The Student Association and the MBA Program have partnered to develop an awards program that recognizes students who have excelled in their efforts to improve or promote the extended HBS community. Nominations can be made by any member of the HBS community, and the Awards Committee comprised of both students and staff uses multiple criteria, including leadership, initiative, selfless-service and contribution to community, to judge the worthiness of a candidate.
On Tuesday, April 27th, at a breakfast awards ceremony, SA/MBA awards were given to five extremely deserving recipients. Their achievements were diverse; however the common thread that ran through their accomplishments was the selfless nature of their actions and the quiet effort that they put in to improve the morale and sense of community at HBS.
These individuals symbolize the kind of leadership that HBS strives to inculcate and are real life models for all of us.
Misha Simmonds (OE) & Tracy Breslin (OH): Social Enterprise
Misha and Tracy were nominated for the award by Steve Nelson, Director of the MBA Program. In his nomination, Steve referred to the role Misha and Tracy played over the last year as Co-Presidents of the Social Enterprise Club at HBS in leading the club to new heights which led to several outstanding achievements this past year.
Over 325 members registered in the club and, 37 speaker, career, and workshop events have already been held to date, with at least six more to come. Over 800 participants, 75 volunteers, and 90 presenters were involved at the Social Enterprise Conference this year which was the largest and most comprehensive SE Conference ever held at HBS; the club also organized more than ten Social Enterprise Mixer opportunities.
In addition, both Tracy and Misha were very active contributors to the Leadership and Values Initiative.
While outlining the work that Tracy and Misha put in to make this a stellar year for the SE club, Steve made a particular mention of their style of leadership – working to complement each other, being strategic in focusing the club’s efforts on conference and speaking events, being great listeners and empowering others in the club to make decisions and take responsibility.
John Nix (OF): HBS Ambassador Extraordinaire
In their nomination, Michele Biamonte, Assistant Director at the MBA Admissions office and other members of the MBA Admissions Team mentioned the significant impact John has made on the rest of the Ambassador team while serving as an MBA admissions Ambassador. John was responsible for delivering daily information sessions to prospective applicants and recent admits and took the initiative to serve as the information session Schedule Coordinator for his classmates this year.
Taking on the role of the Coordinator was a big job – and through John’s leadership there were zero “no shows” this year. He was very effective at mobilizing other people and getting them excited about the job at hand.
A great representative of the school, John’s love for HBS was evident when he shared his HBS experience with those in the audience.
In addition, there were multiple occasions when coverage was needed for other admissions events (e.g., lunch programs). John was always willing to lend to hand and selflessly gave his time. On a number of occasions when the Admissions Office was in a bind, John quickly stepped up to help out.
Finally, he also played playing a key leadership role on the team which planned and executed the recently concluded Admitted Student Weekends. He provided direction and creative ideas regarding how to make the event most effective and built up a great camaraderie among the team members.
Jordan Burton (OJ) : Community Builder
Jordan was nominated by Mitch Weiss (OF) for his contributions to the HBS community including the expansion of Shad Workout Space and the identification and rectification of the Spam Filter. In his nomination, Mitch pointed out how Jordan had worked with administrators, staff and other students to improve facilities (in the case of Shad) or change the implementation of a policy (in the case of the Spam filter).
Jordan’s timely and tireless efforts led to tangible improvements for the HBS community. These accomplishments are a tribute to Jordan’s keen eye for what matters and his ability to team with administrators, staff and students alike. He displayed a unique intuition for dealing with many constituencies, never sought credit for himself and was always focused on improvement in the quality of life for the community. The award recognizes Jordan’s special ability to create positive change in his environment.
Mitch Weiss (OF): Role Model for Selfless Leadership
Mitch was nominated by Sid Yog (OE) for his extensive contribution to the HBS community spanning the realms of academics, volunteer events and student government at HBS and Harvard University. The nomination made specific note of the manner in which Mitch delivered these contributions – selflessly, quietly, efficiently and effectively.
He served as an outstanding Senator for two years and helped come up with innovative solutions to solve student issues in productive ways. He volunteered to take responsibility for the annual SA poll, for monitoring Senator initiatives, and for building bridges with the rest of the University at the Graduate Council. Mitch was also always vocal about what he thought to be just and right, even if the view was controversial. Qualities of a true leader.
Mitch also organized the first ever Shoeshine volunteer event during RC hell week. The charity event was a big success and showed Mitch’s innovativeness in marrying worthy causes with great ideas.
Finally, Mitch voluntarily took on the responsibility of acting as a coach for the entire RC class for Fin 1. He wrote and taught an exceptionally lucid finance case to refresh basics for RCs both in 2002 (for his own class) and in 2003 (when he was an EC). Hundreds of students benefited from the session…which true to HBS pedagogy (and a la Mitch) was conducted strictly via the case method (rather than a lecture which may have been easier for Mitch but not as great a learning experience for the students).
All in all, the recipients of this year’s SA/MBA awards exhibited leadership, innovation and a concern for the community – qualities which will help them impact the world beyond HBS once they graduate.