30 May 2018
HBS Fellowship Program Puts an MBA Within ReachTopics:
Diamond Richardson (MBA 2019)
Photo by Susan Young
Had her mother not gone back to school to earn her college degree while raising two young children, Diamond Richardson (MBA 2019) might not have pursued higher education. “It taught me that you can do anything if you really put the effort into it. That’s where I get my work ethic from—my mom,” says Richardson, proudly noting that her mother later became a teacher.
A native of Arlington, Texas, Richardson received a track scholarship at Baylor University, where she majored in business administration and journalism. After graduation, she merged her analytical and creative sides in a marketing job within Allstate’s leadership development program in Chicago. She later pivoted to personal finance startup NerdWallet in San Francisco, where she realized that colleagues who had the internal strategy jobs she aspired to had MBA degrees.
Richardson was thrilled to be accepted by HBS but wondered how she would pay for it and how much debt she would incur. Receiving a generous fellowship provided by Blanca G. Reza and Reynaldo Reza (MBA 1995) eased her concerns and enabled her to attend the School, where she is furthering her entrepreneurial interests and is co-authoring a blog for African American women about her time as an MBA student. “Without this fellowship, I wouldn’t be able to be here and to share my story so that others who look like me could see what it’s like to attend HBS,” she explains.
“I’m so appreciative of my donors for this opportunity to earn my MBA and to help my family and so many other people through the impact I hope to have.”
Class of MBA 1995, Section F