MIT, Sloan School of Management
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Avid intrapraneur, aspiring entrepreneur, and constant adventurer imagining creative ways to solve entrenched cross-sector challenges
Hometown: Lynnfield, Massachusetts
Fun Fact About Yourself: I crossed the US-Mexico border every day in an armored van for two years.
(While it sounds “Breaking Bad”-esque, this was nothing illicit: we were posted in Juarez, Mexico and this was my daily commute to school in El Paso, Texas)
Undergraduate School and Major: Dartmouth College, Government
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: After graduating, I joined Monitor Deloitte (Deloitte’s strategy practice) where I focused on helping clients develop market-based approaches to solve public, private, and social sector challenges. I started as a business analyst and was promoted to the firm’s Consultant and Senior Consultant levels. In addition, I had the opportunity to serve as an XPRIZE innovation Fellow, where I was seconded to the XPRIZE Foundation to help build Deloitte’s strategic alliance, while furthering the Foundation’s mission of accelerating technology breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As I mentioned above, at 15, my family relocated from suburban Massachusetts to Juarez, a Mexican border town, for my father’s diplomatic assignment. Over two years in Juarez, I was exposed to the downstream human consequences of economic opportunity gaps, including the heated political landscape around immigration and conflict related to the drug trade. After this experience, I was driven to use my career to demonstrate how the private sector can work with the public and social sectors to drive and promote economic opportunity; having had a chance to do so has been my biggest accomplishment to date.
After co-authoring two reports on innovative ways that private sector organizations can address public and social sector challenges, I was able to put theory into practice in a wide range of environments, including: improving educational and career outcomes for all Americans through the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper program; helping create the District of Columbia’s economic strategy focused on benefitting residents of all income and education levels; and co-leading a team in building an economic transformation and diversification plan for a Middle Eastern country. Having had a chance to learn from this diverse set of experiences and seeing sustained impact has inspired me to continue exploring market-driven approaches that can increase economic opportunity at Sloan.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Given the resources that exist to help students with business school admissions, I feel like it is difficult to say anything new. That said, the piece of advice that guided me through the process was to “stay weird.” I found it very easy to get caught up in the noise of the application process. Therefore, it was helpful to step back and truly understand who I am, what I value, and what makes me unique. For me, this helped me realize that the application process is unique for everyone. Everyone, from friends and mentors to published admissions experts, has a perspective on how much time to spend studying for the GMAT, how to approach essays, and what programs to select; by knowing my own strengths and weaknesses, I was able to filter through these opinions to determine what resonated with me. Getting to this point required a significant amount of reflection.
Furthermore, while cliché, I found it important to truly understand the programs I was applying to. Beyond simply looking at the admissions websites, visiting, and attending events (which definitely shed light on the ethos of a program), I found it helpful to figure out what day-to-day life looks like. By speaking to current students and alumni and evaluating what schools choose to prioritize when branding themselves, I was able to figure out what programs would make me happiest, fit my goals, and would best align to my specific “weirdness.”
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? While several factors drew me to Sloan (including fictional MIT alumni like Tony Stark, the majestic beaver mascot, and being a big Boston sports fan), two factors really differentiated it from the other programs I was considering. First, I was attracted by the integration to the broader MIT ecosystem. Sloan’s flexible curriculum and coursework that encourages inter-disciplinary connection were unparalleled. This made Sloan feel like an incubator in addition to a university.
Additionally, upon meeting current students and my future classmates, I was blown away by how every person I spoke with had something they were passionate about. Conversations went beyond the excitement of getting into a top program and a focus on short-term career goals – instead, I found that Sloanies were interested in sharing long-term aspirations on how they wanted to make a mark. From AdMIT weekend to near-weekly meet-ups leading up to the fall, the authenticity and drive of the community made it clear that Sloan would go beyond being a transactional experience and, instead, would be transformational.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? In short, success would be learning more about my classmates, the world, and myself.
More specifically, I hope to look back on my first year and say I built strong, authentic relationships with my fellow Sloanies, got exposure to the cutting-edge approaches and technologies being developed in MIT and Sloan’s research centers (including the Martin Trust Center and the Media Lab), and jumped head-first into the Institute’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, getting the hands-on experience that Sloan is known for.
Finally, as with any potentially transformational experience, success will hopefully also involve some new adventures and unexpected tangents that will help expose me to new ideas.