Why did you want the
After graduating from Hampton University, I went to work
with Accenture—I thought I could work across different functions and industries
to find my calling. But I ended up working exclusively in healthcare, and I
felt I was specializing too early in my career. That was the impetus for going
to business school.
What are some of the
most important aspects of your HBS experience?
My internship, definitely, because it enabled me to pursue
two other passions: politics and education. Through the Mayor’s Office
Fellowship program, I served as a consultant with Rahm Emmanuel in Chicago on a
variety of projects. I worked on a youth mentoring program to combat violence.
I was part of a team figuring out the best way to incentivize manufacturing
companies to come to the city. What tax incentives would we need? And what
would be the payoff for Chicago? Probably our biggest project was in education;
we were given a free hand to design the ideal model school of the future, one
focused on entrepreneurship and able to incorporate new technologies into its
curriculum. We even changed the teaching training model, emphasizing
experiential learning over traditional formal education.
In what ways has HBS
impacted your career?
The big thing is access
to so many opportunities, and to so many people who have been in various roles
and have helped me understand what those roles are really like. Through my peers,
I learned, for example, that private equity and investment banking were not the
right roles for me.
Specifically, the African-American Student Union and the
Management Consulting Club were really helpful. The latter had a panel of
people who had not initially gotten the consulting internships they had wanted,
who shared tips for being better prepared for the next round of recruiting. The
Social Enterprise Initiative posted the Chicago opportunity I ultimately took.
Most importantly, HBS has shown me that anything is
possible—as long as I understand what the expectations are and that I’m willing
to make the necessary sacrifices to meet them.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to work with McKinsey in Chicago as a generalist.
Consulting gives me the flexibility to find where my skills work best and to
discover what I’m most interested in. Long-term, I hope I can have an impact on
education: maybe in politics? Perhaps there’s a role in which I could apply my
skills to greater advantage—in economic policy or development—that would
positively affect education indirectly.