There’s something truly special about autumn at Harvard Business School: the electricity in the incoming class, the warm familiarity in section reunions, a campus community overflowing with energy and optimism. For the returning editors and staff writers at The Harbus, just over eight months from graduation, it’s a time of both excitement and undeniable nostalgia.
To the Class of 2020, congratulations and welcome. You bring a wealth of knowledge and a rich array of perspectives from nearly 300 undergraduate schools and 70 countries around the world. As you bond with your section, weather your first cold calls, and step into leadership roles on and off campus, you will find limitless opportunities to both learn and teach, to find inspiration as well as inspire others.
At The Harbus, we believe the dialogue that HBS fosters, the pedagogy that it employs, and your role and responsibility in this community are more relevant than ever. We see firsthand the degree of polarization in public discourse today, where entrenched ideology can too often drown out rational discussion and blind conformity can impede progress.
The HBS experience is most powerful when it shows us how thoughtful people see the same facts and reach opposing views, when we allow deeply held beliefs to be molded by scrutiny and debate. Listen to your peers, be forgiving, and keep an open mind—the greatest growth, for you and your classmates alike, can come from the gumption to share an unpopular opinion or the courage change your mind.
At the same time, the value of your time here is what you make of it. HBS offers a seemingly interminable list of activities, speakers, conferences, and events, yet far too few hours in the day to experience them all. Remember why you’re here, set your own priorities, and focus your attention and energy on where you are rather than what you might be missing.
In his welcoming remarks to the Class of 2020, Dean Nitin Nohria urged students to “get ready. Prepare yourself. The world desperately needs your leadership.” We couldn’t agree more. The knowledge you gain and the bonds you form today are the foundation for the progress you will drive tomorrow. We are thrilled to have you here, and we can’t wait to be a part of your journey.