Venus Miller
Venus Miller
Home Region

Seattle, Washington

Undergrad Education

University of Washington, BA Business Administration, 2004

Previous Experience

District of Columbia Public Schools, Accenture

HBS Activities

AASU Admissions Rep and webmaster, WSA married women’s group, Consulting Club, Globalization Club, Wellness Club

“To take foundational concepts to the next level, you have to think about how you would apply them in a managerial context.”

In high school, Venus Miller got the marketing bug in a big way. Recruited into DECA/Delta Epsilon Chi, an international organization that promotes marketing and business education among high school and college students, Venus quickly rose up the ranks. "In my sophomore, junior and senior years," Venus says, "I made the nationals in marketing competitions. Senior year, I became president of my high school chapter."

Realizing she "loved marketing and business," she researched her options. "Where could I learn more? That's when I decided to go into consulting." Attracted to the University of Washington for its program in international business, Venus participated in four years of internships, each in a different functional area, at Boeing. In her junior year, Boeing sponsored her for the one-week Summer Venture in Management Program at HBS. "It changed my life," Venus says. "I always wanted to get an MBA, but I didn't see myself as the kind of person who could go to an Ivy League school. But then a member of the Admissions staff said something that really resonated with me: 'What keeps HBS from admitting more minority students is that too many self-select and don't apply.' I knew I wouldn't make the same mistake."

Connecting with experience

"As an undergraduate, I had learned a lot of theories – but the disconnect was experience," says Venus. "To take foundational concepts to the next level, you have to think about how you would apply them in a managerial context. That's what's so beneficial about cases at Harvard. You get examples from real life discussed by ninety different people. It gives you something tangible your can draw on later."

Now in her second year of studies, Venus' ambitions have shifted. "Before, I thought I'd do consulting the rest of my life." But she used her summer internship to try something new. "I took advantage of the time to look into education," Venus says about her experience in the Washington D.C. public school system. "I wanted to understand the challenges of education reform from the inside so that I could learn how to apply private sector resources to drive change from the outside. The experience has changed my vision of what I'd like to do."

Returning to D.C.

Fresh from her summer in the school system, Venus shaped her curriculum around her interests, "mostly focusing on strategy and entrepreneurship." She's also taking a "Leading Cities" class at the Harvard Kennedy School to learn more about government and politics/public policy. Once she graduates with her MBA, Venus plans on returning to Washington D.C. to rejoin her husband, Aysa Miller, and work in the strategy and operations practice with Deloitte.

"HBS has shown me that there are many different forms of leadership and different ways to apply our own talents," says Venus. "By understanding how various styles can be effective, you have a better understanding of how you can drive change as a leader in the world."