Meet the MBA class of 2023: Sibylle George, Harvard Business School

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“An architect at heart, excited about the prospect of building new companies.”

Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon

Fun fact about yourself: As a big dog lover, I worked as a volunteer in an animal shelter in Lebanon for years and grew up with 3 Bernese mountain dogs.

Basic studies and major: University of Beirut, Bachelor of Architecture

Last employer and job title: Marketing Manager @ Disperse || Co-Founder & Marketing Director @ Impact Lebanon

I have been working as Marketing Manager at Disperse since 2019 – a startup for construction technology with the aim of improving productivity on construction sites through artificial intelligence and computer vision.

In parallel, I co-founded a UK-based nonprofit and initiative center called Impact Lebanon. Our goal is to enable the Lebanese diaspora to develop and finance innovative solutions for the country. I headed the marketing team – as Marketing Director – until June 2021.

Which word best describes the Harvard Business School students and alumni you’ve met and why? Far-sighted and visionary. At the beginning of the year and in the summer I had the opportunity to meet many future classmates. I was amazed to see how ambitious everyone was; It felt like each of them wanted to question the status quo of their industry or tackle an issue they were passionate about.

What makes the case method so attractive to learn and become a better manager? The case method was one of the main elements that made me choose HBS over other programs! The format of the courses forces us to think critically about topics we are not necessarily familiar with and to learn from students with first-hand experience. The case method constantly challenges and teaches us to articulate and express our viewpoints concisely. I’m looking forward to our first course!

Aside from your classmates and cases, What was the crucial part of the Harvard Business School MBA program that made you choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? It can hardly be overestimated how many resources the HBS makes available to students. This ranges from the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which accompanies students in setting up their own businesses, to the career center and the outstanding HBS alumni network. This will certainly make it easier for all of us to move into the next phase of our careers.

Which course, club or activity do you find most appealing at Harvard Business School? The entrepreneur club! While it is difficult to be prepared for the challenges we face when starting a new business, I look forward to further exploring this ecosystem and interacting with people who have already been through it.

When you think of Harvard Business School what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Diversity. I’ve met people from so many different backgrounds over the past few months, each of whom will bring new experiences and a unique perspective to the class.

Describe your greatest success in your career so far: After the Lebanese October Revolution 2019, I founded Impact Lebanon, a non-profit and initiative center, together with a group of Lebanese experts. Our goal is to enable the Lebanese diaspora to question the status quo. Little did we know that we were laying the foundation for one of our most difficult and difficult endeavors. In the hours after the August 4th explosion in Beirut, we set up a Disaster Relief Fund with an initial target of ~ $ 70,000. As the news of this crisis spread far beyond the borders of Lebanon, donations began to pour in. This resulted in us raising $ 9.2 million for Beirut. As Marketing Director of Impact Lebanon, I had the opportunity to work with over 70 inspirational minds who volunteer and spend time outside of work to make this fundraiser a success. Each of the volunteers played a crucial role in this initiative. A real teamwork!

How has COVID-19 changed your perspective on your career and life in general? The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of being well surrounded – both privately and professionally. Making sure you have the right mentors and build the right relationship is vital in a career. It’s something I will surely consider in the future.

What made you decide to do an MBA at that point and what do you want after graduation? I started my career in a different way after originally studying architecture. However, the inefficiency and slow pace of innovation in the industry led me to look for a way to make a greater positive impact and join a construction technology startup. This gave me the opportunity to learn from my colleagues and my supervisor about how startups work and finally to start my first company with a group of young professionals. The MBA is an opportunity for me to consolidate and build on my acquired knowledge in both architecture and the startup environment as I explore new fields such as investing.

What else MBA Programs did you apply? Wharton (and Lauder), INSEAD, London Business School and Columbia.

What advice would you give potential applicants in order to be admitted to the Harvard Business School MBA program? Be authentic and make sure you know what makes you unique.

DON’T MISS: MEET THE 2023 HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL CLASS


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