Close to 150 students lined Spangler Auditorium on Monday, November 25 for an open forum with HBS Dean Kim Clark on Career Services issues. The forum was scheduled in response to mounting second-year student concern over job market prospects.
Clark kicked off the meeting with opening remarks on difficult job market. While the dean admitted that HBS was late in addressing the issue, he also reaffirmed a commitment to action, adding that it was not “too late.” With that, Clark announced seven action items that the administration and Career Services are making top priorities to improve the job search process:
o Launching a new Career Coaching program for all students still looking for jobs. All such students will be assigned one coach for the remainder of their job search. New coaches have already been added at Career Services.
o Expanding the Key Account Program to attract roughly 200 targeted companies that do not currently recruit at HBS. The goal of the Key Account program is to involve faculty, staff, and students in identifying and convincing companies to recruit for jobs and internships at HBS this year, and to build or reconstruct recruiting relationships for the long term.
o Enlisting faculty to serve as referrals for opportunities for students.
o Partnering with executive search firms. While still in the discussion stages, Career Services has identified 4-5 firms that specialize in international opportunities.
o Using personal contact lists to identify other opportunities.
o Creating a new program to hire up to 10 MBA’s for various full-time positions at HBS.
o Discussing a similar program to find or create job opportunities throughout Harvard University.
He also added that he is allotting a great deal of personal time and effort to the matter, including hosting bi-weekly meetings about Career Services issues with administrators, student government leaders, and Career reps.
Following Clark’s remarks was an open Q&A session. Many students offered further suggestions for expanding job opportunities, including leveraging the Executive Education program and the Service Leadership Fellows program. Clark offered these were excellent suggestions, and encouraged students with suggestions or concerns to contact their Career rep or Director of Career Services Matt Merrick so such ideas could be incorporated into the bi-weekly brainstorming sessions.
Clark also briefly addressed the Harbus situation in both his comments and in response to several questions during the Q&A period. He reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to the Harbus as a vital link of communication between students and the administration, and offered his apologies and assurances to the community that any future issues would be handled through a new process to be created through joint efforts of the Harbus and the administration.
The writer wishes to thank Stacy Sonnenberg (OI) for her contributions to this article.