10 June 2015
Since arriving at Harvard Business School (HBS) last August, Angela Winkle has been taking advantage of the opportunity to take risks and get involved, including becoming a semi-finalist in the HBS New Ventures Competition and the Co-President of the Women's Student Association.
The 2014 Menzies Scholar to Harvard has learnt it's not enough to take the safe, successful path.
Angela, who is an MBA candidate at Harvard says "My experience of Harvard so far is not at all what I expected, but different and for the most part fantastic. Before arriving at HBS I heard about the great people, the networking and the case method and the common refrain, 'the best two years of your life'. This is all true, but not the whole story.
"When you have 900+ type-A personalities switching from professional to student lifestyles and all trying to find their place in the cohort it makes for a wild, sometimes volatile ride," Angela said.
"One of the best parts of HBS is the constant challenge to pursue your dreams and ideas. It's not enough to take the safe, successful path. Anytime you share a new idea or dream for what you would like to see changed someone asks 'why aren't you pursuing it?' They have suggestions and connections. They challenge you to take the risk.
"This climate led me to enter the HBS New Ventures Competition, a competition that sees 100+ new business ideas pitched to finance and industry experts and entrepreneurs. Along with 10 other new ventures, I made it to the semi-finals, an outcome I would not have dreamed of before arriving at HBS."
Angela is dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership positions and her HBS experience is assisting with that passion. "I recently became Co-President of the Women's Student Association (WSA) at HBS. The WSA includes the 800+ women currently at HBS and works with current students, alumni, faculty and the administration to increase gender equality and support the women of HBS in their endeavours.
"We are creating an initiative to support women to take more strategic risks (an area women are often underrepresented), making the WSA the Champions of Women's Entrepreneurship. We are also working to extend beyond HBS, using the incredible power of our membership base to inspire high school and undergraduate students to pursue big careers and working with other community organizations," Angela said.
"With one-year down HBS has been a fantastic experience and one that will be hard to match. Now I'm looking forward to the second half – they say it only gets better."