Perspectives: Why HBS SEI?
Consultant, The Parthenon Group
“...the admissions process was very supportive; my interviewer's questions showed that HBS is a place that actually cares about what I want to do.”
Before coming to HBS, I was a corps member for three years with Teach For America (TFA), teaching at a school along the Mexican border in Mercedes, Texas. Then I worked in a management position for TFA's New York office for three more years, helping to build an infrastructure to provide support and development to teachers in their classrooms. Two of my mentors at TFA were HBS alumni, and I admired the way they thought about problems—they could always zoom out ten levels and help me see the big picture. I knew I wanted to be a school superintendent one day, and that I'd need good management and problem-solving skills. That's what brought me here.
Why SEI @ HBS?
At first, I was scared. I was worried about my background being different from everybody else's. But the admissions process was very supportive; my interviewer's questions showed that HBS is a place that actually cares about what I want to do. And now that I'm here, the case method has been great because I've been able to verbally grapple with ideas placed in real-life contexts and have classmates offer different perspectives to push my thinking. It's challenging, but it hasn't been unreasonable.
The HBS sense of community is phenomenal. I've been involved in a lot of activities here, including the New Orleans Immersion, which I loved. It was a group of passionate, committed people, and the experience itself was a very self-directed learning process. There's a great deal of energy at the School in general when it comes to delivering value to social enterprises.
I think part of my long-term interest in education comes in part from an awareness of inequity. My family is from Peru, and my visits to that country as a child gave me a close-up view of the huge gap between rich and poor. I also remember attending public school in Needham, a suburb of Boston, and realizing that few of the African-American students who were bused in from the city were in any of the honors classes by the time we got to our senior year, which troubled me. When I graduate from HBS, I'm going to continue to build my knowledge in the education field and refine my strategy skills by working as a consultant for the Parthenon Group. Their clients include foundations that sponsor work in large urban school districts, as well as educational publishers. I think Parthenon will give me a good sense of the whole picture in education as I move forward in my career.