01 Jun 2018
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From Das’s Desk

by Das Narayandas

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As I write this column, preparations are under way for Spring Reunions Weekend, and I am struck by the fact that there is perhaps no better example of the School’s commitment to providing “continuous learning and continuous engagement” for alumni than their reunions. This thought was prompted by a question I asked our Alumni Relations team recently: “Why do so many people come back to campus for reunions? Is it the content or the network?”

The promise of continuous learning is for us to provide programs, activities, and resources to serve you throughout the many different phases of your career and life, whenever you need us.

The promise of continuous learning is for us to provide programs, activities, and resources to serve you throughout the many different phases of your career and life, whenever you need us.

 

The answer, of course, is both. It goes without saying that faculty presentations are a major focus of reunions, where attendees have an opportunity to hear from our faculty members on a wide range of current, cutting-edge topics. However, the social component of reunions is equally valuable—the reconnecting with classmates and old friends and forging new relationships, both personal and business, across common interests. It is the power of the HBS community in action for two days, here on campus.

The promise of continuous learning is for us to provide programs, activities, and resources to serve you throughout the many different phases of your career and life, whenever you need us. With that in mind, we are piloting some new programs to make the learning and the connecting that happens at reunions more relevant and lasting.

At the spring reunions, we’re offering Pathbreakers sessions, where associate professors—our next generation of faculty leaders—give presentations on their current, innovative, and groundbreaking research. We have also introduced a Featured Case Discussion, led by an award-winning faculty member, complete with pre-reading, required study groups, and cold calls!

In addition, at both the spring and the fall reunions we have expanded our alumni-to-alumni learning options to include a live-interview session that is recorded for the Skydeck podcast series. In these interviews, an alumnus who is exploring interesting, new ideas shares his or her experience and perspective with an audience of fellow alumni.

And in August, our second Global Alumni Leadership Summit will bring Executive Education alumni back to campus for a three-day, deep-dive refresher of their program experiences, including classroom sessions with favorite faculty, living/study groups, and peer networking.

Beyond these reunions, the team in Alumni Relations is working alongside our colleagues in the MBA Program, Executive Education, HBX, the Initiatives, and Harvard Business Publishing to roll out new ways in which you can engage with the School to stay current on the latest business thinking; to learn more from each other; to find mutually beneficial connections with fellow alumni; and to help you grow, prosper, and keep making a difference in the world. Please let us know how best we can serve you.


Das Narayandas is Senior Associate Dean, External Relations and Harvard Business Publishing, and the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration.

(illustration by Scott Chambers)

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