Advisors for Persian Women in Tech, and a facilitator at Nalukai Academy’s summer startup camps in Hawaii.
With her John Monash scholarship, May studied a Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School focused on entrepreneurship, impact investing and technology policy. She was also a Gleitsman Leadership Fellow at Harvard’s Centre for Public Leadership. May holds a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences (1st Class Hons, University Medal), and LLB (1st Class Hons) from the University of Sydney.
In this episode, May chats with Justin about how she decided on a career path, the journey from lawyer to CEO to professional coach, her passion for leadership and entrepreneurship, and what’s next for her now that she’s arrived back in Australia.