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Alumni Dinner Series

John Power (MBA 1974) and Todd Doersch (MBA 1983) hosted second-year MBA students at Remington’s restaurant in Chicago in July.

Through casual, informal dinners hosted by alumni in their homes or at local restaurants around the world, MBA students working in the region during the summer between their first and second years have the opportunity to meet with alumni, forging connections around their shared HBS experience.

“We’ve hosted students twice, and it was so rewarding to get to talk with them and get acquainted. We learned so much about what’s current in consumer and tech, and enjoyed hearing about their experiences prior to HBS and their summer jobs.”

Patty McKenna (MBA 1988)

“It was such a great opportunity to get to know an alum, step into their world for a night, and learn from someone who used to be in our shoes.”

Melissa Zoerb (MBA 2019)

Building Alumni-Student Relationships (data since 2012)

Women’s Leadership Accelerators

HBS alumnae at the Boston Women’s Leadership Accelerator in 2016.

Building on the tremendous engagement and excitement associated with the School’s W50 celebration in 2013—recognizing 50 years of women in the two-year MBA Program— alumnae in Boston organized the Boston Women’s Leadership Accelerator in 2016, aimed at enabling and enhancing HBS alumnae networking and connections. The Boston event was followed by the West Coast Women’s Leadership Accelerator in San Francisco this past March, where some 250 alumnae participated in a daylong program. Topics determined by the alumnae program committee included career pivots, social impact leadership, and how women investors are disrupting venture capital. Alumnae in the New York City area are currently making plans to convene the next Women’s Leadership Accelerator in the spring of 2019.

“It’s invaluable to have HBS support for alumnae-led events in the region. I look forward to continuing to create opportunities to bring our alumnae together to increase engagement and career-focused connectivity.”

Kris Klein (MBA 1987), Co-chair, West Coast Women’s Leadership Accelerator

Alumnae Circles

Alumnae Circles are small groups of 6 to 10 women who meet monthly to learn from, support, and inspire each other, both personally and professionally. One or two Circle members, who receive training, help facilitate the conversation, and participants represent a diverse range of ages, industries, and career stages. Circles are managed by volunteers, and each region has a leadership committee.

“Advice from members of my Circle group has fundamentally helped me become a better person—a better friend, parent, work colleague, boss, wife, sister, and family member. They have impacted all facets of my life.”

Geraldine Alias (MBA 2007)

The Boardroom

The Boardroom is the capstone experience for the first year of the MBA Program that provides alumni an opportunity to directly participate in the HBS curriculum. As members of a mock board of directors, alumni volunteers work with small teams of students who act as case protagonists and propose solutions to issues facing their company.

MBA students and alumni interacted during The Boardroom in April.

“This experience has helped me realize that my network goes beyond just my class.”

Michael Dimitrief (MBA 2018)

“Having participated in The Boardroom for the last two years, the experience just keeps getting better. The students are so appreciative of our knowledge and time. It’s truly a remarkable day!”

Paula Smith Dermody (OPM 42, 2012)

The Reflective Leader

The School recently launched a pilot Executive Education program, The Reflective Leader, geared toward MBA alumni who graduated between 1995 and 2005. The three-day residential program was designed by HBS faculty members with significant input from a committee of 20 alumni volunteers; it addresses the challenges and personal goals of senior executives through a series of immersive and introspective learning experiences. The Reflective Leader program will be offered again in June 2019.

“I found the program deeply profound. It has the potential to be a critical step in what promises to be a transformational journey for the participants.”

Mark Verdi (MBA 1996), Program Participant and Chair, The Reflective Leader Alumni Program Committee

“The program was, from my perspective, outstanding. Wow on virtually all dimensions. I believe it will have transformed the life trajectories of virtually everyone in that room. It was so special to be back in a classroom with other alums. It was like an instantaneous transport back in time to some of the best years of our lives (for many).”

Anissa Kalinowski (MBA 2004), Program Participant

A living group cohort in The Reflective Leader program included Mark Verdi (MBA 1996), second from right, chair of the program’s alumni committee.

MBA Class Advancement and Engagement Committee

The Class Advancement and Engagement Committee (CAEC)—with representatives from each MBA section—was created to ignite graduating students’ excitement about the HBS alumni experience. CAEC also helps shape and communicate opportunities related to alumni engagement, volunteerism, and philanthropy.

“CAEC opened my eyes to how HBS begins to nurture an ongoing relationship with alumni— to stay connected to the School well beyond the 20-something months we spend on campus. I am very interested in the CAEC mission to support applicants, new admits, and recent graduates in the years to come, and to ensure that we support each other’s high standards of behavior, community involvement, and professional pursuits.”

Luke Hodges (MBA 2018)

Short Intensive Programs

Ramana Nanda, Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration, taught the HBS Startup Bootcamp SIP in January.

Building on the success of an experimental bootcamp for student entrepreneurs, HBS developed a suite of Short Intensive Programs (SIPs) to give first and second-year MBA students greater insight into career and industry choices, to provide practical skills, and to enable them to explore topics they might otherwise not get to study during their time at HBS. SIPs are developed by the faculty and delivered with help from HBS alumni. The four-day programs are offered in January and topics in 2018 included digital marketing, value-based health care, and personal financial planning.


“My course was on exploring the phenomenon of hedge fund activism. The deepest part of the learning came when the students dug into the phenomenon with alumni who had a range of perspectives.”

Suraj Srinivasan, Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Business Administration

“The SIP provided a compelling opportunity to engage with students and hear their views on activist investing.”

Brad Singer (MBA 1997)

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1974, Section D
Class of MBA 1983, Section G
follow @tdoersch
Class of MBA 1988, Section C
Class of MBA 1987, Section B
Class of MBA 2007, Section B
follow @frenchie_vc
Class of MBA 2018, Section J
Class of OPM 42
Class of MBA 1996, Section D
Class of MBA 2004, Section G
Class of MBA 2018, Section D
Class of MBA 1997, Section D

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