Kimble McCraw
Kimble McCraw
Home Region

Fort Worth, Texas

Undergrad Education

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, 2006

Previous Experience

Osram Sylvania

HBS Activities

Entrepreneurship Club, TechMedia Club, Business and Environment Club

“I want to help us meet the needs of today without compromising tomorrow.”

In her undergraduate internships, Kimble McCraw learned a few hard truths about her engineering career path. "As a whole, engineers are very smart," Kimble says, "but they don't get to make the big business decisions. It's frustrating. I realized that business and engineering people didn't communicate well with each other. And that having the skills to bridge both sides would be very powerful."

That realization led her to apply to HBS in her senior year; she was accepted with a deferral that allowed her to gain two years of experience at Osram Sylvania where she was a manufacturing engineer.

Much more than mere lectures

Initially, Kimble wasn't convinced HBS was right for her. "My first thought," she says, "was that I'd go to a more tech-oriented business school." A campus visit changed her mind. "The case method is just much more interesting than sitting through lectures," says Kimble. "And I liked the diversity of the classroom. In fact, you need to have different backgrounds in a classroom to get everything that's important out of a case." This diversity, Kimble notes, encourages cooperation. "I'm good at operations management, but not at finance. With other students, it's the opposite. I help them understand operations and then they help me figure out the finances."

But even the "hard core" finance classes are about much more than numbers. "I took Tom Piper's last accounting class at HBS," Kimble says. "He didn't talk about how to be good at accounting, but about what accounting can mean — about how to be good people. He reflected on the choices made by his previous HBS students and their consequences. His real lesson was about how even small choices can have a big impact."

Experiences outside the classroom have been rewarding as well. Over winter break, Kimble joined a number of HBS colleagues on the Silicon Valley trek. "We met with VC firms, start-ups and established tech companies," Kimble says. "Places like Google and Linden Labs, which runs Second Life. We met a lot of HBS alums who were very welcoming and got us into places we wouldn't otherwise see."

Preparing to lead

Last fall, HBS celebrated its 100th anniversary. "Lots of alumni returned to campus to share their stories," says Kimble. "So many of them talked about how they hadn't planned on being the leaders they became. They were in situations that forced them to rise to the occasion — but they were ready for it. That's what HBS prepares us to do."

Specifically, Kimble is preparing for a future in clean technology. "I want to help us meet the needs of today without compromising tomorrow," she says. The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship "has been very helpful; they offer connections, legal help — even conference room facilities." After graduation, Kimble says, "I'm looking to work with other start-ups for a few years before I go out on my own."