Matt Segneri
Matt Segneri
Home Region

Tampa, FL

Undergrad Education

Harvard College, 2004

Previous Experience

Monitor Group, New York

HBS Activities

Co-President of Social Enterprise Club, Section E Orientation Representative, Admitted Students Welcome Planning Committee, New Orleans IXP Team Leader

“A class is like a symphony of 90 people.”

In high school, Matt Segneri excelled in math and science. "In college," Matt says, "I wanted to move from discrete problem-solving to more complex issues." Matt majored in psychology at Harvard, where he had the opportunity to intern with Monitor Group in Cambridge. "They were an intellectually curious, fun group of people — I enjoyed the teamwork."

Matt stayed with Monitor Group after completing his undergraduate degree. "I had the opportunity to work on a number of projects across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors," he says. One such project led him to Mayor Cory Booker's Newark office where he helped shape local economic development strategies. Another involved managing the Social Capitalist Awards, a collaboration between Fast Company Magazine and Monitor Group. "We picked the top forty social enterprises — out of close to 150 applicants — who were effectively applying business principles to pressing public issues," Matt says.

Worthy of applause

The advice of Monitor colleagues, and a growing interest in cross-sector issues, led Matt to HBS. His first visit made a lasting impression. "The tradition of applauding every visitor who comes to a class makes you feel welcome right away," Matt notes.

"A class is like a symphony of 90 people," says Matt. "You're taught by the entirety of your section. There's always a leadership lesson to take away. The great leaders we've seen here are not just visionaries with great ideas, but people who can make things happen. We learn that it involves three key steps: diagnosing the situation; determining what you would do; then figuring out how to do it. And so much of all that means constant listening and communication."

"The most effective leaders," Matt adds, "are those who empower others with feedback, giving them room to work and grow." Matt has already applied his principles in practice, having served, for example, as the co-chair of a Social Enterprise Club interest group that helped section volunteers select charities to support. "We provided a framework for discussion — a way to show section mates how to have a real impact with the money they're raising."

From NO to DC

On the HBS New Orleans IXP, Matt led a team of five people who worked with The Idea Village, a nonprofit focused on identifying, supporting and retaining New Orleans entrepreneurs. "We helped them select the most viable ventures among more than 100 applicants for the "504ward" $200,000 business plan competition — one of the largest such competitions in Louisiana State history," Matt says. "Our team developed a methodology for evaluation and presented a slate of 20 semi-finalists for them to consider."

This summer, Matt will participate in the FBI's Special Advisor Program in Washington, D.C. "The program brings in MBAs," Matt explains, "to help with internal consulting projects and serve as advisors to the Bureau's senior leadership."

Once he completes his MBA, Matt may continue with consulting. "Consulting helps you become a better leader because you are compelled to consider all the different stakeholders," he says. Longer term, "I'm hoping to manage a large social enterprise or start my own."