I grew up on a farm in a small town outside of Lexington, Kentucky before attending the University of Illinois where I majored in finance. After college, I moved to Chicago where I worked in consulting and financial valuation services for 5 years. I decided to come to business school because I felt I was at a point in my career where the learning curve had flattened, and I wanted to push myself to a higher level both personally and professionally. While at HBS I’ve been so amazed by the connections I’ve made and the community of people that surround me here.  

I knew before starting at HBS that I would meet incredible people from all around the world with experiences in a wide variety of industries. What I didn’t expect was how unique every one of my classmates' stories and perspectives would be, and that really shapes the array of conclusions we can draw from the same set of case facts.

The foundation of my HBS relationships started with the section experience during the RC year. Through my section I met and interacted on a personal basis with many different people that I may not have known as intimately otherwise.  

Outside of section, I connected with classmates who share my academic and professional interests through student clubs and choosing elective classes in the EC year. After two years, I feel very connected to members of my class - although I still meet someone new every day!

Being surrounded by such a community of unique perspectives has shown me how powerful it is to listen to one another. No matter how much I feel like I understand something, I’ve come to appreciate that there is always another way of approaching it. My classmates have also pushed me to reflect on how my own unique experiences shape the way that I view and react to different situations.

More than anything else, my friends and classmates here have taught me that it is “cool” to be passionate about whatever it is you’re passionate about. We all came to HBS with different interests and goals—and as a community we continue to encourage each other to pursue those individual passions. Success doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. 

When you get to HBS I would encourage you to take time to have real conversations with as many of your classmates, professors, and other members of the community as you can. You only get two years to immerse yourself in the HBS community on campus, and the time will fly by.