Phillip Jones
Home Region

Newport News, VA

Undergrad Education

United States Naval Academy

Previous Experience

United States Marine Corps

HBS Activities

African American Student Union, Armed Forces Alumni Association

“Other schools make managers, but HBS has an ethos of making leaders.”

Phillip Jones was in a sixth-grade classroom when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. His parents, like other parents that day, sat him down for a talk. But they were also both Air Force pilots who were obligated to explain that they would not be around much for the next two to three weeks, as they were needed to help the United States prepare its response to the attack. “They said,” recollects Phillip, “that this was their duty. It was hard, but it also inspired me to fulfill mine as well.”

Following in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents, Phillip joined the armed forces as well, serving in the Marines for six years and two tours of duty. By the time he had reached the rank of Captain, he had responsibility for leading about two hundred Marines. “I loved every single day of leading these guys,” Phillip says. “But if I stayed in the Marines, how many people could I influence? If I went outside the military, I could increase the scope of my service.”

Phillip recognized that the general shape of his ambitions crossed multiple sectors. “The future,” he says, “requires leadership from both the private and the public sectors. I wanted to grow as a leader grounded in a combination of skills I was lacking. To be grounded in both worlds, private and public, I wanted to go to the best business and policy schools available.” For Phillip, that meant pursuing the joint MBA/MPP degree at HBS and HKS.

Becoming part of a “professional family”

Regarding his choice of MBA programs, Phillip says, “It came down to the definition of leadership. Other schools make managers, but HBS has an ethos of making leaders who make a difference in the world. This would be a place that would challenge me to become the best version of myself.”

After a year at HKS, Phillip is now fulfilling his RC year at HBS. “I’m impressed,” he says. “To learn among ninety-four different individuals with a wide range of backgrounds – every day I learn from them in different ways, especially outside the classroom when we meet one-on-one. These relationships? I wouldn’t call them a ‘professional network’ but a ‘professional family.’ It’s a much more collaborative environment than I expected; everyone will make time for you, whether you’re talking about cases or looking for a job.”

The strength of the Armed Forces Alumni Association “stood out from other MBA schools,” Phillip notes. “They’re always willing to jump on the phone, to look at resumes, to discuss opportunities.” Phillip is reciprocating the support through another avenue of service; in the fall, he will become co-president of admissions for the group.

In the near future, Phillip has his eyes on Washington D.C. where he will be interning with Bain & Co. over the summer. “I have step one – service in the military, and I know that step three means fulfilling my business goals,” Phillip explains. “Consulting is step two, a way for me to extend my education and improve my business acumen.”

Phillip anticipates a career with elements of business and public service, including electoral leadership at the local level, and ultimately a cabinet position in D.C. “In the future,” he believes, “issues will be solved by people who can speak to industry, as well as have a firm grasp on nonprofit and public sectors.”