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Career Teams : We need your help for next year!

Powerful innovations always start as a delicate experiment. In 1908, it was HBS. Today, we think it could be the Career Teams Program. Upon receiving the baton from founders Sasha Grinshpun and Peter Platzer, we would like to share with you our vision, our plans for next year, as well as how you can contribute if you believe, like we do, that this initiative deserve to be pursued next year.

Our vision
The Career Teams are still fresh out of the R&D lab. This year, the pilot program created many enthusiasts and some sceptics, transformed many and left some wanting more. But with 93% of poll respondents ready to recommend the program to first years and 95% convinced by the vision, it is also a strong demonstration of the program’s potential benefits for members, leaders and HBS as a whole.

In the outside world, the need to find meaningful careers increases, and professional paths become more chaotic. Inside HBS, sections grow bigger and more impersonal. In that context, being part of a small group of friends going through a structured career discovery program can become a crucial element of a successful HBS experience. Academics and job search support provided by Career Services focus on doing things right. The CareerTeams program is an opportunity to identify the right thing to do. Is it consulting, banking, marketing, non-profit, VC, PE, entrepreneurship, some combination of them or something completely different? In what order? Why? How can you make sure you’re making the right decision, both for the short and the long-term? As a Career Team Leader (CTL), you can help your peers with this process as well as find out for yourself.

Leading a team of type-A individuals through self-exploration and career development is not an easy task. CTLs receive strong Career Services training and have the support of the whole CTL community.

Nevertheless, they are ultimately responsible for their group. They need to set a vision, balance authority and friendship, inspire confidence and trust, manage morale and master both content and process. Clearly, it requires a specific blend of skills and commitment and not everyone can do it well. It is for this very reason that we define CTLs as “leaders of leaders,” because they go through a crash course in applied leadership.

This program has the potential to become a key HBS differentiation. Other MBAs (NYU for example) are already starting in the same direction, but not yet with a structured approach. HBS enjoys one of the leading experts in the field, Tim Butler, and is already far ahead on the learning curve. Active communication through prospective and admitted student material, or even publications like MBA jungle, will help establish the program’s growing reputation.

Program for next year
To achieve this vision, we’ll make some significant enhancements next year.

First, the program will be limited to the first term, starting right after foundation, and finishing before the online-application period in December. The curriculum will be more structured and follow a rigourous progression to bring maximum benefits to the members.

Second, the leaders’experience will be an even more rewarding one, both on a personal and social level. In addition to an improved in-depth orientation and training program, we will provide more support on team leadership aspects. To enhance leaders’ own career development and team leadership skills, one of the “perks” will be a preferential access to Tim Butler and Stacey Kessel from CareerServices throughout the year.

We need your help!
We believe this revised program can bring a tremendous value to every party involved, and in particular the Career Team Leaders. But this will only be possible if enough current RCs apply to become CTLs next year. Many have already manifested themselves, but maybe you haven’t…

So if you want to make the Career Teams even more successful, develop your leadership skills, be part of a dynamic community, give back and make HBS a better place, we encourage you to attend the info session on May 6th at noon in Aldrich 107. We are working hard to make this program an HBS institution and a significant competitive advantage for our school. So if five years from now, while hearing about the amazing success of the HBS Career Teams, you want to say with a modest smile “yeah, I know, I was one of the first CTLs”, then it’s the right time to join us in this exciting leadership adventure…

To become a Career Team Leader next year, send an e-mail to Laurent and Tom (lchenot@mba2003.hbs.edu, tleung@mba2003.hbs.edu). An information session will be held on Monday, May 6th at noon in Aldrich 107.

April 29, 2002
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