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Lessons on Empowerment

WSA CONFERENCE & THE 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL RACE SERIES: INTERVIEW WITH HEIDI CRUZ Editor-in-Chief Pippa Lamb caught up with the closing keynote speaker of this year’s WSA conference, Heidi Cruz (HBS ’00) to discuss her views on empowerment, a career on Wall Street, working for President George W. Bush, and her time on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign Heidi Cruz (HBS ‘00) is an inspirational woman but would be the last to label herself as such. For all the bravado and gloss that comes with being front stage of a U.S. Presidential Campaign, she is remarkably candid, and refreshingly self-aware. A big part of this self-awareness comes with her realization that “empowerment” does not come from a resume, but from embracing the decisions you make, and celebrating the path your life leads - wherever that may be. To the average spectator, this might seem easy for someone with Cruz’s profile. Her career has taken her from Wall Street to Harvard Business School, to the White House, and then back to Goldman Sachs, where she now holds a national role in the Private Wealth Division. She’s poised, successful, and elegant, and even has a “1”-type answer to that irritatingly ubiquitous question asked of powerful women - yes, she has managed to have both a family and a demanding career.  Yet what’s most striking about Cruz is not this, but her frank interpretation of it all.

Quick fire round:

  1. What section were you in? D

  1. Biggest lesson from HBS? People of extreme excellence exist and are required in every field.

  2. HBS Summer Internship: Tech M&A on the West Coast

  3. HBS Hobby: Tennis

  4. Biggest lesson learnt from the working with President George W. Bush: The importance of building a good team. Everyone was empowered by the President, but most of all, they were all truly doing it for the country, and not for their own careers.

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