Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Sibylle George, Harvard Business School

Sibylle George

Harvard Business School

“Architect at heart, excited at the prospect of building new ventures.”

Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon

Fun Fact About Yourself: A massive dog lover, I volunteered for years in an animal shelter in Lebanon and grew up with 3 Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Undergraduate School and Major: American University of Beirut, Bachelor of Architecture

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Marketing Manager @ Disperse || Co-Founder & Marketing Director @ Impact Lebanon

I have been working since 2019 as a Marketing Manager at Disperse – a construction tech startup aiming at improving productivity on construction sites using artificial intelligence and computer vision.

In parallel, I co-founded a UK-based non-profit and initiative hub called Impact Lebanon. Our objective is to empower the Lebanese diaspora to develop and fund innovative solutions for the country. I led the marketing team – as the marketing director – until June 2021.

What word best describes the Harvard Business School students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Far-sighted and visionary. I had the opportunity to meet many future classmates earlier this year and over the summer. I was amazed to see how ambitious everyone was; it felt like each one of them wanted to challenge the status quo of their industries or tackle an issue they were wholeheartedly passionate about.

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? The case method was one of the main elements that drove me to choose HBS over other programs! The format of the classes forces us to think critically about issues we are not necessarily familiar with, and to learn from students with first-hand experience. Through the case method, we are constantly challenged, and taught to express our points of view in an articulate and concise way. I look forward to our first class!

Aside from your classmates and cases, what was the key part of Harvard Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It is hard to overstate the number of resources HBS puts at the disposal of students, This ranges from the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which guide students as they build their own ventures, to the careers center and the outstanding HBS alumni network. This will certainly make it easier for all of us to step into the next phase of our careers.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Harvard Business School? The Entrepreneurship Club! While it is difficult to be prepared for the challenges we’ll face when starting a new venture, I look forward to exploring further this ecosystem and to interacting with people who have already navigated through it.

When you think of Harvard Business School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Diversity. I have met people from so many different backgrounds over last few months, each of whom will bring a new set of experiences and a unique perspective to the classroom.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I co-founded Impact Lebanon, a non-profit and initiative hub, with a group of Lebanese professionals after the 2019 Lebanese October Revolution. Our objective is to empower the Lebanese diaspora to challenge the status quo. Little did we know we were setting up the foundations for one of our most challenging and hardest undertaking. In the hours that followed the August 4 Beirut explosion, we set up a disaster relief fund with an initial objective of ~$70,000. Donations began pouring in, as the news of this crisis traveled far beyond Lebanon’s borders. This led us to raise $9.2 million for Beirut. As a marketing director of Impact Lebanon, I had the opportunity to work with over 70 inspiring minds, who have been working as volunteers and dedicating time outside of their work to bring this fundraiser to fruition. Each of the volunteers has played a critical role in this initiative. A true teamwork!

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how important it is to be well-surrounded — both in my personal and professional lives. Making sure to have the right mentors, and to build the right relationship, is critical in a career. It is something I will certainly take into consideration in the future.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I began my career on a different path, having originally studied architecture. Yet, the inefficiencies and slow rate of innovations in the industry pushed me to seek a way to make a larger positive impact, and to join a construction technology startup. This gave me the opportunity to learn from my colleagues and my manager about the ways startups operate, and to ultimately start a first venture with a group of young professionals. The MBA is an opportunity for me to consolidate and build on the learnings I acquired, both in architecture and in the startup environment, while exploring new fields such as investing.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Wharton (and Lauder), INSEAD, London Business School, and Columbia.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Harvard Business School’s MBA program? Be genuine, and make sure to shed light on what makes you unique.


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