SVMP 2004 HBS MBA 2010
College: Harvard College, Bachelor of Arts
Summer Internship: Actis Capital, Mumbai; Office of Tony Blair, Africa Governance Initiative
Work Experience: Private Equity: Weston Presidio Capital, RREEF Infrastructure
Interests: International development, renewable energy, travel, sports
How did you get interested in SVMP?
I first heard about SVMP from a friend from college who had participated in the program the previous summer. The HR manager and also an HBS grad from my summer employer at the time, Merrill Lynch, recommended that I apply to the program.
Describe what the week was like?
The week was very exciting and definitely more intense than I expected! Academically, the program was quite demanding and socially it was really a unique experience. I met several new and very interesting people from a wide variety of academic background pursuing internships in an impressive cross-section of industries.
How would you describe the classroom experience?
The classroom experience was pretty incredible. At the time I had only been in lecture format classes and for me the case method was a breath of fresh air. Coming from a liberal arts background, I found (and continue to find) the case method to be a very practical, real world way of learning. The case method is one of the many ways HBS differentiates itself from other MBA programs and for me it solidified my desire to attend HBS.
In what ways did you personally develop during that week?
In terms of my personal development the program really broadened my horizons on career options in business, simply by the introducing me to so many different people and the variety of business cases we discussed. The rigor of the program also made me a more critical and thoughtful student. In comparison, I find lecture classes to be a rather passive way of learning whereas cases, despite their limitations, particularly in finance courses, really allow you to dive into the subject matter. You have no choice.
What do you think prospective candidates should know about the program?
Prospective candidates should know that this program offers an unparallel opportunity to see firsthand the value of an MBA. Regardless of the MBA program you ultimately chose to attend, the SVMP program really drove home the value of an MBA education for me. Moreover, this is a demanding program so come prepared to work hard. It really is a tremendous opportunity.
How empowering is an MBA in terms of opening all kind of opportunities in many fields?
I would say that the MBA is quite empowering in terms of opening opportunities in many fields. That said, the value the MBA offers is only as large as your vision and the opportunities you chose to seek for yourself. For example, this past summer I wanted to work in emerging markets and I spent nearly a year researching and networking with the firms that I would like to work for. Additionally, I wanted to get some policy experience and sought out several opportunities for short policy related internships. In the end, I split my summer working for Actis Capital in Mumbai and in Tony Blairís office with his Africa Governance Initiative. So the MBA is very empowering in terms of opening doors, but itís your responsibility to identify those doors and walk through them yourself.