Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director, and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, served as our fifth MBA executive virtual guest speaker. Raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Carla became involved in singing at a young age, particularly in Catholic and Baptist churches.
She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University and Master's degree in business administration at Harvard Business School. During her time at Harvard, she performed in in the Radcliffe Chorale Society.
Harris is a member of the board of overseers of Harvard University and the board of directors at Walmart. For many years, Harris was a senior member of the Equity Syndicate desk handling transactions for initial public offerings.
Harris was given the Women of Power award by the National Urban League and recognized in Fortune Magazine's list of 50 most powerful black executives in corporate America. She has also written two books , 'Expect to Win' and 'Strategize to Win.' Carla's love for singing continued as a gospel singer and has released several gospel albums that have been bestsellers.
She explained to the students that although one can survive an exceptionally long time in their career without a mentor, they cannot ascend in any organization without a sponsor. "The sponsor is the most important of all the relationships that you will have in your career, and the sponsor must be within your organization,” said Harris. She stressed the importance of forming critical relationships with advisors to excel in their career and in the organization in which they work.
One of the most important pieces of information she shared was in the area of "power" in an organization. "You can lead from any seat. Power is about being able to get things done, do not underestimate the power that you have as somebody who is just walking in the door," said Harris.
To view the full presentation, please visit MBA Executive Speaker Series - Carla Harris - YouTube