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Real Humans of MIT Sloan’s MBA Class of 2021

Emma Rich, MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2021

Emma Rich, MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2021

Age: 28
Hometown: Born in Virginia, brought up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Duke University; BA in Political Science, BA in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years, Consumer Goods Manufacturing

Why business school? Why now?
For the last four years, I worked in Shanghai at a Chinese manufacturing company, producing household items, including everything from cookware to cosmetics. I loved managing a cross-functional, cross-cultural team, but felt I had learned what I could about the production side of supply chain. I wanted to grow my understanding of the full product cycle, so I chose to come to business school to become a better-rounded leader and develop more sophisticated approaches to operations and marketing.

Why MIT Sloan? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I’m someone that learns by doing, so I really connected with how much MIT Sloan embraces this teaching method through its Action Learning opportunities. Already in my first semester, I am doing a consulting project for one of the biggest tech companies in the world, addressing real business problems and providing implementable solutions.

I also appreciated how MIT’s spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation is also very present in the business school. We only have one semester of required classes and are then given the freedom to experiment and pursue our own paths for the next three semesters. This type of environment really made MIT Sloan the right choice for me.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2021?
My entire career has revolved around international business, so I think bringing this perspective, particularly regarding Chinese manufacturing, provides value to supply chain and operations conversations. If any entrepreneurial classmates need production contacts in China, I am also an available resource.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I’m a proud dog-mom to a 110 lb. Tamaskan.

Post-MBA career interests?
I would like to pursue roles in Operations and Product Management in Big Tech or at an innovative retail company.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Talk to students and alumni! I really got a feel for the type of people I might study with and got a great perspective on how an MBA could help my development.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would have started recording my application-relevant experiences sooner. If you start thinking of examples for the behavioral components early, you will have a greater selection and richer details from which to draw.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Studying for the GMAT for six months. It was frustrating at times, but I stayed confident that a high score was absolutely doable! You just need to keep at it and internalize the lessons — this can sometimes just take time.

What is your initial impression of MIT Sloan’s students/culture/community?
Sloanies are incredibly collaborative and caring, it has been impressive how generous people are with their time and expertise—“Sloanies helping Sloanies” is really taken to heart.

One thing you have learned about MIT Sloan that has surprised you?
I was surprised at the diversity of work experience and expertise in my class. You definitely do not need to have an engineering or technical background to make the most out of your time at Sloan.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Getting through the core semester. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s taught me useful information to build on in later semesters.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Club activities! Sloan has so many different, student-led clubs that there is really something for everyone. It’s been a great way to meet classmates with similar interests, especially outside of my cohort

Posted in: Feature Main, Military, Real Humans of MBA Class of 2021, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: MIT Sloan

About the Author


Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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