Launching into “career discovery” mode

Phew! What a whirlwind of a month. Classes, extra-curriculars, and (more recently) Career & Professional Development (CPD) events are now in full swing here at HBS and it would be difficult to fit anything more in my calendar at this point! That said, each and every hour I have blocked out has proven to be incredibly valuable, regardless of whether the time was spent listening to a CPD presentation, debating an issue in class, or getting to know section mates. HBS takes a bit of a “get your feet wet first” approach—that is, CPD was barely mentioned during our first few weeks here. Instead, we were encouraged to acclimate first to our courses, and to the social/extra-curricular life here. I think that’s the right approach; once the CPD events did finally begin last week, I felt very much prepared and far more comfortable in other aspects of my life here at HBS.

More than a month since my first blog, I can say I’m actually much further down the “career discovery” road than I thought I’d be. For me, Career Teams and conversations with EC’s have been the most pivotal tools in my search thus far. Career Teams was a really fantastic experience—I happened to have a great EC leader, who was very much engaged in the conversation. Her perspective proved very valuable, though another highlight was the fantastic viewpoints provided by my fellow RC teammates. My fellow RC’s helped me to crystallize my interest in education reform as a career. One stated quite bluntly that, based on the information I’d provided, he felt that I might feel a sense of failure if, in four years’ time, I wasn’t deeply engaged in working to further education-related goals. I realized, in that moment, that his statement was very true—I will feel that way if I’m not pursuing my passion.

After Career Days solidified my desire to pursue a role related to education, I began searching for EC’s who might be able to help. Through a combination of attending panel discussions (and actively seeking out the panelists afterwards), and scouring the HBS Resume Book, I was able to find several EC’s who used their summer internship to do something related to education. And, as I began to make up a list of target programs and firms, I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my discussion group-mates actually worked at one of my top choices! I set up conversations with my group-mate, as well as with the various EC’s. All of these students proved incredibly helpful, and I now feel as though I have some “action items” to complete in the weeks ahead as I pursue this search.

My search is actively evolving each and every day, but having some direction is definitely a nice feeling!

-Ali Huberlie, MBA 2015

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