Strategy Roots Lead to Ivy League

PROVO, Utah – Apr 16, 2018 – BYU alumna Angela Graves credits her undergraduate education for her positions at a global management consultancy and a multi-million dollar startup—and her acceptance to Harvard.

This fall, Graves will start the joint master in business administration/master in public policy program offered through the Harvard Business and Harvard Kennedy Schools. The three-year program will build upon Graves’s BYU education, where she studied economics and strategy.

“The economics program gave me a quantitative skill set, and the strategy minor gave me a qualitative business background where I learned to look at companies from a strategic perspective,” Graves says. “I felt that these areas of study were the best combination for someone who wanted to go into management consulting.”

Graves got her start in management consulting the summer between her junior and senior years when she completed an internship at Bain & Company. The internship helped her land a full-time job at Bain after she graduated in 2014 with a BS in economics and a minor in strategy. At Bain, she worked with Fortune 500 companies in both Dallas and San Francisco.

“As a management consultant, every day is different, which makes it interesting,” Graves says. “Working with a team, hearing other perspectives, and finding solutions to company problems were the best parts of my job.”

After two and a half years, Graves made a career change and became the chief marketing officer at Freshly Picked, a company that sells baby moccasins and other accessories. She was recruited by the chief operating officer, who was also her former strategy TA. She took the position to gain operational and leadership experience.

Working at Freshly Picked motivated Graves’s decision to return to school. In her position, she saw firsthand the challenges that company leaders face on a daily basis. She desired to improve her leadership skills to better manage a team. Graves also saw the impact that private companies can have on their customers and wanted to learn more about the intersection of the public and private sectors.

“Freshly Picked has the largest social media following of any baby brand, and seeing how our ads and social media content impacted moms was eye-opening,” Graves says. “A big interest of mine has always been the public sector, especially where public policy intersects with technology advancements. These next few years of school will be very valuable in that regard.”

Graves left Freshly Picked in February and is doing some independent consulting for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while preparing for her move out East. While she is off to the Ivy League, she’ll always appreciate her BYU Marriott roots. 

“I’m a huge fan of the strategy program,” Graves says. “I enjoyed my time there, and it was the perfect segue into my career.”

Angela Graves
Angela Graves studied economics and strategy at BYU and will start a joint master's program at Harvard in the fall.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maggie Kuta