The Pioneering MBAs In The Class Of 2019

 Kenya Hunt 

 Harvard Business School 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Crime novel connoisseur. Beauty product hoarder. Unapologetically passionate in my beliefs and convictions. Driven. Persistent.

Hometown: Huntsville, AL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I once worked on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that was floating some 200 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Undergraduate School and Major: Tuskegee University, B.S. Chemical Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Chevron – Houston, TX & Offshore Gulf of Mexico

  • Subsea Well Intervention Engineer – Completion & Intervention Staff Team
  • Subsea Well Intervention Engineer – Major Capital Project Team
  • Subsea Well Intervention Engineer – Blowout Preventer Team

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I led a cross-functional team to complete a laboratory testing project under severe time and budget constraints. I delivered the project under budget and management leveraged the test results to make key decisions for a major capital project.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I cannot stress the importance of positive self-talk. During a rough patch while studying for the GMAT, it dawned on me that some of the things I said to myself, I’d never say to a friend. I was beating myself up pretty bad: I constantly questioned my intelligence and adopted self-doubt as my default. To begin challenging those negative thoughts, you must first become more aware of them. Make a conscious effort to slow down and pay attention to your thoughts. Stop and notice when you are feeling negative emotions (like frustration, doubt and worthlessness). Keep a log if it will help. Once you are aware of your critical voice, you will be in a better position to stand up to it. Begin replacing those negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend that you believe in!

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? In performance reviews, I frequently received the same constructive feedback: I could be too quiet in meetings. When I began reflecting on how to address this feedback, I realized that attending Harvard Business School and participating in classroom discussions would force me out of my comfort zone and help me to grow as a leader. I’d have to speak up if my grade depends on it! Learning from my section mates through the case method will also give me the tools to make decisions in the face of conflicting data, ask the right questions, hone my business judgment, address developmental gaps, defend and challenge viewpoints, and become versed on how to persuade, negotiate, and influence others. In my view, there is no better place to acquire these skill sets than at Harvard Business School.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? After my first year of business school, I’d like to be getting ready to assume a leadership position in a student club, doing meaningful work in a fantastic internship, and getting to know my section mates and other classmates on a deeper level.