2015 Best MBAs: Michaela LeBlanc

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Michaela LeBlanc

 
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

Michaela LeBlanc’s passion is getting women into the finance world. A JPMorgan alum, this Smith College government major is putting her time and energy into this effort, acting as a mentor for Smart Woman Securities at Dartmouth. Additionally, she is a Tuck admissions associate, a co-chair of the Tuck Investment Club, and a portfolio manger for Tuck Asset Management. She will be joining Goldman Sachs in global investment research in New York City after graduation.

Age: 29

Hometown: Cape Cod, MA

Undergraduate School: Smith College

Undergraduate Degree: Government Major, German Minor

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong. I worked in Equity Sales covering Hedge Fund Clients for Asia ex-Japan.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Goldman Sachs in New York, NY (Private Wealth Management)

Where will you be working after graduation? Goldman Sachs in New York, NY (Global Investment Research)

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized that many of my professional mentors had completed an MBA and viewed it as a key part of their career development.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…traveling Southeast Asia by bicycle and drinking lots of Vietnamese iced coffee.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to be involved in researching and investing in interesting companies.

Favorite Courses: Tuck classes have been amazing, but the practitioner-based classes at Tuck have been my favorites. One in particular, Investing and Deal Making in Healthcare, was especially impactful because it brought together a faculty consisting of a venture capital partner, a senior healthcare investment banker, and two renowned professors from Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. The class format focused on doing a deep dive into a specific M&A or IPO transaction each week, and guest speakers who came to class were the bankers, VCs or executives involved in the transactions. I came into the class with only a basic knowledge of healthcare and felt that I emerged with an analytical skill set for evaluating deals in the healthcare space.

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I’m really passionate about getting more women into finance so I mentor for the national Smart Woman Securities program. It’s meant for undergrad women and provides them with basic investment banking and finance knowledge for interviews. Twelve people, usually Tuck students, lecture them throughout the year about how to calculate Weighted Average Cost of Capital or what to include in an investment deck.

Tuck is starting a business bridge program for undergrad women at my alma mater, Smith College, and I’ll be helping as an alumnus of both schools. I’m very proud of Tuck for pioneering this program and I love everything about Smith.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? When I look back at my career path, I think that the defining moment for me was choosing Smith for my undergraduate degree. I took a number of STEM classes at Smith and that was where my interest in finance really blossomed under the guidance of alumni who thought I may enjoy the quantitative challenge of working on Wall Street.

Why did you choose this business school? I was in Hong Kong when I began thinking seriously about business school. From the start, I felt a special connection to a colleague who attended Tuck as a member of the Class of 2007. She was really a guiding force in introducing me to other Tuckies in Hong Kong, and the strength of the Tuck network and their career success led me to believe that Tuck was the right place for me. Additionally, I lived in dense cities for five years before my MBA and I was eager to take some time to live in a more rural area with a strong sense of community and incredible opportunity for outdoor adventures.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Business school has allowed me to try new things that were a total departure from my previous career focus. During my first year, I was involved in getting a classmate’s consumer-focused food startup off the ground and I worked on it as my First Year Project at Tuck. Thinking about customer acquisition costs, social media presence and evaluating different packaging materials was a departure from my pre-Tuck work, but it definitely gave me a more well-rounded approach to valuing a business.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? In March 2015, I traveled to India with 62 of my classmates on a trip organized by a fellow Tuckie who wanted to show us his home country. Standing in front of the Taj Mahal with 62 people who have become the sounding board for my ideas, my professional mentors and my best friends was an incredibly powerful moment.

Fun fact about yourself: I hiked the Appalachian Trail for a week last August after my internship. It was exhilarating, challenging, dirty and I met some really inspiring people on the trail. After it was over I was really glad to be sleeping in a bed and not a tent.

Favorite book: A Walk in the Woods. This is a favorite because the author, Bill Bryson, was based in Hanover, New Hamphire (where Dartmouth is located) when he wrote it.

Favorite movie: The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson or the 1985 dork cult classic Real Genius.

Favorite musical performer: I love listening to opera, and I saw Elina Garanca sing the title role in Carmen at the Met this winter. She is incredible.

Favorite television show: I have a soft spot for Veep on HBO

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere in Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam and Thailand.

What are your hobbies? Triathlon (I completed Ironman Lake Placid in 2013), cycling, hiking, anything outdoors in the Upper Valley.

What made Michaela LeBlanc such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Michaela is an invaluable addition to the class of 2015 for the following reasons:

  • Leadership:  Michaela leads both the Tuck Investment Club as well as the student-run hedge fund, Tuck Asset Management.  In both roles she has shown strong leadership as well as introducing new events to the Tuck community (including a trading competition and more robust pitch nights) and engaging a broad range of students in both the club and the fund.
  • Academics:  Michaela is a force in the classroom and study group, always prepared and ready to engage in the discussion at hand.
  • Ambassador:  Michaela is a wonderful ambassador for Tuck, engaging seamlessly and effortlessly with both alumni and industry in general.
  • Execution:  Michaela “gets it done” with a swiftness and reliability that is impressive.
  • Personality:  Most importantly, Michaela is a wonderful person with whom to work; a unique combination of warmth and a “can-do” attitude.

Tuck is lucky to have Michaela as a student and shortly, as an alum.”

– Tom Naughton, director of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship

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