Yale University, History, 2008
Promise Data Corporation; Google Ventures; Google, Inc.
Tech & Media Club, Entrepreneurship Club, Women Students Association, independent projects on inefficiencies in labor markets, startup idea funded by Rock Accelerator
“It’s great to have faculty who have pursued career paths that are not perfectly linear.”
Lindsay Ullman, MBA 2015, openly admits that her reasons for coming to HBS "seem clearer after the fact." During stints at Google and Google Ventures, Lindsay came to realize that while she loved being an investor, she wanted to either join a company or start one. "You have an intuition and make the best move you can," she says. "I felt I would do well being surrounded by people thinking about their next big step. Coming to HBS seemed like a great way to reflect on what I really wanted to do."
The lack of an obvious or crystal-clear career path has not intimidated Lindsay. On the contrary, she has been inspired by the diversity of ambitions represented in both the student body and among her professors. She cites, as an example, Bob White, who co-founded Bain Capital with Mitt Romney then served on his partner’s campaigns; today, he teaches at HBS. "It’s great to have faculty who have career paths that are not perfectly linear, which is what I aspire to."
Connecting people and jobs
Like Bob White, Lindsay has interests in both business and politics, "two separate career paths," she says, "that I hope will intertwine nicely someday." Right now, her focus is on entrepreneurship.
"I’ve been working on a start-up idea related to recruiting, matching great people to great jobs using technology," Lindsay says. Some of the inspiration came from her previous work in VC, which involved finding the right talent for her companies. But a better portion of her inspiration arose from her Authentic Leadership Development class. "It helps you understand what motivates you, what inspires you personally and professionally. I discovered that many of my peak moments were about connecting people."
As it turns out, Lindsay is pursuing another idea with the help of fellow students and funding through the independent project process. "There hasn’t been a day I haven’t tapped some resource on campus," she says. "I just spent two hours at lunch sorting through problems with two classmates from my section." She’s seriously considering entering the HBS Business Plan Contest. "The potential funding and publicity are useful. But win or lose, there’s something inherently valuable about pitching your idea at different groups of people, whether they’re peers or judges. My only goal is to shed the parts of my plan that are not going to work as soon as possible."