After five years working in venture capital and private
equity, Laura Little (MBA 2015) was eager to make a career change. With a
budding interest in early-stage healthcare, Laura enrolled at HBS to pursue her
passion. These days Laura is still based in Boston - helping to lead corporate
development at American Well, a Boston-based telehealth startup. We checked in
with Laura to learn more about how she honed her interest in the healthcare
space at HBS.
How did you pursue
your interest in healthcare at HBS?
I spent the summer between first and second year at Medtronic
Diabetes in Los Angeles. The work both renewed my excitement to come back to
HBS and to aggressively pursue healthcare coursework in EC year. I focused
almost entirely on healthcare and entrepreneurship coursework during the fall term,
including working for a healthcare startup in the i-Lab and arranging a January-term
internship with a well-known healthcare expert organization to do some
I also took a class in health policy over at the Kennedy School, and spent quite a bit of time in and out of class with a small core of
students from HBS and other Harvard graduate schools who were also dedicated to
healthcare. I knew that I was looking at working for a fast-paced healthcare
startup after graduation in a strategic role, so I had to gain some experience
My second term I opted to take a more "classic
HBS" caseload-- Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise, Deals, and
a few other operations and finance courses. My only healthcare work was an
independent study that extended some interesting research on cancer treatment
access with an HBS professor, and helping another professor write a
biotechnology case. I also focused on helping first years interested in healthcare
to identify interesting opportunities and stay connected to the Health Care Club.
What advice do you
have for prospective students?
I strongly encourage students to think outside the box
and pursue unusual opportunities, particularly the ones that HBS *doesn't* put
in front of you. I mentioned my J-Term internship before. I was working for a three-time governor who also happened to be George
W. Bush's Secretary of Health and Human
It was an amazing experience to work closely with a
national leader on healthcare system change, and his introductions directly led
to my current job at a fast-moving telehealth startup. I remain humbled and
grateful for that experience, which couldn't have happened without moving
beyond the opportunities HBS put directly in front of me.
Do you have a
favorite HBS memory?
I have to say some of the amazing conversations with
sectionmates and classmates after class sitting in Spangler. I even had one class where we convened often
enough to call it "The Breakfast Club." It sounds cliche, but the
people really make HBS the institution it is.