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Let The Harbus Tell Your Story

In the past year, The Harbus has brought forward the most pressing issues affecting the Harvard Business School community: from the global economic crisis to the U.S. elections and diversity
at HBS.

If there is any issue that will confront Harvard Business School graduates as they re-enter the work force, it is the renewed backlash against MBAs. The mainstream media has targeted business education as a complicit force in the collapse of modern business institutions, from Enron in 2001 to Wall Street in 2008. It was all too easy to question the social relevance of the MBA degree.

In a recent BusinessWeek article, former HBS Professor Mary Gentile writes,

“The current credit-market meltdown and governance misbehavior has, once again, triggered conversations among business educators and the business press asking: “Just what are they teaching in business schools?[…] Even more disconcerting are all those business school graduates who may not have crossed the legal line but have presided over, or at least given silent assent to, a stream of decisions that have led to the current collapsing dominoes in the worldwide financial condition.”

This is not new. The MBA has been at the center of a century-long debate on the role of business in society, the professionalization of management, and what a proper business education should accomplish. However, the frequency and severity of the recent criticism are perhaps unlike anything the business school community has ever seen. As Philip Delves Broughton, author of the “Ahead of the Curve”, asked: Has the MBA now become today’s scarlet letter of shame?

This backlash creates an immense opportunity for Harvard Business School students to demonstrate a heightened sense of responsibility at a time of crisis. The Harbus seeks to play a leading role in that conversation.

We would like you to be part of that effort.

To accomplish this, The Harbus envisions publishing a book that explores the leadership of Harvard Business School students who are making a difference in the world, during a time of crisis.

Authored by current and recent MBAs, the book will contain essays, stories, and reflections on how Harvard MBA students are contributing to leadership – in thought and action – at a time of crisis. Organized along specific themes, each chapter seeks to reveal a facet of the multidimensional thread of the intellectual, social, and career diversity at HBS. The book argues that far from being homogenized in the dogma of shareholder capitalism, HBS students are both empowered and empower others to explore alternative career paths, investigate crucial problems, and fill in leadership vacuums. We want to show that students of business education are not just a part of the world’s problems – they are essential to the solutions.

How can you help? The Harbus is currently building a Publishing Team to make this book a reality.

Specifically, we are looking for:
-Editors who will lead the creative development for specific chapters of the book, identify key stories, and liaise with writers and the publisher, and;
-Lead Writers who will own specific articles and generate other forms of content. We plan to have this team
up and running before we break for the summer.

Why should you be involved? First, all of us are affected by how the world values the MBA degree. Today’s MBA student will inevitably re-enter a business environment that is skeptical, perhaps even downright hostile, to the value they bring in business and society. Second, this is a perfect chance to tell your story to a much wider audience, inspire peers around the world, and help shape the thinking behind the future of business education. Lastly, because of The Harbus’ publishing track record (you probably read “65 Successful HBS Application Essays” before coming here!), it is a great opportunity to gain real-world project management, brand development, and creative skills while at HBS: a big plus for those interested in pursuing a career in media, publishing, marketing, and general management.

Interested? Reach us at general@harbus.org and simply tell us what role you are interested in and why. Also be on the lookout for a poll we will be circulating this week containing additional details!

AUTHOR’S BIOGRAPHY
W. Oliver Segovia is a Board Director at the Harbus News Corporation. Prior to HBS, he worked with P&G in Singapore and was an editor for a student business journal in his home country, the Philippines. He wants you to root for Manny Pacquiao as he demolishes Ricky Hatton on May 2’s big fight.

May 4, 2009
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