A native of San Francisco, Landon Dickey (MBA 2013) has come home. Currently serving as Special Assistant for African American Achievement and Leadership, Dickey is working in the San Francisco Unified School District alongside Superintendent Richard Carranza. In his role, he helps address the gap in academic achievement between African American students and other groups through policy and programs that enhance accountability for African American achievement, strengthen community engagement, and target individualized supports for African American students’ cultural, emotional, and academic needs.
“I knew when I came to business school that I wanted to continue my work in the education field,” says Dickey, who served as a corps member and advisor for two years for Teach For America in the South /ponx, focusing specifically on students receiving special education services. “And HBS provided some fantastic pathways to support that decision.”
As an example, Dickey cites the Leadership Fellows Program, where he took a position as Advisor to the Mayor in the City of Boston Mayor’s Office, working on issues that included standardized testing policy, education technology, school facilities management, and high school reform. “Having a firsthand view of how a city and school district function was an amazing opportunity,” he says. “I can’t think of many other programs that put you in such a high-level position in the first year out of business school.”
Dickey also credits the HBS Nonprofit/Public Sector Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for easing the anxiety many recent alumni feel when confronting substantial student loan payments. Available by application to graduates pursuing a career in the nonprofit and public sectors—where compensation levels can often fall below the MBA average—LRAP helps ensure that career decisions are driven by interest, not interest rates.
“To be honest, I’m not sure I would have considered business school an option without LRAP,” Dickey says. “Knowing that level of support was available made a huge difference in my decision to come to HBS and to continue my career path in the education field.” Now working for some of the same schools he once attended, Dickey is making a difference for a new generation of students.