The Campaign for Haas

Following the Money

Fellowship recipient Morgana Davids studies finance to make an impact

Growing up with parents in the helping professions, Morgana Davids, MBA 16, had no experience of finance beyond Hollywood. She thought of the industry as a cutthroat world full of people like Gordon Gekko, the ruthless protagonist of the film Wall Street, and wanted no part of it.

Davids earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and French from Barnard College then set out to improve the world. She worked for two years coordinating clinical trials and community outreach on rheumatic diseases such as scleroderma for a hospital in New York City.

Although she enjoyed her time at the hospital and found the experience valuable, Davids realized that she would prefer a role on the money side of research. To learn more about finance, she completed a capital investment internship with Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), a nonprofit that lends funds to community health centers to expand primary care for the underserved. “I got excited about the possibility of being in a position to see that money was getting to important things,” she says.

Davids learned about finance on the job and excelled at it. The internship turned into a full-time position, first as an analyst then as senior analyst. By the end of her nearly three years at PCDC, she was underwriting loans and managing a $100 million national healthcare loan portfolio.

Wanting to learn more about economics, accounting, marketing, and other aspects of business so that she can handle even larger transactions, Davids applied to Haas. “I was attracted to the four Defining Leadership Principles and the fact that the school focuses on making sure we’re well-rounded in our business knowledge,” she says.

With leanings toward healthcare or leveraged finance, she is supported by a $50,000 CJ White Fellowship and has also been named a Forté fellow, a designation that recognizes women committed to becoming leaders in business.

“Attending Haas events this spring and seeing alums like Margo Alexander, who are brilliant and have been so successful at making their mark on the world, I knew I’d made the right choice,” Davids says. She is part of the record-breaking 43 percent of women in her MBA class.

“The students I’m with are an amazing combination of smarts, motivation, and success,” she says.

“I feel lucky to be here.”

—Marguerite Rigoglioso

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Morgana Davids