To the applicants admitted to the Class of 2012 (and your partners with you here this weekend), we want to wish you a warm welcome to Harvard Business School! Congratulations on the achievement, and we hope you’re excited about being here and getting to know HBS this weekend.
As current students actively engaged in the HBS experience, we believe that this is a special place, and we hope over the next few days you will get a chance to explore what we love about the school. We believe our learning model, with its combination of case method, Required and Elective Curricula, and independent study opportunities, is an effective leadership pedagogy, truly best practice in preparing us for real-world leadership. We believe our faculty members not only represent the world’s leading business researchers, but are among the most passionate, dedicated teachers you will find at any academic institution. Lastly, we interact daily with fellow students who are well-rounded, ambitious, yet grounded colleagues, many of whom will be leading the business world in the near future, but perhaps more importantly, with whom we will form life-long personal and professional bonds.
But don’t take our word for how special HBS is. While you are here, we encourage you to take the time to attend a class, and think critically about the format of the discussion and the preparation of the students. Listen carefully during the various panels, introduce yourself to a faculty member, and ask them probing questions about their involvement on campus. Stop current students in the hallway and quiz them about their views, get a sense of what they do every day, what makes them tick. Get ready to see what HBS has to offer and judge for yourself what kind of school this is.
Rarely does a day go by without some aspect of this place reminding us of how fortunate we are to study here. But we should not forget that along with this privilege comes a great responsibility. When HBS was dedicated in 1927, the chairman of General Electric Owen Young delivered a speech, stating:
“Today we light the fires in the temple which it is the trust of Harvard to maintain and from which may be renewed through generation after generation the high ideals, the sound principles, the glorious traditions, which makes a profession. Today and here business formally assumes the obligations of a profession, which means responsible action as a group, devotion to its own ideals, the creation of its own codes, the capacity for its honors, and the responsibility for its own discipline, the awards of its own service.”
By choosing to come to HBS, you inherit the ideals, principles and traditions of this institution. The school’s reputation, more than a century in the making, will follow us through the course of our lives, and is tied in no small part to the decisions each of us makes and the triumphs each of us achieves as graduates and ambassadors of the school. If, and hopefully when, you decide to join us at HBS, we hope you assume this obligation not only with understanding but with willing enthusiasm.
We wish you well during your visit and continued success in the years to come. Have a great weekend!