Andrew Pratt
Home Region

Plymouth, CT

Undergrad Education

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mechanical Engineering, 2007

Previous Experience

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

HBS Activities

Education Rep, Business Analytics & Big Data Club, Public Speaking & Negotiations Club, General Management & Operations Club

“Basically we’re posing a question: What would you do if you had a professional quality flying camera?”

What’s the one thing you’re most excited about learning at HBS?

In my previous life, I worked on making spacecraft and satellites – aerospace has always been a passion of mine. When I came to Harvard, I wanted to come at it from a different angle. In the FIELD experience, I’m working with a group of like-minded colleagues to create an aerospace start-up. Basically, we’re posing a question: What would you do if you had a professional-quality flying camera? Before, you couldn’t get one for less than $30,000 to $50,000. But we’re making one for closer to $1,000 to $3,000, putting it in reach of the ninety percent of businesses who couldn’t have afforded it. One of things that’s been fascinating is watching the interest in this evolve. It’s the small real-estate agency that wants to show off property, or the golf course designer looking for a new tool. Learning how to map this interest into our business on a shoestring budget is quite a challenge…

How do your HBS ambitions fit into the big picture of the world beyond?

When I started here, I had a clear vision; I’d get the management skills I need to go back into aerospace and help the industry work better. Now I see opportunities for going down the road less traveled. Why not start something new? HBS has helped me separate out what really excited me about the work I was doing before. I found that what really drives me is not necessarily being the cog in the large machine, but to making a leap, to look at the next wave of tech companies that have the potential to do something really big.

How are you pushing yourself?

That’s why I chose HBS in the first place; to push myself. I’ve never been exposed to anything like this before: the learning model, the huge range of people from around the world. What I’m doing, what everyone here is doing, is trying to take it all in. There are so many things I’ve done this year that I wouldn’t have even considered before: getting involved in student government…becoming president of the General Management Club…leading negotiations…traveling to Vietnam to design video games…dishing with the former president of Mexico!

What might people find surprising about you?

I make amazing Louisiana gumbo. Why is it amazing? [Laughs.] That’s a secret. Okay, a big part of it is the fried chicken – like so many good things in life!