Daso: Interesting, you had walked a traditional path in your journey to HBS. Why did you decide to change course and leave business school?
Delepine: Throughout my first year at HKS, I was working on a drone startup with a colleague of mine. The experience was going well, and we continued throughout the summer. At that point, I met Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio. He convinced me to join the team. It was an easy decision given the work that they were doing with drones to help improve public safety. Working at Skydio throughout the summer was an incredible growth experience right from the start and made me expect more out of myself and my work.
I want to be precise – leaving Harvard is not an indictment on the school at all. The lessons from my first year at HKS continue to benefit the work I do, and there’s no path to my current role at Skydio that doesn’t go through Harvard.
Daso: Fantastic. Even with hindsight, I’m sure it wasn’t easy choosing to leave business school. For those who are considering taking a road less traveled in life, what advice would you give to them?
Delepine: In my case, I felt that Skydio’s mission to help first responders keep their communities safer with drones strongly aligned with my calling to have a positive impact on society. I realized that if I didn’t join this team, the outcomes I wanted to happen wouldn’t happen. There was nobody to pass the buck to.
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