19 May 2021

Getting to Know Class Day Student Speaker Sara McLoughlin Figel


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BOSTON— Sara McLoughlin Figel (MBA 2021), who goes by “Figes,” has been selected as the student speaker for Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Class Day celebration, held this year on Thursday, May 27. Figes was nominated by her peers and her speech was selected out of more than 220 submissions.

Figes serves as Section G president for MBA class of 2021. She also writes for the HBS Show, an annual, full-length parody musical written, directed, produced, and performed by members of the HBS community. Figes also enjoys working with the new first-year, Required Curriculum (RC) section presidents and supporting the Student Association as a president liaison.

“Even before the pandemic, HBS challenged me and encouraged me to grow in unanticipated ways,” said Figes, reflecting on her time at Harvard, “The people here have individually and collectively made the last two years so much more than an MBA. The profound insights and personal complexity of my classmates, the incredible examples of leadership set by fellow section presidents, the dedication of the HBS administration, and the creativity of the HBS Show team have all impacted and inspired me.”

“Figes represents the best of HBS. She is a true servant leader that guided her section through the uncertainty brought on by the outbreak of COVID-19 during her RC year, and she advocated tirelessly to make HBS’ celebration of the Class of 2021 a meaningful experience her EC year,” said Abby Burcham and Ryan Flamerich, 2021 Class Day Committee co-chairs. “Ultimately, the Class Day speech selection came down to who had the right speech for the moment, and her spirit of optimism and message resonated with the selection committee.”

After graduation Figes plans to move to London where she will join Bain & Company. Prior to HBS, Figes spent five years at Centerview Partners in New York City. Figes holds a BA in public and international affairs from Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, where she focused on international economic policy. She grew up in Manhattan Beach, California and attended Chadwick School.

HBS Class Day honors graduating students, and typically takes place on the day before the School’s and University’s official graduation ceremonies. It is planned and conducted by a committee of second-year MBA students. This year, the ceremony will take place virtually on the same day as graduation, on Thursday, May 27. In addition to Figes, the ceremony will also include a welcome from Professor and MBA Program Faculty Chair Jan Rivkin, an address from the co-presidents of the MBA Class of 2021, and a keynote address by Walmart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon. More information is available on the graduation website.

Figes would like to thank her parents, Linda and Matt, who are her inspiration and most steadfast supporters. She is grateful to her siblings, Erin and David, for being the kind of people she hopes to be, and for putting up with her over the years. Figes feels lucky to have amazing friends from every chapter in her life, and she is thankful to them for being as generous with their kindness as they are relentless with their teasing. For their guidance, she would like to thank her many teachers, coaches, and mentors, whose wisdom she continues to draw on regularly. She’s deeply grateful for the investment the HBS administration, faculty, and staff have made in the MBA program over the past two years. Lastly, Figes would like to thank the indelible members of the Class of 2021, who have made her time at HBS an incredibly memorable and impactful experience.


Mark Cautela

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.