Emerging Scholars: Marla, Harvard Business School

Hi, my name is Marla and I’m a second-year student at Harvard Business School. I was an Emerging Scholar in 2017 and I highly encourage you to apply for this program this year. More information and eligibility requirements can be found on the Emerging Scholars website; applications are due May 9th.

Emerging Scholars connected me to several of my peers at HBS and other schools across the US before I even began business school. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to broaden my network and support group. It also provided me with a financial stipend that helped me transition to HBS.

Marla inline
Marla inline

The best part of Emerging Scholars, however, has been my McKinsey Mentor. Monika was one of the people who interviewed me for the program. We clicked right away. I remember talking with her about my experiences leading up to business school, and she was very open about what to expect during my MBA since she went to HBS, too. She also described what a positive influence McKinsey has had on her life. It was immediately clear she cared about me as a person, not just a candidate and potential colleague. I could barely contain my excitement the day I found out I’d been accepted to Emerging Scholars and Monika would be my official mentor.

As time went by and the school year began, Monika and I developed a meaningful relationship that went beyond McKinsey. She was my go-to person for advice in my first semester. We talked about everything from classes and recruiting to social life at HBS. She understood my need to balance each of these aspects for the best business school experience. She was my sounding board for the tough trade-offs everyone must make during an MBA program; there are so many opportunities you can’t possibly do it all. I learned a lot about McKinsey from Monika. When she described the interesting, meaningful engagements on which she was staffed, her strategies for balancing her full life, and the ways in which McKinsey helped her be at her best, I could feel her excitement.

That winter, it came time for me to apply for a summer associate position. I was touched by how generous Monika continued to be with her time. She helped me practice case interviews and gave practical feedback that helped me tremendously. She taught me how to think like a consultant and articulate my thought-process logically and succinctly. Our practice sessions prepared me well for the interviews.

When I got the phone call with the offer to join McKinsey for the summer, Monika reached out within minutes to express how excited she was to welcome me to the firm. It was wonderful knowing that, because of the Emerging Scholars program, I already had a network of supportive people at McKinsey. I leaned on several of them, including Monika, during my internship last summer. I’m sure I’ll have many conversations with Monika about how to succeed at McKinsey over the years. It’s great knowing I have an ally who has been in my shoes and will mentor me every step of the way.

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More about Marla

Marla is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School, where she is involved in the Healthcare and Consulting for Impact clubs. Before business school, she received her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine, and conducted clinical research on treatments for leukemia. She enjoys playing the piano and is a self-proclaimed foodie who often explores Boston restaurants in her spare time. She'll join our Boston office full time after she completes her residency.

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