MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program
MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Alumni
As a Fellow, you will join an alumni network across MIT Sloan, including 4,000 Fellows alumni — an exceptionally responsive group of high-impact, low-ego leaders who hold top positions at some of the world’s most respected organizations.
SF '03 · United States · Postmaster General & CEO · U.S. Postal Service
SF '08 · Switzerland · SVP Engagement Americas & Asia · Swiss Re Institute
SF '13 · United States/Bulgaria· Founder & CEO · Insurify
SF '13 · India · Founder & CEO · ZyloTech
SF '10 · Singapore· Brigadier-General · Singapore Armed Services
SF '83 · United States· Chairman · Microsoft Corporation
Megan Brennan, SF '03
Postmaster General and CEO
U.S. Postal Service
When she was appointed the 74th Postmaster General of the United States in 2015, Megan Brennan became the first woman to lead the world’s largest postal organization. Brennan began her career as a letter carrier and worked her way up the management ladder, learning the operation from the ground up. She served as a regional VP of Operations and COO/Executive VP before taking the helm as CEO. Brennan is now at work implementing her vision for the Postal Service as a technology- and customer-centric organization that engages the full potential of its 600,000-employee workforce.
Affirmation from an exceptional cohort: “I have to admit I was a little daunted by the prospect of joining the program—the academic rigor, as you would expect from MIT, is legendary. I loved my job, and had not been in a classroom for a long time. Once we started, though, I was immediately grateful to be a fellow. Stepping outside the Postal Service universe and getting a sense of how I measured up in the wider world was pivotal to my maturity as a leader.”
A curriculum at the forefront of innovation: “I don’t think the average person realizes how complex and tech-centric the postal service is. To get the job done, we need to stay at the forefront of the best practices being advanced in public and private enterprises all over the world. But I didn’t have to travel exhaustively to understand what was happening out there. As a Sloan Fellow, I was surrounded by leaders from those regions who were shaping technology and standards. On top of it all, the MIT Sloan Fellows curriculum exposed me to advanced systems thinking, business analytics, and strategic planning. It also expanded my soft skills and reinforced the values of diversity and collaboration as organizational imperatives.”
Lasting organizational impact: “We have to compete for business on a daily basis just like a private company. We have to understand what’s happening in the marketplace and reinvent ourselves accordingly. We send our most promising executives to the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program because they learn how to leverage big data, challenge existing paradigms, and drive the innovations that will keep us relevant in the 21st century.”
Pascal Marmier, SF '08
SVP Head Engagement Americas and Asia
Swiss Re Institute
Pascal Marmier manages engagement in Asia and the Americas with a focus on digital transformation, data innovation, and emerging markets. His goal is to help the Swiss Re team deliver deep insights and sustainable solutions affecting the re/insurance industry. Marmier previously served as executive director of swissnex China and as Vice Consul General of the Swiss Consulate in Shanghai, where he promoted collaborative intergovernmental invention in science and technology, a model he had previously perfected in Boston. During his years as the Swiss consul in Boston, he helped the Swiss government design a new model of consulate for the 21st century—a dynamic knowledge and networking outpost that connects two countries on multiple levels spanning industry and academia.
Think outside the box: "I came to this program to think outside the inbox. Executives have few opportunities in their lifetimes to reflect, absorb, and put all the pieces of their lives together. The program offers a highly valuable refueling station at the crossroads of our careers. We figure out just where we should be headed and how to get there. All the while we’re meeting people we could never meet and learning things we could never learn anywhere but here."
The MIT Ecosystem: "I really valued the intersections. You might find yourself in a negotiating class with a real estate expert, a neuroscientist, and a mechanical engineer. As a result, I know so much more about so many things. I can see the impact this very deep knowledge and experience has had on my life and work."
Snejina Zacharia, SF ’13
Founder and CEOInsurify
For the last two decades, serial entrepreneur Snejina Zacharia has worked with consumer internet and enterprise software companies. As founder of Insurify, the insurance shopping marketplace powered by AI, she leads the company’s strategic vision and product and business development initiatives. Before founding Insurify, she was a director at Gartner, where she established and grew several lines of business, each with millions of dollars of annual revenue, across the US, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.
Turning point: “The MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program is specifically tailored to executives who are at a point in their careers when they need change, when they must expand on their skills and fill knowledge gaps that have emerged in a rapidly evolving world. The program is an undiluted learning experience free of the principal distractions that have kept us from growing as leaders. It’s a rigorous year but one of remarkable intellectual freedom and discovery. By the time I graduated, I had come to truly understand myself as a person, including my strengths and where I wanted to improve.”
Taking stock:“I entered this program to take stock of everything I needed for the next half of my career and found I was able to take significant control of the learning process. I even created my own class—The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Series—where I invited the founders of tech companies like Kayak, TripAdvisor, RueLaLa, Sonicbids, and Care.com to share lessons learned and offer advice to me and other MIT students. I also was thrilled to be able to pitch in the $100K entrepreneurship competition. Insurify was a semifinalist!”
MIT immersion: “I truly believe that the best way to experience MIT is as a full-time student immersed in the community. There are so many riches—and so many great minds—to tap, and being a full-time student is the only way to do that. You work elbow-to-elbow with peers from more than three dozen nations and, in the process, develop a more profound understanding of cultural differences. Then there’s the continual stream of lectures from renowned leaders, networking at coffee shops and social events, and the vast number of activities happening across MIT, Harvard, Cambridge, Boston, and beyond. I gained so many additional layers of wisdom from my encounters outside the classroom.”
Abhi Yadav, SF '13
Founder and CEO
Serial entrepreneur Abhi Yadav, SF ’13, spun his company ZyloTech out of MIT to give organizations an opportunity to increase the depth of their data insights and increase the precision of their marketing efforts. He and a team of data scientists, engineers, and digital marketers from MIT and the broader Cambridge ecosystem developed this fast-growing and award-winning customer data platform.
Hot tech: “I entered the program when I was preparing to launch a new company. I chose the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program because it seemed like the place to be for a tech entrepreneur who needed one foot on the entrepreneurial frontier and the other on the tech frontier. And the flexibility of the program let me pull from whichever part of MIT I needed to complete the knowledge for my next venture.”
Fast forward: “It’s important not to be held behind by your own progress. That sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. The world we live in today is noisy and volatile. There’s really no way, no time, no natural opportunity to step out of the fray and look around, take stock, and get a birds-eye view of the bigger picture. We tend to be reluctant to take the time to turn off and power up—especially when things are going well—but spending that year at MIT is not retreat. It’s acceleration.”
Global village: “The MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program is basically a global summit that brings together leaders of organizations from all over the world. We spend a year together getting to know and understand the motivations driving people, cultures, and countries. In the world we live in now, you need to understand all the different marketplaces around the world, and there’s no smarter way than spending a year working side-by-side on challenging topics. The fellows I spent that year with are now central to my network—a network that spans the world.”
Siow Huang Gan, SF '10
Singapore Armed Forces
The most senior female officer in the Singapore Armed Forces, Colonel Gan Siow Huang, SF ’10, has helped to formulate defense policies as deputy director of the Defense Policy Office and has commanded the 203 Squadron and the Air Surveillance and Control Group. After rising through the ranks, she now leads the SAF’s Joint Manpower Department.
Women leaders: “For a woman in a position of leadership, the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program offers a potent combination of must-haves that a mid-career leader would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. For me, one of those benefits was working closely with the other women in the program, talented leaders from 20 different countries. Learning about their successes—and failures—moving up the ladder in different global environments and different industries was educational and inspiring. When other women don’t recognize limitations, you learn not to recognize them either.”
Fresh perspective: “There are other programs for global leaders, but the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program is a distinctive combination of technological innovation and leadership. That formula is one that all global leaders need to be exposed to. I am in the military, but I wanted a program that gave me a fresh perspective from outside that realm. I wanted to be surrounded by people from different industries and mindsets. I wanted to feel the entrepreneurial buzz and bring that spirit of experimentation back to my own work environment. Every organization needs that energy to stay relevant.”
Hard knowledge: “This program is an unusually effective integration of soft skills and hard knowledge. I learned the economics of information technology. I learned system dynamics and how complex organizations work. I learned how to negotiate contracts and navigate difficult situations. I learned how to use data to analyze trends and predict outcomes. I graduated several years ago, but I still look back at my class notes. I use that knowledge every single day in ways that I never could have predicted.”
John W. Thompson, SF '83
John W. Thompson is Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, where he has served on the board since 2012. Thompson began his storied career at IBM and cemented his reputation as a transformative leader during his ten-year tenure as CEO of Symantec, where he helped transform the company into a leader in security, storage, and systems management solutions. A dedicated supporter of early-stage enterprises, Thompson serves as a venture partner at the venture capital firm LightSpeed Partners.
Global business education: “The MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program brought the international business community to us. With fellows from all over the world, you get an intimate perspective on the ins and outs of doing business in key regions around the globe. I collaborated with classmates from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, China, and all across Europe. The industry diversity was just as vital. My class included executives from a wide swath of professions and environments—even a professional baseball player. My classmates shared their rich experiences in all facets of business and life. And as mid-career executives, they had a good deal of practical knowledge to share. Viewing life and work from such multifaceted perspectives opened up my world. The value of working closely, day in and day out, with some of the most talented people in the global arena is incalculable.“
On the frontier: “I came to the program from IBM at the genesis of the personal computer revolution. In fact, my thesis topic was A Distribution Model for Personal Computers. My advisor had deep ties to the technological frontier—across MIT and in industry. The professors at MIT are the best of the best in their industries. I found their insights illuminating and their knowledge bottomless. You know that what you’re learning is the very latest thinking in the technology and management arenas.”
Tremendous dividends: “That year was incredibly rewarding to me, and yet it’s difficult to put into words the profound benefits of this program. You live the value every day. Invest those twelve months at MIT in your development as a leader, and you will find it pays tremendous dividends over the life of your career.”