Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Megan Maloney, Harvard Business School

Megan Maloney

Harvard Business School

Intentional changemaker leveraging capital and technology to advance marginalized communities.”

Hometown: Westchester County, New York

Fun Fact About Yourself: I started studying Mandarin during my sophomore year of undergrad, and petitioned to study abroad in Shanghai during my senior year. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Undergraduate School and Major: Columbia University, Economics Major, Music Concentration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: General Catalyst, Principal

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? The case method cultivates managerial skill sets by requiring us to make concise arguments to others, often without complete information. This is particularly helpful to learn as it becomes necessary to communicate ideas clearly and effectively to company leadership, coworkers, and potential investors.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Empathetic. Of course, my classmates exhibit the common characteristics you might expect from those pursuing a MBA, such as grit and determination. However, as uncertainty surrounds us this upcoming semester, I have been encouraged and impressed by the level of empathy that everyone holds. Most of my conversations start with a genuine “How are you doing?” and as we try to navigate a slew of virtual meetings, everyone is willing to share resources such as call notes and ‘key takeaways.’

Aside from the case method and classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Having access to professors outside of the classroom was very important to me. The knowledge they carry around how companies scale, and how people become successful leaders is something I want to tap into.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I’m excited about several, including Women in Investing, The African American Student Union, and the Improv Club. As someone moving from San Francisco, I may even try the Wine & Cuisine Society so I can bring Napa with me!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: During my time at General Catalyst, I’ve had the pleasure of working with founders as they grow and scale their businesses. I helped one such company, Livongo, with their initial public offering two years ago, and attended the opening bell at the NASDAQ. Livongo is a digital healthcare company that helps people manage their chronic conditions. They started with people with diabetes, and have since expanded to other conditions like heart disease. Leveraging my background in investment banking, I was able to work with Livongo two to three days a week to help draft their S-1 and other financial documents. It was an honor to work so closely with the team. Recently, Livongo announced they are merging with Teladoc for $18.5 billion, making it one of the biggest digital health deals to date.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have had the pleasure of working in finance since graduating from Columbia University, but pursuing an MBA has been a long-term goal of mine. Now that I have acquired both technical and analytical skills, I would like to hone in on leadership skills and develop a network outside of my immediate industry.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? The Stanford Graduate School of Business

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I was asked about my investment thesis around artists.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The simplest thing I did was reach out to people who attained an MBA from the various schools I was interested in. The more people I spoke with from each school, the more I was able to get a holistic view about the culture and experience. I then attended at least one informational event for each school, and followed up with alumni to ask any lingering questions.

I knew HBS would fit my career goals because of the diversity in the student body, the impressive alumni base, the global reach, and the willingness of professors to provide advice.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Prior to The Great Recession, I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. However, when I saw how the credit crisis impacted so many people I cared about, particularly communities of color, I decided to pursue a career in finance. It prepared me for business school by pointing me towards my purpose in life.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? One of my favorite companies is Netflix. I was an avid DVD-by-mail user in the early days. It has been incredible to watch the company change over time. I also think Reed Hastings might be one of the most underrated business leaders today. Students can learn from Netflix about the importance of core values, and why incorporating diversity into your business is crucial. I recommend reading the Netflix Manifesto.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer? Creativity. Specifically, it involves giving employees bandwidth to implement new ideas. The world is constantly changing and it is important to adapt to this change, lest you be left behind.


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