Rob Humble
Rob Humble
Home Region

Collinsville, Oklahoma

Undergrad Education

Washington University, 2006, mechanical engineering

Previous Experience

Raytheon, Operations Leadership Development Program

HBS Activities

Tribal Enterprise Group, Texas Club, Admissions Representative for Section G, Prospective Students Day volunteer

“An HBS degree has meaning beyond the first few years out of school. ”

Rob Humble's degree in mechanical engineering gave him entrée to Raytheon's Operations Leadership Development Program. In the course of two years and three rotations, Rob managed a 45-person team that manufactured aircraft, directed a 15-person team that built components for ballistics defense, and became an analyst reviewing bids and proposals.

"But I enjoyed working with people more than working with numbers," Rob says. "And frankly, I'm ambitious. I saw a cap on what I could do as an engineer. That pushed me toward business."

Being mentored, and mentoring in return

The seeds of an HBS education were planted in Rob's sophomore year when, on a ski weekend with his best friend, he met his friend's father, Staman Ogilvie, an HBS MBA ('73). "I wasn't even thinking about Harvard," says Rob. "But Staman suggested I concentrate on the top-ten business schools. After several other conversations, I became convinced HBS was for me."

"Many other business schools are quant-based," Rob notes. "I saw my engineering background as proof I could do that already. I wanted something different — to be able to communicate effectively and persuasively with other people. The case method is the best way of achieving that. If you want to be a leader, regardless of context, presence and influence are always relevant. An HBS degree has meaning beyond the first few years out of school."

Staman Ogilvie hasn't been the only important mentor to Rob. "Mentorship is a common thread in my life — both being mentored and mentoring others," he says. In high school, Rob mentored middle-school students. In college, he tutored young people and helped build a program that taught middle-school students about engineering. Even while Rob was employed at Raytheon, he continued to tutor eighth-graders in the Arlington school district.

"I definitely want a leadership role during my time at HBS, too," Rob says. Toward that end, Rob is the Admissions Representative for his section. He's also actively involved in the Tribal Enterprise Group. "We're not a 'resource group' for Native Americans," Rob notes, "but a way for HBS students to be aware of Native American issues. As a Cherokee, I want to fight the stereotype of Native Americans as being primitive in life and business." In its first event this year, the group visited Mohegan Sun and met with the casino's COO and the tribal chairman. "We were all blown away by the sophistication of their approaches to business and community," says Rob.

Texas calling

Rob's wife, Anna, (they married in January 2009) hails from Texas. They will return to her home state this summer when Rob assumes a corporate-finance internship with Celanese, a Texas petroleum derivatives chemicals company. "I've been tactical in my work so far," Rob reflects. "One way to increase my business acumen is to enhance my strategic capabilities in consulting and finance."