Meet Harvard Business School’s MBA Class Of 2025

In business, Apple owns the most valuable brand, one worth nearly $517 billion dollars. Among sports teams, the Dallas Cowboys are worth $9 billion dollars, more than Real Madrid or the New York Yankees. When it comes to educational institutions, Harvard University sets the pace.

It is a school built on the 4 R’s: reputation, results, research, and reach. Think innovative practices and influential alumni, celebrity faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, deep-seated traditions and deep-pocketed donors. The best of everything: expertise, connections, and opportunities that translate into stature, access, and security.

“ELEVATING MY GAME”

That is particularly true at Harvard Business School – the defining institution of graduate business education. While synonymous with leadership excellence, Harvard Business School is increasingly associated with an entrepreneurial and global spirit, less pinstripe and more go-getter – a place where enterprise is treated as a vocation, a means to tackle the world’s ills.

This promise – of impact as much as prestige – has long attracted the most ambitious and idealistic high potentials to HBS. That is certainly true of Class of 2025 candidates like Micah Holmes, a consultant and sports professional who sees an MBA as preparation for a consequential career.

“Here I’m gaining the strategic foresight and leadership prowess needed to elevate my game,” he explains. “At HBS, surrounded by the brightest minds and under the guidance of visionary mentors, I’m sculpting my potential to become a leader who doesn’t just navigate the future of sports but shapes it. The school’s emphasis on creating impact aligns with my ambition to leave a lasting legacy in the sports world. HBS is the bridge to that future, where my accomplishments to date are the foundation for the greater feats to come.”

Harvard Business School profile

Harvard Business School

A TRANSFORMATIONAL EXPERIENCE

You could define the Class of 2025 in two words: hunger and ownership – a commitment to making a difference and a willingness to step up and bear the risks. When you ask the Class of 2025 to describe Harvard Business School, “excellence” is often the first word that comes to mind.

“At HBS, the expectation is clear: become a leader who makes an impact in the world,” explains Juan Sepulveda, a native of Chile and former global brand director at Procter & Gamble. “The entire experience, along with strong support systems, is carefully structured to ensure that every student has the resources and encouragement necessary to reach their highest potential. This creates an environment where every pursuit is geared towards attaining the summit of excellence.”

Lindsey Chrismon, a West Point grad, associates Harvard Business School with an “unparalleled network” – hardly news for a program whose alumni roll includes JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and the Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwarzman. In contrast, Cecilia Liu points to the program being ‘limitless”, as in “…limitless learning opportunities, limitless networking possibilities, and limitless career potential.” With limitless comes something more profound, says Micah Holmes – “transformational.” By that, he means the HBS experience is designed to “fundamentally reshape” how students “think, lead, and impact the world.”

“At HBS, transformation is continuous,” Holmes adds. “You’re relearning how to approach problems, how to interact with people from all walks of life, and how to envision and enact meaningful change. The school doesn’t just add to your skillset, it alters your mindset. We may leave here with a prestigious degree, but also with a renewed vision of what’s possible for yourself and for the communities you will serve. I’m already feeling growth within myself I couldn’t image before coming here, and I can’t wait to see who I become after May 2025.”

A MILITARY PIONEER

Holmes himself comes to Harvard Business School after a stint at KPMG. Before that, he worked for the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL League Office, where he worked multiple Super Bowl. In the process, he collected several honors, including being named to the Front Office Sports Rising 25 Class of 2025 and earning the Black Sports Business Symposium Rising Talent Award. His classmate, Lindsey Chrismon, a drummer in her spare time, made US Army history.

“I am the first female in US Army history to pilot the AH-6M Little Bird helicopter for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment,” she tells P&Q. “I assessed to be a night stalker in 2018 after flying Apache helicopters for about three years. The assessment process to fly for the 160th S.O.A.R. is brutal, both mentally and physically. They test your ability to make critical decisions under insurmountable stress while also testing your piloting competencies. Flying for the regiment was the most humbling and elating experience of my career. I owe a lot to the unit, and I cannot wait to pay it forward one day in the future.”

Cecilia Liu, the mother of twin boys, previously worked as a software engineer at both Amazon and Microsoft. In between, she served as an engineer for Diligent Robotics, where she developed robots to support clinical staff during COVID-19. By the same token, Juan Sepulveda – a self-described “one hit wonder reggaeton singer” – spent his time at P&G “introducing groundbreaking innovations, elevating our standards of superiority and sustainability in the global Gillette and Venus brands.” Two years ago, Mireya Iglesias Ayala started a platform, Envisions Project, designed to support first-generation students from low-income backgrounds. For her, it was a way to “pay it forward” for the support she received that enabled her to enjoy a successful career at PepsiCo.

“One of the most significant achievements in my career has been leading innovation initiatives at Pepsi as a brand marketer, where I managed cross-functional collaboration across R&D, supply chain, and sales for nationwide initiatives. Out of the many tasty Pepsi flavors, my favorite was the launch of the iconic Pepsi x Peeps (or as the internet coined it, “Peepsi”) and the introduction of the zero-sugar version of Pepsi-Cola Soda Shop. My experience at Pepsi equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of product development, market dynamics, go-to-market strategies, and the importance of effective leadership in driving successful initiatives.”

Harvard Business School Dean Srikant Datar welcomes a new class

SUPPORT FOR NEW PARENTS

What has been Iglesias Ayala’s favorite HBS moment thus far? She was selected to be a presenter at the Women Student Association (WSA) Marketing Review Session – a tradition that stretches back 60 years.  Lindsey Chrismon relished ‘Roasts and Toasts’, an end-of-semester tradition where students engage in good natured ribbing of their professors. At the same time, Micah Holmes was touched by how supportive that HBS alumni have been towards him.

“It was a privilege to receive words of welcome from leaders like Mark Tatum, deputy commissioner of the NBA, and Shannon Joyner, vice president of marketing for the Atlanta Falcons. This immediate embrace by the HBS community wasn’t just heartwarming; it was a clear indication of the lifelong network I had entered. It also showed me how the alumni in your industry make sure to lift as they climb, and have extended mentorship and guidance to me throughout my journey so far… Time and again, whenever I’ve reached out to alumni for guidance or insight, the responses have been nothing short of extraordinary.”

That responsiveness is found, in equal measure, among the students themselves. Just ask Juan Sepulveda, whose wife delivered their first baby three weeks after the program began.

“The support from the HBS community was truly incredible,” he tells P&Q. “Professors were understanding, and the student services team was readily available to address any questions. Both my section mates and the Crimson Parents club organized a meal train for us, alleviating our worries about cooking for two weeks. We felt that they had our backs on everything. It really showed us the tight community vibes here, making our HBS story extra special.”

When Micah Holmes’ HBS story concludes, he plans to return to the sports industry. However, he doesn’t plan to be a cog – he intends to become a disruptor who “revolutionize(s) the game.”

“I’m talking about pioneering change, leveraging innovation, and fostering collaboration to reshape how we experience sports,” he adds. “Sure, I haven’t pinned down the ‘where’ or the ‘what’ just yet, but that’s the exciting part. I’m on the lookout for a role that aligns with my passion for impact, a place where I can channel everything I’ve absorbed at HBS into making waves in the sports world. Whether it’s enhancing fan engagement, defining long-term strategy, or redefining sports marketing, I’m geared up to join a team that’s as stoked about pushing boundaries as I am.”

Harvard Business School

A CLASS PROFILE

Overall, the Class of 2025 features 938 students. Fewer than 1-in-10 applicants ultimately received a spot in the class, with nearly 9-in-10 accepted candidates ultimately joining the program. Women account for 45% of the class, as international students and U.S. ethnic minorities made up 39% and 45% shares of the class respectively. In addition, first-generation students constitute 11% of the class. As a whole, the percentage of women and international students in the Class of 2025 represent all-time highs at the school.

The class also set records for median GMAT and undergraduate GPA, which came in at 740 and 3.73, respectively. That said, GRE average held steady at 326. As undergraduates, 43% of the class majored in fields related to Business and Economics, with 42% holding STEM-related degrees. Another 15% of the class majored in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In terms of professional experience, Venture Capital and Private Equity and Consulting each tied with a 17% share of the class. Technology (13%), Financial Services (10%), Consumer Products (10%), and Manufacturing and Energy (7%), Government and Education (6%) and Military (6%) also represent large shares of the class.

Next Page: A Q&A with Rupal Gadhia, Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, and in-depth profiles of Class of 2025 members.

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