On behalf of all the faculty and staff at Harvard Business School, welcome. It is wonderful to have you here.
I remember my own first weeks at HBS, so let me offer a bit of background and a few words of advice as you think about the year ahead. HBS is a distinctive place – unlike other parts of Harvard University, and unlike other business schools. We bring together students, like you, who seek to make a difference in the world. We hire faculty with a deep interest in and dedication to teaching and the world of business practice. We use the case method, which brings to life real business problems. And we’ve created a classroom that we think is the best possible environment in which to practice building new skills. This is a place that can change your life.
So make the most of this experience. Invest in yourself: spend time on your cases and your classwork, and learn as much as you possibly can. Invest in the people around you, as well: contribute to your learning teams and your sections, and get to know your classmates, your faculty, and the staff here in this community. Use your time wisely. You will have lots of choices about how to spend your days. Focus on developing your skills and gaining new knowledge, and let everything else fill in the rest of your time naturally. Finally, stretch yourself. Don’t cut corners. What you get out of this program is what you put into it (and more), so think about not just who you are, but who you want to be.
I look forward to getting to know you better in the coming months. In the meanwhile, I wish you all the best as you begin your semester.
Jay O. Light