Sid Shenai
Sid Shenai
Home Region

Jackson, MI

Undergrad Education

Harvard, 04, AB & AM in Physics

Previous Experience

Consultant at McKinsey & Co., San Francisco

HBS Activities

Business Plan Competition, Social Enterprise Club

“What's unique about HBS is the opportunity to find learning experiences outside of the classroom.”

For most of his life, Sid Shenai had pursued a single goal: to be a mathematical physicist. At Harvard, Sid finished his required courses early and participated in graduate level research. But his path toward a Ph.D was interrupted by a sudden epiphany: "I woke up one day and realized I was doing this because I could, not because I wanted to," says Sid. Encouraged by his friends at Harvard Law School, Sid visited a few classes; the experience "blew my mind. The professors pushed students past their assumptions. It was my first taste of Socratic dialog."

After applying for and being accepted to Harvard Law School, Sid deferred his admission to spend a year with McKinsey & Co. as a management consultant. There, he had his second major insight. "I was brought in to work on complex mathematical models," Sid says, "but I realized I had a lot of deficiencies in the qualitative skills, in leadership." To balance his talents, Sid expanded his educational ambitions by pursuing the JD/MBA Joint Degree Program at Harvard.

Competing to help nonprofits succeed

At HBS, both classes and extracurricular activities inspire new levels of leadership. "Here, I can push ideas and convince others to act on them," Sid says. "I've gained the confidence to be in front of accomplished peers and earn their respect."

Sid has assumed numerous leadership roles through a variety of HBS student organizations and events. "What's unique about HBS is the opportunity to find learning experiences outside of the classroom," says Sid. He helped organize a winter break trek to Seattle where Sid and twenty colleagues met executives from Boeing, Microsoft, REI, Starbucks and other major West Coast businesses. In the spring, he assembled a panel for the India Conference examining entrepreneurship opportunities beyond IT.

Yet Sid is most excited about his nonprofit work. With three HBS colleagues, Sid developed a business plan for Paper For All, a nonprofit that distributes stationery supplies to impoverished children in Burkina Faso. Their five-year plan reached the finals of the JPMorgan Good Venture Competition in New York City, helping Paper For All attract publicity and new donors.

Forming strategic alliances

Today, Sid is cooperating with six MBA candidates across various sections to compete in the HBS Business Plan Competition with an idea for helping nonprofits create more effective strategic alliances. As an advisor to one of Harvard's undergraduate houses, he is also building connections between the Business School and Harvard University. "I want to make the whole university more contiguous by increasing collaboration between the Business School, the Law School, and the University's science departments," Sid says.

Sid's summer internship with the Harvard Management Corporation will set the stage for Sid's post-HBS plans. "In the short term, I want to get more experience in investment management," says Sid. "Long term, I'd like to start my own company to leverage my background in math and science. I'm working on a business plan to develop treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases."