J-Term: Decisions, Decisions…

Are you confused about the difference between an IXP, a GIX, a Trek and a Student-Led Trip? Do you have a major case of FOMO when it comes to your J-Term options? We’re here to help you make the most of your month off. In this article, we’ve briefly outlined your different J-Term options and asked a few ECs about their J-Term experiences last year. In addition, we will be working with student clubs in the coming month in an effort to compile information about all trips offered on the SA website. So take a look and happy planning!

Option 1: IXP

What is it?
The Immersion Experience Program (IXP) offers off-campus (both domestic and international), faculty-led (e.g. China IXP and Rwanda IXP) and student-led (e.g. NOLA IXP and Haiti IXP) programs that focus on experiential learning.

The deadline for the lottery was October 4th. However, select IXPs can still accommodate a limited number of students. If interested, fill out the “interest poll” by Tuesday, October 12th (available on myHBS).
Since the official IXP deadline has passed, let’s go over the many other options available.

Option 2: GIX

What is it?
The Global Impact Experience (GIX) offers short-term international consulting opportunities with development -focused organizations in emerging economies. Students selected to participate in GIX will begin working with their project team and sponsor organization to scope project deliverables and begin research during the fall semester.

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Project details are still being finalized, check the GIX page of the IXP website for more details. All projects will be set by October 20, with applications available on October 22 and due by October 28th. For more information, please contact student leaders Hafeez Giwa and Matthew Tolliver.

Student Profile- Hania Dawood replica breitling Aeromarine
Tell us about the GIX you participated in.
I went on the Uganda GIX.ÿ We spent three weeks over J-term break in Washington DC and Uganda, consulting for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Uganda (USAID). Our project was to come up with a framework to identify intersections between private sector interests and development objectives, and to recommend partner opportunities for USAID with companies in the private sector.ÿ

Not all was work of course.ÿ Apart from our sightseeing adventure in Kampala, part of the team was able to visit the Murchison National Park, marvel at giraffes, baboons, antelopes and hippos, and dance along in a village dance performance.

The GIX was a truly inspiring experience that left us with fond memories of Uganda and much optimism about its untapped potential.

Option 3:
Intensive Seminar

What is it?
An opportunity to focus on a topic that inspires you with an amazing HBS professor in a smaller classroom setting. This year, Professor Michael Porter will be teaching Value-Based Health Care Delivery. This week-long seminar includes various case discussions, Q&A with case protagonists and lectures on the topic of the seminar.

The round 2 application deadline is October 16th at 5pm. More information is available on the J-Term website.

Student Profile – Kimberly Barr
What trip/trek/seminar did you go on?
I did Michael Porter’s Value-based Health Care Delivery Seminar.

What types of activities did the j-term activity include?
The entire seminar was case-based, so we read 2 cases per day, discussed each for about an hour and a half, and then did about an hour of Q&A with each protagonist.ÿ There was also about an hour of lecture each day from either Professor Porter or Professor Elizabeth Teisberg from Darden, who co-authored the book Redefining Healthcare with him.

Did you find the seminar valuable and would you do it again?
The seminar was incredibly valuable and I’d absolutely do it again.ÿ Throughout the U.S. health care reform saga, we got so gummed up on debating insurance model minutiae that we neglected the biggest opportunity for improving the system — delivery reform.ÿ Naysayers claim you can’t simultaneously lower costs and improve quality and outcomes in healthcare, but the innovative health care delivery organizations we profiled in the seminar prove that’s a fallacy.

Option 4:
Career Trek

What is it?
A career-focused trip organized by HBS students with the primary goal of helping students in their job search process. At least half of each business day is dedicated to something career-related. Activities might include company visits, informational sessions, or networking events.

These trips are planned by student clubs. Historically details have been made available mid to late October. Information will be posted on the SA website as it becomes available.

Student Profile- Yohanes Frezgi
How did you hear about this Trek and why did you decide to go?
I heard about WesTrek through the TechMedia club. Most of the people who attend WesTrek have an interested in technology as a career path.

What types of activities did this J-Term activity include?
WesTrek was 3 days and included mostly planned company visits.ÿ We also had dinners with prominent alumni.

What was the most valuable aspect of this Trek for you?
For me, WesTrek was my first opportunity to meet with many of the employers I wanted to work for during the summer. I organized the company presentation for Zynga and was able to meet with many of the key decision makers before they stepped foot on campus. When they did start recruiting, I was one of the first people to interview and receive an offer.

Option 5:
Student-Led Trip

What is it?
A student organized trip that exposes students to different cultural experiences or regions of the world. One component of these cultural Trips might be to expose students to businesses in the region, but the focus of the Trips is not on career search.

Again, these Trips are organized by student clubs (e.g. Outdoors Club) and will be advertised by clubs and on the SA website as planning is finalized.

Student Profile- Justine Lelchuk
What trip/trek/seminar did you go on?
Outdoors Club Kilimanjaro “Trip”

How long was it?
3 weeks

What types of activities did your trip include?
About 20 HBS students and partners toured the Ngressi Village in Arusha, Tanzania, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and went on Safari in Arusha National Park, the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater

Option 5: Other

Make your own adventure! Go to Ireland with 12 of your new best friends, start a business or take on a short internship. J-Term is what you make of it.

Student Profile- Kyle Detwiler
What did you do over J-term?
I worked for Space-X, an aerospace venture founded by Elon Musk (founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors).

How did you find the opportunity?
I started speaking with the VP of Business Development when writing my undergraduate senior thesis back in 2005 at Princeton.ÿ After continuing to speak occasionally during my past 4 years of employ in investment banking and private equity, I offered to join Space-X in January for free given my interest in the industry.

What did you do?
While much of the work remains confidential, I helped in a finance and operational capacity.ÿ In addition to refining their own internal systems for cost budgeting and analysis, I advised on various methods of financing for the growth of the business.

October 12, 2010
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