An Interview with Chris Moore
LinkedIn Contact: C.Moore
Current Role: Global Partners Manager at the MBA
Global Experience Office of Harvard Business School
Umbra: How would you describe your current role?
Chris: My role is to build relationships and partnerships with companies around the world. I am responsible for the recruitment of an innovative set of companies who can support our students as they progress through a program called ‘Field Global Immersion’. This program focuses on creating opportunities for students to learn about human-centered design with a company abroad.
U: Which aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?
C: I enjoy meeting with companies and having conversations with them. There’s so much innovation happening around the world, especially in emerging markets where there are companies who are interested in social enterprise.. Our students can help address some of the challenges and opportunities related to these innovative ideas. It’s all about being able to have comprehensive conversations and coming out of it knowing that you could potentially help someone.
U: How did the Umbra experience impact your career decisions?
C: I have so many fond memories of my time in Italy, it was amazing. I think one of the most important things was just being able to learn about (and be comfortable with) differences. The Umbra Institute allowed me to travel to and experience Italy and beyond (London, Amsterdam, Bruges & Paris). The Umbra trip to Naples was very interesting: I saw how northern Italy and southern Italy differ, even within the same country, similar culture, different cuisine. It was just a different feel, different vibe, and I really enjoyed that opportunity as it was one of the first times I was able to travel with a large group of students in my class.
U: Based on your experience so far, what advice do you have for aspiring business professionals?
C: You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable at times, accept change, be curious about other cultures and how they see the world. I think, specifically in a business context, you have to be able to really ask a lot of questions. You know – how does that apply to their market, what opportunities are there to build and expand, and how can we be helpful?
U: What inspired your current career trajectory?
C: Right after college, I worked in the mayor’s office in Boston and had a great experience learning more about local government. Boston is a very unique city. It’s extremely diverse, so working for the city gave me the opportunity to interact with different types of people and cultures. In my time working with the new mayor of Boston (Mayor Walsh, the current mayor), we actually bid for the Olympics in Boston, so that opened up a unique opportunity for me.
I spent a lot time doing outreach to local governments and companies abroad to gather best practices from people who had hosted the Olympics in the past. I stayed very passionate about business and decided to continue in that realm moving forward. I then ended up applying to business school a few years later.
U: Can you specify some of the experiences and benefits of study abroad that had the most impact?
C: I’d say specifically the opportunity to travel, something I previously didn’t have the opportunity to do. The people I met, my experiences, kind of lit a fire in me and I knew that I wanted to travel (if not professionally, then personally).
Last year I traveled to Rwanda, Ghana, China, and Thailand. Prior to that it was Peru, Ghana again, Argentina, China, Thailand and Tanzania.
U: What advice do you have for Umbra alums considering an MBA? How can they prepare for the rigor of a program like Harvard’s?
C: All programs are different, but there are some similarities. The case method is now used in many if not all business schools, and I know it’s big at Harvard and Northeastern. This method requires students with an open mind who are able to interact. A lot of the classroom conversations are designed to encourage engagement and the understanding of different perspectives while developing your own perspective. So you have to be willing to speak up, be proactive, and have conversations.
Also, time. It’s very important to manage it properly to be able to get through. And obviously, if you’re not comfortable with numbers then, get comfortable! With an MBA there’s going to be a quantitative component so just be prepared. Not everybody comes from a quantitative background, I know I didn’t, so I had to dive into that and make sure I studied. Don’t be afraid of it, it’s just part of the process.
U: How can individuals considering a managerial role in their career future begin to prepare for leadership positions?
C: In my current role I’m part of a larger team, but I’ve managed people in the past. I think in terms of leadership roles, it’s important to try to inspire your team. I can speak from experience, just being inspired by people who have managed me.
Also being able to be open to communication and being culturally fluent; many people will hopefully have very diverse teams, so being able to understand how to communicate between different types of people while acting as a cultural bridge and being able to summarise & articulate someone’s point to present it to a larger team is very useful.
This article is part of Umbra’s Alumni Success Series. Study abroad inspires students from all backgrounds and with all sorts of career goals. Therefore, each article in this series is meant to provide advice for current and former students interested in pursuing the types of careers our alumni hold, with some offering opportunities to connect by email or LinkedIn for further advice. We encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn so you can read future features!
About the Author:
Sara is interning with the Umbra Institute through ISI Abroad as part of her gap year experience. A bilingual native of England and Italy, she’s traveled the globe seeking to learn diverse cultural and historical perspectives. She’ll be your guide this fall as you plan for your study experience in Perugia.