Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Katie Hango, MIT (Sloan)

Katie Hango

MIT, Sloan School of Management

“An outdoorsy Vermonter eager to harness the power of technology to make a difference.”

Hometown: Bakersfield, VT

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have visited 44 states and hope to see the remaining 6 by 2025!

Undergraduate School and Major: Villanova University, Management Information Systems & Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte Consulting LLP, Senior Consultant

What has been your first impression of the Sloan MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Sloan story so far. What first struck me about the Sloan MBA program was the sense of community. One MBA student shared with me how Sloanies help Sloanies, from tutoring one another during the core semester to bringing soup to sick classmates.  Alumnae spoke fondly of their time at Sloan, sharing stories of picnicking on the green and collaborating on school projects with classmates who became friends. They also spoke of being humbled by their impressive peers and shared their appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of the community. Of course, these alumnae had impressive backgrounds themselves, but they were far more eager to discuss the accomplishments of others rather than their own.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of MIT Sloan’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Difficult problems remain to be solved at the intersection of technology and business. These complex challenges require integrated solutions. With MIT’s strong reputation for innovation and MIT Sloan’s impressive course offerings, MIT Sloan was a perfect fit.

While some MBA programs operate in silos within the larger university, that is certainly not the case at MIT Sloan. Beyond the option to take courses outside of Sloan at MIT, Harvard, and other schools in the area, Sloanies can also take integrated courses where students of design, business, and engineering can come together to leverage each other’s strengths.

Within Sloan itself, I was impressed by the breadth of opportunities to pursue technology product management. Sloan offers a Digital Product Management Certificate, a Digital Product Management Lab and a Product Management Club with a robust campus membership.  While the Digital Product Management Certificate is relatively new, Sloan has long been a strong pipeline for many technology and e-commerce companies who recruit product managers on campus every year.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at MIT Sloan? Earlier this year, I joined the Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) club! I am excited to contribute to and participate in events like Push for Parity, described by the organization as “SWIM’s flagship annual event, dedicated to advancing gender parity at school and in the workplace through education and allyship.” My passion for gender equality began when I was in high school and represented the Girl Scouts at the White House and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to speak about gender parity. As I have grown in my career, this has remained a priority for me, so I am naturally excited to continue advocating for women in business as a member of the SWIM community.

Action Learning Labs are one of MIT Sloan’s biggest attractions. Which lab interests you most? How does it fit with your interests? I am most interested in USA Lab: Bridging the American Divides, an Action Learning Lab that focuses on pressing challenges in rural areas and small cities. I was born and raised in Vermont, where community was essential and neighbors depended upon one another for everything from borrowing an egg when there wasn’t time to make the hour-long trip to the grocery store to weathering winter storms together. I hope to give back to communities like mine through projects aimed at resolving the challenges plaguing the country’s non-profit and government organizations. Given the current political climate, I believe the opportunity to come together to solve the very real problems facing this country is more important than ever. By applying the problem-solving approach from Sloan’s curriculum in this setting, I hope to make a meaningful impact.

When you think of MIT, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Sloan program thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? When I first think of MIT, I think of students who are brilliant innovators, ambitious to make their mark on the world. While MIT Sloan students certainly embody this, I have been even more impressed by their humility.

At AdMIT Weekend, I saw in my future classmates what I had seen in the alumnae with whom I worked.  Although we enjoyed getting to know one another and indulged in intellectual discussion, it was only after we connected online that I learned of their impressive backgrounds. One classmate has an impressive career as an aeronautical engineer and another is a pilot.  Yet rather than highlighting their previous accomplishments, they spoke passionately about their aspirations for success and desire to make their mark on the world!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my career at Deloitte Consulting, I developed my personal brand as one of the firm’s SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) product experts and shared my expertise with other account teams in the US and abroad. While recognition from firm leaders was much appreciated, I am most proud of my efforts to not only develop in SAC using Java Script, but also to mentor and teach junior practitioners interested in learning.

As I continued building my brand among colleagues and leaders alike, I was offered the opportunity to lead a three-million-dollar claims analytics program for a healthcare giant. We successfully pioneered an innovative architecture and design to support immediate summary to detail analysis of billions of transactions. This provided new insight into drug level analysis previously unavailable to the business.  It also reinforced my reputation as an accomplished leader known for delivering cutting-edge, SAC solutions.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I highly recommend watching the Netflix special Brené Brown: The Call to Courage. Dr. Brown is a renowned researcher known for her work on human connection in which she finds that the key to what she calls wholehearted living is vulnerability. By being vulnerable herself and sharing her own insecurities, Dr. Brown acknowledges both the challenge and importance of doing so. She inspires us to take risks and, in her words, “live in the arena.”

Her story is an important reminder to prospective MBAs that in taking risks you will fail. Yet if you do not take these risks, you cannot reach your full potential. Be courageous in everything you do. Apply to the school you dream of attending, even if you do not think you will be admitted. Once you arrive on campus, raise your hand for the opportunities that both excite and scare you. Be ready to grow personally and professionally and recognize that vulnerability is key to both!

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Columbia Business School, Michigan Ross, NYU Stern, UPenn Wharton, Yale SOM

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into MIT Sloan’s MBA program? I believe MIT Sloan looks for candidates from diverse backgrounds who embody their motto, “mens et manus”, or in English, “mind and hand.” Sloan’s curriculum is grounded in Action Learning, with the option to participate in not only Action Learning Labs, but also Experiential Learning Opportunities during the Independent Activities Period prior to the start of the spring semester. The program is a great fit for those who learn by doing.  Communicate through your application how you use data to inform decision-making either at work or in your personal life. Action learning extends beyond the classroom, so consider how you will make an impact in the Sloan community and the world!

As you do this, be authentic. As easy as that sounds, this requires significant reflection.  Prospective students may have preconceived notions that MIT Sloan is looking only for people with strong science, technology, engineering, and math backgrounds. In reality, each class is made up of students with diverse academic experiences. Rather than making assumptions about what the “ideal candidate” looks like, recognize that this ideal can take many shapes. Showcase who you are and the value you will bring to the community.  It can be helpful to share your application with those who know you best and ask them one simple question: “Does this sound like me?”


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