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Six MBA student stories of adventure, growth, and lessons learned


Heard any good stories lately?

We have. Every month during the school year, MIT Sloan students host and take part in The Yarn, a storytelling event. Students share stories from their life, tales of travel, adventure, childhood, mentorship, failure, and more. Attendance for the event has doubled since spring of 2015. The next event will take place May 3 at Wong Auditorium.

It’s just one of the ways MIT Sloan students learn from each other’s experiences. Here are six of our favorite “yarns” from recent years.

Eva Breitenbach, MBA ’17


What happens when you wake up and your face won’t move? Eva Breitenbach, MBA ’17, was struck with Bell’s palsy in December 2015.

“The thing that really blindsided me was the feeling of isolation,” she says. “I don’t think that I’d ever really realized the extent to which people think that they know who you are based on the way your face looks. Or the extent to which smiles and laughter are the way that people connect with each other. Or the role that all of these play in business school.”

Clint Montague, MBA ’16


When you fail because you’re not ready, what keeps you from giving up? For Clint Montague, the answer is “fear.” A native Alaskan, he tells a story of being stuck unprepared and without shelter on a rural road, struggling to keep awake and keep the wolves away.

Alanna Hughes, MBA/MPA ’16


When Alanna Hughes joined the Peace Corps, she was assigned to work with cocoa growers, but found her calling running small business development classes for young adults in the Dominican Republic. Before she knew it, she was leading five budding entrepreneurs to a business plan competition in Santo Domingo.

George Miller, MBA ’14


George Miller lost himself in Paris, lost his temper with his sister, and lost his passport. And every time he relearned a lesson about humility.

“I found each time I admit[ted] my mistakes, I actually connected with someone in a way that I hadn’t connected before,” he says.

Natalie Hooper, MBA ’14


Natalie Hooper was always a little afraid of her mother, but she also knew her mother had her back. Same for her sister. In a series of vignettes about growing up, she explains why you don’t want to mess with the women in her family.

Parul Batra, MBA ’15


Parul Batra left a job in consulting to work with The Clinton Foundation to combat HIV in Africa. It was a good job, she found, and she made a difference in people’s lives. But still she felt something was missing.

“I started thinking that maybe I’m not one of those people that’s destined to live a meaningful life,” she says.

And then she started dancing.

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