Harvard College, Sociology, 2011
The Related Companies; Morgan Stanley; Harvard Student Agencies
“It’s one of the few times in life you can be surrounded by such diversity.”
Meagan Hill enrolled in Harvard College with the intention of going on to medical school. But through her work at Harvard Student Agencies — a conglomerate of nine businesses that offer students hands-on business experience — she discovered that her true passion was business. "HSA afforded me an unparalleled management experience very early in my career," Meagan says. "I love working with small teams and feeling connected to every employee."
Through HSA, Meagan connected with HSA alums who had also graduated from HBS. They encouraged me to apply to the business school. "I visited the campus during my sophomore year at the College," says Meagan, "And I loved the case method. I knew immediately that I wanted to apply." Ultimately becoming President of HSA, Meagan oversaw 25 managers employing over 400 students on campus.
Building teams among diverse sets of people
For Meagan, the HBS experience has been a mix of intellectual rigor and cultural awakening. "There's an intensity to the classroom," she says. "It's very challenging to consistently participate, share your opinions, internalize what your classmates are saying, and then form a revised view. But it's great training for any career path."
Meagan is part of a Mohawk community from a small rural town southwest of Toronto. She believes her classmates' wide range of "backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures" has proved invaluable. "It's one of the few times in life you can be surrounded by such diversity," Meagan says. A comparable kind of diversity, in interests and knowledge, proved crucial to her FIELD 3 entrepreneurial work. "Our skills sets complemented each other; we worked efficiently and well together." Her team's project, an application that allows ship engineers to instantaneously tag photos and observations to online blueprints, won the competition for best business plan.
After graduation, Meagan will join two HBS alums at BASE Equity Partners, a private equity group in New York City that partners with founders and management teams to help their companies grow. She will be involved in sourcing new deals and enhancing operations in the firm's current portfolio. "BASE is a team that loves rolling up its sleeves and working on the day-to-day tasks. I'm looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge I gained at HBS."
While maintaining her involvement in the private sector, Meagan hopes to serve her native community. Meagan strongly believes in extending privileges to others, and using what she has been fortunate to experience to leave her community in a better place. Following an independent study project she completed during her second year at HBS, "I'd like to help First Nations in Canada and Native Americans nations in the U.S. manage their capital, enterprises, and resources so that they can sustain wealth for generations to come," Meagan says. "These communities are complex and very different from each other. I have a lot to learn; I plan on spending the next few years learning by doing pro-bono consulting work."