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Give Thanks: celebrating the staff of HBS

We spend countless hours at HBS analyzing the operations of some of the world’s most well-known organizations yet rarely do we take time to reflect on what makes the organization that has brought us all together tick – Harvard Business School itself. Where do cases actually come from? Who actually pushes the button that decides what section we are in? Logically, there must be a big team of support staff, but where are they, and what exactly do they do?

Last year a team of students pondered these exact questions and discovered the seemingly obvious yet seldom celebrated fact that there is a huge team of support staff that works tirelessly to make each and every day of our time here at Harvard as organized, hassle-free and meaningful as possible.

How big a team? Well depending on where you draw the line there are over one thousand support staff who work day-in and day-out to support the MBA program, Doctoral Programs, Executive Education, and research. Yep, over ONE THOUSAND people here…to help us.

Inspired by this discovery, the class of 2014 decided to launch a school wide campaign called “Give Thanks” to recognize and celebrate the contributions of these people. The initiative involved each section co-ordinating a “Give Thanks” event with a team of staff members to thank them for their diligent, and often unseen, hard work. Each member of the RC class of 2014 also wrote a personalized hand written thank you note to an individual staff member. In addition, students wanted to create something that staff members could take home and share with their families, so an awesome video was produced and uploaded to YouTube for the whole HBS community to share (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QngfcOnI5U ).

What did all this mean? To quote Dean Nohria himself, “HBS strives to be a living model of the principles it teaches. Give Thanks was a remarkable recognition by the students of this aspiration, and one of the most wonderful—and appreciated—things I have seen the student body undertake in the last 20 years”.

Inspired by the impact of the 2013 initiative, the RC class is excited to once again be celebrating the efforts of the MBA support staff with the 2014 edition of Give Thanks. If you haven’t heard about it yet, please reach out to the Give Thanks representative in your section rep for more details (see below). The main activities will be taking place on Wednesday, April 16 – stay tuned for more details!

• A: Britt Raetzman

• B: Soline Miniere

• C: Karan Kapur

• D: Kristen Calandrelli

• E: Hy Martin

• F: Eryn Schultz

• G: Selena Singleton

• H: Rui Min Chin

• I: Sloan Holzman / Fiona Yu

• J: Sarah Myers

April 7, 2014

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