Scott Daubin
Scott Daubin
Home Region

Fort Worth, Texas

Undergrad Education

Princeton University, AB Chemistry, 2005

Previous Experience

The First Tee, OrthoBond, Bain and Company

HBS Activities

Student Association co-president, Energy Club, Healthcare Club

“I learned the top five things not to do at a startup.”

Scott Daubin came to Princeton University to study chemistry, but he was quickly lured by the call of business. In his first summer at the college, Scott accepted a sales position with a student-run paper, Business Today, that had been founded by Steve Forbes and other Princeton peers. "We would start by cold-calling the front office and asking for the CEO," Scott says. "Believe it or not, it worked: They're just not used to eighteen-year-olds asking for meetings." That summer position became a permanent engagement throughout Scott's Princeton career, leading to months-long road trips and face-to-face encounters with executive luminaries, such as Eric Schmidt of Google, Meg Whitman of eBay, and Christie Heffner of Playboy. "It was my crash course in business," says Scott. When he realized that his love of science was not matched by a love for research, he directed his career path toward business.

Scott spent three years at Bain & Co. where he found time for a six-month "externship" with a small, medical-device startup founded by a Princeton chemistry professor. "The company peaked and started to die while I was there," Scott says. "I learned the top five things not to do at a startup."

In the heart of Times Square, a file cabinet filled with HBS cases

Back at Bain, a firm partner and HBS alum mentored Scott about next steps. "He told me not to rush through Bain, that an MBA from Harvard was worth the two years. We were in an office, twenty-five floors above Times Square in New York. He leaned back in his chair, opened his filing cabinet, and pointed inside the drawer. 'I still have every case from my HBS classes,' he said. 'The lessons I got from them are as valuable as what I've learned on the job.'"

Inspired, Scott applied to HBS. "At first, I thought I was a hot-shot consultant," he says. "But the diversity of perspectives, what you learn from others, is astounding. My very first case was about contact lenses for chickens. And the professor's first question was, 'Who here has experience on a chicken farm?' I thought he was joking, but three hands shot up! One guy was an Army Ranger who helped build a farm in Iraq. Another was an Argentinean student who had worked on his family farm. The experience was phenomenal. And I continue to learn from my colleagues every day."

Worth ten times the tuition

For his summer internship, Scott rejoined Bain, but in the Bronx, not in Times Square. "They sponsored my work with a youth group called 'First Tee,' that teaches golf to underprivileged children. I spent every day on the driving range, coaching eight-year-olds!"

After graduation, Scott will return to Bain for two years of generalist consulting before settling on a specialization. Long-term, "I would love to run a small bio-tech business and turn it into a big one," Scott says. As an MBA candidate, he can't help but run a cost-benefit analysis on his time at HBS. "It's a no-brainer," he says. "I would gladly have paid ten times the $100,000 cost. It's been an unforgettable experience among people I wouldn't have had the chance to meet any other way."