My name is Carl Culicchia and I am from Madisonville, LA. I went to Middlebury College for my undergraduate degree and worked for a private equity firm prior to HBS. I came to HBS because I thought it was the best next step to further my career in private equity.
To me, the general management curriculum, student-led clubs and resources, current students and alumni networks would best prepare me for a future leadership role in private equity. After graduation, I hope to join a younger private equity firm with the goal of helping to build it into something that is admired and respected within the industry.
During my time at HBS, I have learned first-hand the power of the alumni base. They are a remarkable group of people who share a “pay it forward” mentality. I have contacted many alumni during my second year, most of whom I have never met, and have always received warm and helpful responses. No matter how busy they are, they always seem to have time for HBS students. Whether it is career advice or help connecting me to people in the industry I hope to break into, they have been an invaluable part of my success in finding a great post-MBA job.
Each year 900+ students graduate from HBS. That means that the alumni network is both massive and global. It’s pretty much impossible to search the alumni database and not find someone working in the country, industry, job role, or company that is of interest to you.
I recently spoke with an alum who was not able to help me with a position at her specific firm. However, she put me in touch with another alum at another firm. And again, this person could not help me with a position at his firm, but then put me in touch with another HBS alum at another firm. It was here that I found a summer internship offer. I believe this example is typical of the HBS alumni network. They are a deeply connected group who understand the importance of community and, both directly and indirectly, do whatever they can to sincerely help students who seek their help and advice.
The alumni network is a powerful outlet because they are all people who have been in your shoes and understand how to navigate the path that we as students are anxiously attempting to walk successfully.
They say that HBS isn’t just a two year experience, that it’s a place that stays with you for life. This is already evident in the close connections I’ve experienced with my section mates and friends. These are people I know I will always remain in contact with throughout my life.
I can see that this camaraderie extends beyond your own HBS class; connections exist between the HBS generations that have gone before you and will for those that come after. Like the alumni that I have come into contact with, I intend to “pay it forward” and always make time for students who come to me seeking career advice once I graduate from HBS.