NEXT GEN VOICES: Introducing CASE Scholar Caroline Davidsen

Caroline Davidsen
Caroline Davidsen

As a third-grade teacher in the South Bronx, I witnessed firsthand my students’ dedication to school and their joy of learning. But I also witnessed how the systemic challenges of poverty and the overarching demands of high-stakes testing left many students without critical resources to navigate structural barriers, and without time for curiosity and exploration.

Recognizing that in my role as a teacher I was unable to address many of the obstacles faced by my students, I pursued a Master’s in Education Policy and Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) to better understand the causes of systemic inequity. As a master’s student, I explored the roles of the multitude of actors in the education system – and recognized the importance of collective action to strengthen outcomes for all students.

Upon graduating, I sought a role in education consulting to learn how education organizations can increase impact and reach. As a strategy consultant at Tyton Partners, I worked with companies providing learners of all ages better opportunities to reach their full potential. I focused on how technology can create personalized learning pathways, differentiating instruction to meet varying student needs. During the pandemic, I also saw the limits of technology to inspire learners and help with the challenges of unequal access.

My strategy consulting work solidified my belief that the private sector can help close opportunity gaps – while acknowledging that without intentional, collaborative public-sector partnerships, systemic change will be stymied. While at Fuqua and beyond, I’m excited to address the challenges of unequal access to high-quality educational experiences, so that all learners have the resources to pursue their passions.

Growing up near Washington, D.C. to Danish-American parents who met working for the United Nations, I’m no stranger to policy discussions around the dinner table (I was also a Politics major at Princeton University). I look forward to bringing a business angle to those conversations as I start my Fuqua journey.

Why Fuqua?

Choosing Fuqua was an easy decision because of the program’s emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, the many leadership opportunities, and the ability to pursue experiential learning through CASE (e.g., Fuqua on Board, CASEi3). The countless number of students offering to connect prior to my arrival on campus was a reflection of the supportive culture here at Fuqua; I was quickly assured that this was the perfect place for me to build my business acumen in a supportive environment, test hypotheses about my career interests, and form life-long friendships. Finally, the outreach from CASE’s Executive Director, Erin Worsham, confirmed that I would be able to pursue my interests in education at a rigorous MBA program and be surrounded by like-minded students invested in leveraging the private sector for social impact.

What impact do you hope your Fuqua education will allow you to have on the world?

Post-MBA, I hope to work at an education technology company that provides online, real-time education and career training where I can work to deliver effective online education, ensure data privacy, and understand customer needs and preferences. In such a role, I will continue to refine my understanding of the opportunities and limitations of education technology to increase access to high-quality education. Ultimately, I would like to apply these strategies of effective instructional design and data privacy at a mission-oriented education organization, explicitly focused on expanding equitable education opportunities.

Share one of your 25 facts from your application essay.

Spending time with Danish family and friends growing up, I was often asked to pronounce “rødgrød med fløde,” a Danish word notorious for stumping foreigners. I always turned as red as this rhubarb dessert, but it taught me the value of taking risks to learn new languages.