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Emilie Valentov√°

Engagement Manager, Prague

Going to business school changed the way I think about my work, and opened a door to unique teaching opportunities.


When I joined McKinsey, I naturally knew about the expectation of junior consultants to obtain an MBA from a top business school. I guess it's only fair to admit I had my doubts. Would it be worth it? Should I, a fresh graduate from a top Czech university, go back to school to study a program in a field I effectively already had a degree in? A few months and several discussions with inspirational MBA graduates later -- there were so many in the office -- I was sold. When the time came to apply, I knew I wanted the best. I chose Harvard. Then again, it is one thing to choose, and quite another to be chosen by the admission board. The office obviously knows this too, and I received the best possible support with my application on top of the generous sponsorship.

The business school experience

Without exaggeration, HBS has been the best experience of my life. Not only did I have two years to review my life from a new perspective, I had a unique opportunity to do so under the guidance of very special professors. HBS attracts seasoned executives with decades of experience under their belt, who had decided to teach not out of necessity but in order to give back. Add to it the tried and true hard business skills and the membership of an incredible global network, and you can begin to get an idea of why an MBA was the right path to choose.

Onto greater things

What have I learned about myself? That I have a passion for organization and leadership strategy -- something I hope to put to good use with our clients at McKinsey. A passion for teaching is something I had long suspected but never realized until my second year, when I taught undergraduate economics to Harvard freshmen (and I am happy to report I will continue with mid-career students at Harvard Summer School each year). Finally, I know what my purpose is for the foreseeable future: to help companies in Central and Eastern Europe be more productive, happy, and efficient by relying on strategic leadership skills.


Harvard Business School

University of Economics, Prague
MSc, international economic relations, financial management