01 Jun 2013
Extending Opportunity: Brock Family FellowshipTopics:
Growing up in Indiana, Jane Brock-Wilson (MBA 1983) never considered going to Harvard. After studying industrial management at Purdue, she moved to the Boston area to take a job at Raytheon. When her boss suggested she apply to HBS, she didn't hesitate. "My plan was to go back into manufacturing after receiving my MBA, but HBS opened up a whole new world of possibilities," she says.
"I had a phenomenal experience at HBS," continues Brock-Wilson. "It revealed new fields of interest, enriched my world view, and introduced me to people and concepts that I would not have had exposure to elsewhere." After graduation, she joined Bain & Company and was there until 1991 when she joined Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm where today she serves as a managing director. "I would not have been able to do what I've done in my career without Harvard Business School," she says.
Brock-Wilson recalls that paying for graduate school was not easy. "After I was accepted, I remember frantically applying to every foundation imaginable. The Hattie M. Strong Foundation gave me a grant, and I was so grateful," she says, adding that she also borrowed money from family members. During her second year, she worked at Bain & Company to help finance her education.
At the time of her 25th Reunion, Brock-Wilson established the Brock Family Fellowship fund to which she recently made an additional significant contribution to endow the fund in honor of her 30th.
"I'm interested in supporting people and helping them find their way," she says. "Throughout my career, I've tried to mentor women in hopes of extending opportunities to them."
Brock-Wilson, who participated in the School's two-day W50 Summit in April, is a class volunteer and regular reunion attendee, and serves on the board of the Harvard Management Company.
Having met two of her fellowship beneficiaries at the annual fellowship dinner, Brock-Wilson's enthusiasm for the fellowship program is only increasing. "It was an incredibly powerful event," she says. Fellowship recipient Tess Reeder (MBA 2014) agrees: "Meeting Jane made me feel even more fortunate to receive her fellowship. She is an incredible and accomplished alum. I look forward to maintaining a relationship with her beyond my time at HBS."
(MBA 2012), who received the Brock Family Fellowship last year, echoes that sentiment. "Jane is a role model for all women at HBS-she's demonstrated that women can break into new fields and be enormously successful," says Leahey.
Class of MBA 1983, Section H
Class of MBA 2012, Section J