Scratching the surface

JanetIt’s amazing to think that already a month has passed since the school year started. Things have finally reached a solid level of familiarity, even as other things (notably internship recruiting) are only now warming up.

Prior to HBS, I worked in management consulting and then operations management. Coming here has felt like such a sudden but incredible change – I’ve gone from managing a small team of five to being surrounded by hundreds of young, diverse, and extremely driven people. I didn’t think it would be possible to get acquainted so quickly with others, but already I’m feeling a solid camaraderie forming between the 90+ individuals in my section, not to mention the many other small groups from clubs to discussions. The beauty of being in this environment is that everyone’s on the same page – we’re all here for a change of some sort, and we’re all ready to meet and connect with as many people as these two years will allow.

Meeting others is by far what I was most looking forward to. Before this, I worked primarily in insulated, small-team environments where opportunities to branch beyond your project or group were limited and interactions superficial. I may not know exactly what I want to do yet, but just speaking with others about their own backgrounds has helped to frame things in perspective.

Some of the things I’m most looking forward to include building further on my interests in sustainability and entrepreneurship. On the sustainability front, I’m working with the HBS Student Sustainability Associates program to help cultivate an understanding of the importance of this topic to MBA students. It’s been surprising to learn about the lack of familiarity among the student body even on some core topics such as recycling. But of course, this is what makes my work more exciting and potentially impactful.

In regards to entrepreneurship, I want to use these two years to soak up as much knowledge as possible from experts in the VC / start-up community. It amazes me how many people are interested in starting their own ventures here, and it also pushes me to at least consider doing one of my own. I’ve gone to as many events at the Harvard Innovation Lab as possible, yet I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface on this learning opportunity.

Overall, it’s been an exciting month and I look forward to what the next few weeks will bring.

– Janet Jin, MBA 2015

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