Welcome Home!

HBS is a rite of passage of sorts, a grand thresshold through which you will struggle to pass and be transformed in the process. And though it is a truism that “home is where the heart is,” the aspect of “home” probably most overlooked is that one’s “heart” and “home” can be in many places at once. And so it is that your heart and home grow upon new foundations here at Harvard Business School. Welcome.

This rite of passage is not a through-way, but an entry-way. Your two years here are transitory only in place. Rather, these next two years are a time of foundation-building, aptly beginning with an experience literally called “Foundations.” It is upon this expansive new foundation built over the next two years that the remainder of your life will rest. Yes, in a practical dimension, you will transform your career. But rest assured you will also transform yourself. HBS won’t transform you, your peers and teachers won’t transform you – you will transform yourself.

You are in your own driver’s seat here, but not to worry. If you weren’t already comfortable in that capacity, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. You have proven yourself to be a deft driver of your own fate, and it is now incumbent upon you to assume that role for yourself as never before.

As you do, you will find others doing the same. And perhaps like an infant gazing into a mirror the first time recognizing its own uniqueness and the wondrous realities of “others,” so will you find yourself and your own reality starkly confronted with that of those around you. Your first instinct may be one of defense. Your classmates are like no set of colleagues you’ve known before. You will quickly feel quite literally the intellectual and spiritual power of the collection of your peers pulsing through Aldrich, Hawes, and Spangler. And you will read it in The Harbus.

Here’s an important secret that you should heed now to save yourself some needless anxiety: while in the past, you may have dominated almost every setting in which you found yourself, that won’t happen here. But you do own a space uniquely your own in this myriad of fellow exemplars. It will take you some time to discover the nature of how you come to occupy that space and what specifically you bring to the energy that zings around you on campus – but that lesson will be one of your first and most important. You do belong here. You will make it. You can do this. You are home.

Some other friendly advice: stay tuned to The Harbus and even consider being involved. We have a number of newly created RC positions that will instantly gain you access and influence, and you will work with a team of ECs who can help you get your feet off the ground here. Do please consider us.

August 19, 2002
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