Harvard Business School
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’ve been hooked on space since seeing my first Star Trek episode when I was three, and I’ve been following that passion ever since, studying aerospace engineering and astrophysics
Hometown: Lincroft, New Jersey
Fun Fact About Yourself: I have an asteroid, 22939 Handlin, named after me. The International Astronomical Union allows the discoverers of asteroids to officially name them using certain guidelines. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory discovered my asteroid in 1999. In 2007 they named it after me in recognition of my being a national winner in the Intel Science Talent Search competition (my research involved using a distributed network of optical telescopes to track satellites).
Undergraduate School and Major:
Harvard College, AB, Astrophysics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SM, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Scaled Composites, Design Engineer
(Scaled Composites, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, designs, builds and flight tests groundbreaking prototype aircraft and spacecraft.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I did design and shop liaison work on the wing of Stratolaunch, which will be the largest aircraft ever built and is designed to take a large rocket to high altitude and launch it into space.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? I had a very technical background and came into the workforce thinking success in the aerospace projects I was working on was based entirely on technical acumen. Through my work experience, I realized very quickly that achievement in difficult projects–technical, aerospace, or otherwise–was really based more on successful management and motivation of large groups of people, effective administration of organizations– in other words, some of the very topics addressed in business school. In my essays and interviews, I described the process of coming to this realization and why business school therefore seemed a natural next step in the pursuit of my career goals in aerospace. So my advice would be to build a narrative focused on explaining clearly how your career goals would be advanced by the MBA and how your work experience has informed your perspective on that topic. I found that explaining my thought process in realizing these things also helped when I approached my recommenders to explain to them why I was interested in business school.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I was particularly attracted to the case method. Virtually everything of value that I learned at work was through real-world experience or example rather than from theory or books. I also found that I most frequently learned things at work when working in small teams or groups of people. In this way, I thought the case method had the best features of what I had experienced at work; I could learn from examples of what people had actually done in the past and do so in the context of the interactive and engaged groups that I had found most enriching in my work experience.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My career goal is to lead a major aerospace company or government entity. So my dream job at this point would be a leadership or management role in an important aerospace program at such an organization.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like my peers to say that I was able to excite and motivate people to be part of a team and work toward a common goal, and that I was able to get every member of a team to both add value and feel valued when appropriately motivated and incentivized. I’d like them to say that I was able to improve my skills, knowledge, and self in business school so that I was able to play a valuable role as a leader in the aerospace industry.