Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Olivia Harris, University of Michigan (Ross)

Olivia Harris

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“Innovation-driven tech professional. Forging new friendships, traveling to new places, and building new products.”

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Fun Fact About Yourself: Despite being the opposite of an outdoors person, I once hiked 5 miles in the Amazon rainforest due to my susceptibility to FOMO, or fear of missing out.

Undergraduate School and Major: Vanderbilt University. Majors: Medicine, Health, and Society & Public Policy Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Imagen Technologies, Product Manager

Michigan Ross is best known for experiential learning programming like MAP, Living Business Leadership Experience, and the Leadership Crisis Challenge. What experiential program interests you the most? MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects) excites me the most and has been a significant driving force behind my decision to attend Ross. Throughout my career, I have exclusively worked with health tech start-ups, making the prospect of gaining exposure to multinational tech companies at the cutting edge of innovation across various industries and use cases extremely appealing.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? The Business+Tech hub was a significant draw to Ross. After years of experience in digital health, I hope to explore new applications of technology, and Business+Tech is a consolidated and easily accessible resource to do just that. From the Tech Literacy download, Sports Tech Conference, weekly newsletters, and Tech Innovation Jam, there are a plethora of opportunities to become more well-versed in technology and gain first-hand experience in thinking outside of the box.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? I am eager to take advantage of the possibilities at Ross that will allow me to enhance my in-person communication and relationship-building skills. My ideal work environment is a hybrid model, as I enjoy meeting new people and feeling a part of an in-person community. After years of working remotely, I plan to leverage the Story Lab at the Sanger Leadership Center to refine my storytelling, leadership, and executive presence, preparing myself for the transition back to in-person work and any engaging, in-person speaking opportunities at Ross.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? When I think of Ross, the first word that comes to mind is “all-encompassing.” When considering various MBA programs, I often had to choose which interests or goals to sacrifice to willingly attend a specific program. For example, some schools excelled in tech, but lacked opportunities for leadership development. Yet, with Ross, I didn’t feel the need to make any concessions or limit myself. I valued the freedom to explore diverse opportunities beyond what I had initially written in my MBA application to help me make a well-informed decision regarding my personal and professional goals upon graduation.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My most significant career accomplishment to date stems from my role as a founding member of Black@Phreesia in June 2020, the company’s first employee resource group. In the role, I orchestrated and facilitated discussions on voter suppression and spearheaded the inaugural company-wide phone banking initiative to increase voter turnout in majority-minority communities within the American South. Through this initiative, we achieved greater visibility into and fostered dialogue around the Black experience and provided meaningful opportunities for impactful community engagement.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)?  After graduation, I plan to land at an organization that encourages entrepreneurial thinking and pushing the limits as a product manager or digital consultant.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? I recommend leveraging insights from your close friends and coworkers to help you discover what makes you unique and your most valuable and intriguing accomplishments. Personal experiences or attributes you think are minor or insignificant can be what sets you apart in the applicant pool.


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