Katalina Bock just found out she has been admitted to Harvard Business School. So what does she do? Bock goes on LinkedIn to announce her good news to friends and colleagues.
More importantly, however, the associate brand manager at Johnson & Johnson delivers a very public message of thanks to her employer for the past four years. Her genuine expression of gratitude speaks volumes about her character and also provides an important clue to the kind of people that Harvard’s MBA admissions loves: Yes, you need to be highly accomplished and have the stats, too. But you need to be the kind of person who others want to be with: Humble and thankful for those who helped shape who you have become. Gratitude never goes out of style.
Under her smiling photo in a crimson Harvard Business School sweatshirt, Bock began her post with the big news.
“I am excited to share that I will be attending Harvard Business School this fall! Pursuing my MBA has been a lifelong personal and professional goal of mine, and I can’t wait for the next two years of being surrounded by the world’s greatest minds and leaders.
“I am beyond grateful for my family, friends and mentors who have supported, championed and encouraged me along the way. I truly couldn’t have gotten to where I am without you.”
‘THIS COMPANY BECAME MUCH MORE TO ME THAN A WORKPLACE BUT A FAMILY AND A HOME’
And then came her very public tribute to her employer and her colleagues at J&J.
“And thank you, Johnson & Johnson, for setting me up for success,” she wrote on LinkedIn. “While it is incredibly difficult to capture the richness of my past four years in a few short sentences, you have allowed me to stretch my wings in ways I never expected. This company became much more to me than a workplace, but a family and a home. I cannot thank you enough for the memories, experiences and lessons that I get to carry with me to my next journey at HBS.”
Not surprisingly, her statement got the attention of her J&J colleagues.
“Amazing amazing!,” wrote Peter Brown, director of demand planning at J&J consumer Health. “Harvard and Boston are lucky to have you!!”
“Thank YOU Katalina Bock for all your energy, insight and impact!,” added Lee Meyers, senior director of marketing and commercial lead for Neutrogena facial care at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. “Wishing you an exciting next chapter ahead!”
BROUGHT A 3.92 GPA FROM DUKE ALONG WITH FOUR YEARS OF INCREASING RESPONSIBILITY AT J&J
Bock earned her undergraduate degree in 2017 in psychology from Duke University where she graduated magna cum laude with a 3.93 GPA. She used her Duke degree to land a job in Los Angeles as the digital marketing & eretail campaign lead for a Neutrogena brand owned by J&J. A summer internship with Points Group LLC in New Jersey had to help. During her brief two-month stint, she worked on a marketing strategy for a company to boost its brand awareness through digital channels.
In her four years with J&J, Bock gained several promotions to end up as an associate brand manager for global strategy and innovation for Neutrogena Acne and Clean & Clear. It was a role that made her responsible for developing and managing the global brand and marketing strategy as well as innovation pipeline for the product.
Bock isn’t the only new admit to HBS to use LinkedIn to spread the good news. At #nextstophbs, several new admits thank friends, family and colleagues for their support during their life journeys so far.
A FIRST-GEN WOMAN FROM NIGERIA IS THRILLED TO SHARE HER HBS ADMIT
Temi Olonilua, a first generation college grad from Nigeria, was just as gracious as Bock in announcing her good fortune.
“Allow me to flex for a minute because I am literally living the dream I manifested,” she wrote.
“I’m beyond thrilled to share that I will be moving to Boston this summer to begin my MBA at Harvard Business School as a Toigo Foundation Fellow.
“This week also marks my five-year anniversary and a bittersweet end to a phenomenal journey at Con Edison. I remember telling my mentor the week I joined that I had a five-year plan, with no clue what that even meant. But, God! I’m so grateful for the incredible learning opportunities I’ve had and the many talented people I’ve worked with. A special shout-out to my amazing managers (Melissa Chiotis and Anthony Zappone) who saw my potential and wrote my recommendation letters.
“Getting to this point took a lot of hard work, self-reflection, and perseverance. I couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of my proverbial village. WE did it! Thank you Management Leadership for Tomorrow for blessing me with a wonderful community to be on this journey with and an amazing coach (Natasha Gore), who believed in me and saw my greatness when I didn’t!
“Finally, Max Richards, you deserve your own paragraph. Thank you for guiding me, virtually holding my hand, texting back at 3 AM as I mulled over essays, and being my sounding board throughout the application process! I’m eternally grateful.
“Y’all this first-generation college graduate from Nigeria that moved to America on visa lottery in pursuit of the elusive American Dream is going to HARVARD! I am the embodiment of my family’s wildest imaginations!”
‘I’M IMMENSELY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE TRUST AND OPPORTUNITIES I’VE BEEN GIVEN AT BCG’
And then there is Nabil Sarbaoui from Milan, Italy, who has been working as a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group and got is acceptance two weeks ago.
“After an amazing year and a half at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG),” he wrote, “I am happy to announce that I will be starting the next chapter of my professional journey at the Harvard Business School this fall.
“I’m immensely grateful for all the trust and opportunities I’ve been given at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and I’d like to thank all the amazing mentors, friends and clients who contributed to my growth in the past years. It’s been a true blessing to be able to learn from the best!
“I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank all the other people and institutions who enabled me to pursue my dreams, starting from all the Italian public school teachers (MIUR), professors at Politecnico di Milano, colleagues and friends at Eni and Schlumberger and most importantly all my friends and family around the world!
“I would not have made it here without the efforts and support of each one of them!
‘MY PARENTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS NEVER STOPPED BELIEVING IN ME’
Priya Srinivasan is another HBS admit, also thanking Admit.me Access and the Forte Foundation. A one-time sales person at Old Navy, she graduated from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa in Canada. But she wasn’t your typical grad. Srinivasan was awarded the Gold Medal in Finance for having the highest GPA in the program and and given the University Silver Medal for graduating with the second highest GPA across the entire university.
“Today marks my last day at Export Development Canada | Exportation et développement Canada. I have enjoyed working for such an impactful organization these last 3 years and will carry forward many fond memories with my team.
“As one chapter ends, another one begins…I am excited to share that I will be starting my MBA at Harvard Business School this fall!
“Grateful for this opportunity and for those who helped me get here, namely: Jan Tutty, Ryan Smith, and Lynne Thomas; Admit.me Access (Eric Allen and the amazing Fellows) and Forte Foundation; and of course, my parents, family and friends who never stopped believing in me. Also want to give a special shout out to my high school business teacher, Anthony Anderson, who first inspired my business career path.
“I’m ready to pursue my passion for food sustainability and plant-based nutrition in a professional context and can’t wait to embark on this adventure!”
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