The HBS African American Student Union (AASU) aims to create a close-knit community for its members from the time they choose to join HBS, through their transition to the second year, and beyond graduation. In this feature, we highlight the experience Amanda Rothamel (MBA 2025), and learn more about her journey before and during the MBA program.

Where is your hometown?

My hometown is Darmstadt, Germany.

What was your pre-MBA industry and role?

I began my career concentrating on developing and expanding e-commerce businesses across Europe and Africa. More recently, I served as a Junior Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. There, I collaborated with both private and public sector clients across various industries in Africa, focusing on speeding up private sector growth and thereby contributing to the wider economic development of the region.

What has been the highlight of your HBS experience thus far?

The highlight of my HBS experience has been the privilege of engaging with a diverse group of individuals, each bringing their unique perspectives shaped by varied academic, professional, and personal backgrounds.

The classroom environment at HBS creates a safe space for open dialogue, allowing us to delve into and learn from each other's viewpoints on complex business issues. This aspect of the HBS educational approach, particularly through the case method, has enriched my understanding by exposing me to considerations and solutions I had not previously encountered.

What are your post-HBS goals? How will you leverage your time at HBS towards that end?

Post-HBS, I am dedicated to making a global impact by advancing the private sector in Africa, a passion I plan to explore through a summer internship. This experience will serve as a foundation for my ultimate goal: relocating to Africa full-time to work within an innovative organization in the investment field. To facilitate this transition, I intend to leverage the HBS Global Opportunity Fellowship GO: AFRICA, which will provide essential support and resources.

My time at HBS, enriched by academic learning including courses like Africa Rising or Global Tech Entrepreneurship, and interaction with fellow students in the Africa Business Club, will equip me with the necessary skills and insights to thrive in this role and contribute significantly to the economic development on the continent.

Anything else you would like to add?

The HBS experience is valuable for everyone, no matter where you aim to go after business school. It's all about learning from others and growing into leaders who make a real difference in the world.