Meet The MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2019

Emily McLaughlin 

MIT, Sloan School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Civic technologist who seeks to transform the relationship among citizens, government, and the political process.

Hometown: Brookline, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am dual U.S./French citizen and bilingual

Undergraduate School and MajorBrown University, Political Science & English

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Deputy Director, Office of Economic Empowerment, Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts

Press Secretary, Deb Goldberg for Treasurer

Legislative Assistant, Office of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, United States House of Representatives

Volunteer Coordinator, Joe Kennedy for Congress

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: State government is usually the last place you look to find digital innovation.

However, during my time in the Office of the Treasurer, I had the opportunity to build a series of digital tools that delivered high-impact financial education to targeted populations across Massachusetts, including women and low-income families.

Not only was this work extremely rewarding, but it also allowed me to collaborate with others to usher in the digital transformation of other constituent services throughout the Treasury, and assist other departments to integrate principles of human-centered design into their programs. This experience helped me understand how to transform the business of government by cutting costs while introducing modern service delivery.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Get started as early as you can! I recommend giving yourself enough time to study for the GMAT/GRE, so that you can get the score you want early and then move onto your essays and applications. You will feel so much better (and less overwhelmed) after tackling the test first.

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? I knew Sloan was the right fit for me because of the rigorous and advanced technical training that it provides to its students and its world-class entrepreneurial culture. Having held leadership roles on political campaigns and in government, I knew that whichever MBA program I chose would need to provide me with a powerful technical and analytical skillset. In my opinion, Sloan has the best MBA program for that type of education.

I also knew that I wanted to be in a highly innovative and entrepreneurial culture, where students are encouraged to start their own ventures and are provided with the resources they need to launch and scale them. As someone who wants to start my own company someday, I know there is no better place to be than in the MIT ecosystem.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  The first part of Sloan’s mission statement has already had a lasting impact on me: “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world.”

Our public institutions face a lot of challenges in the digital age. Although we’re more connected with each other than ever before, our political process is broken, voter participation rates are low, and misinformation is pervasive. Trust in media and longstanding institutions is in decline.

I believe that civic technology has the potential to transform people’s understanding of what it means to be a “citizen,” redefine our relationships to systems of governance, and help communities achieve political and entrepreneurial action around solving big, systemic issues.

It still isn’t clear to me how we can solve all of these problems. After receiving my MBA, I hope I can play some small part in disrupting or reversing these trends, and getting us closer to a world in which acts of “digital citizenship” are seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives.

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