Cathy Zhou

MBA 2014

Industry

Function

Location

Undergraduate Education

Harvard College

Current Position

General Manager, Rhode Island/ Uber / Boston MA
As a general manager at Uber, I love that the work my team and I do each day makes a direct impact on the lives of the many riders and drivers who utilize our technology.”

Why was earning your MBA at HBS important to you?

I went to HBS because I wanted to be at a place that would push me to think big -- about what drives me professionally and personally, about the type of business leader I wanted to be, and about how my work could make an impact on the world.  I knew there were many aspects of business that I could probably learn on the job, but becoming a leader with a strong sense of personal values and conviction takes introspection and reflection. I knew at HBS I would be surrounded by professors and peers, each leaders in their own fields, who would challenge and sharpen my worldview.

How did your overall HBS experience shape your goals & career path?

At HBS, I gained greater clarity about my own aspirations through cases that exposed me to a range of career paths, conversations with peers who shared their experiences in different industries, and personal reflection about what type of work I found fulfilling.  I realized during my time at HBS and my summer internship that I wanted to roll my sleeves up after graduation and take on an operational role at a fast-growing startup.  My experience at HBS also helped me realize that at some point, I had to stop amassing more skills and just make the leap to doing what I wanted to do.

What have you most enjoyed about your career thus far?

As a general manager at Uber, I love that the work my team and I do each day makes a direct impact on the lives of the many riders and drivers who utilize our technology.  On top of that, I get to lead, work alongside and learn from a wonderful team, truly own a P&L and scale an organizaiton. I can think of few other roles where I'd be given so much opportunity-- this has been the incredible privilege, challenge and responsibility of working at start-up.

How has HBS helped you make an impact?

I remember one of my HBS professors comparing the case method to the game tape that sports teams watch in preparation for a big game. It's not because you expect the game to play out exactly as it did in the past, but because watching the game tape gives you a set of skills and principles that you can draw on.  None of the situations I've encountered at work are exactly what I've come across in a case, but HBS gave me an incredible arsenal of principles and examples that I can draw on to guide my decision-making.  This is one of the most valuable things I took away from HBS, because ultimately, making an impact requires making tough calls and then executing.

Industry

Function

Location

Undergraduate Education

Harvard College

Current Position

General Manager, Rhode Island/ Uber / Boston MA