Category Archives: 2nd Year

On The Career Hunt

whiteNickI think I arrived at Harvard Business School imagining I was an “unconventional” applicant, the “unicorn” of sorts.  This misperception is soon remedied as soon as you meet your fellow students here—I think we’re all pretty unconventional in our own ways and especially in our career pursuits.

I started my pre-professional career mostly in the creative arts.  I started professionally acting at age 9 and quickly retired at age 15 when high school took priority.  My brief professional acting career was always a joy. I truly enjoyed that creative outlet and professional experience (even at that age it was always important to show up on-time and be “insurable” and less how amazing a performer you were).  At some point I figured out I loved the producing aspect more.  I liked managing a production—from the team-building to marketing to facilitating the day-of show.  This came to a forefront in college when I chaired the joint faculty-student theater production board, selecting the shows, casting, marketing, and strategizing the overall organizational creative vision.  In parallel to theater, I also started the process of writing and executive producing a pilot TV show I crowd-sourced funded and completed in 2013 called “Spicy Wit” (

During my summers I never lived at home in Boston.  I bounced around the world, interning at a television show, several cable properties, a record label, and, oddly enough, a large international insurance company.  I was expecting my career to end somewhere in the creative arts, maybe theater, maybe cable, maybe the movies?  It was a true shock when the opportunity to do strategic consulting fell in my lap.  I loved my three years working in D.C. where I learned more about myself, my work and leadership style, than ever before.  In all honesty, at some point, maybe spurred by my webseries, the itch returned.  I knew I loved media and I had experienced this new egalitarian system where we could all be content creators and reach an audience (if the content was good).  I began to see myself in digital content and I knew I could have a hand in making something resonant and impactful.  The logical next step was to come to business school where I could quickly make the career shift (back?) to where I believe I belong.

All in all, that brought me to my summer job search about a year ago.  Pursuing something in the media/entertainment space is definitely a different route than some of my classmates but far from a lonely one.  We have a robust and collaborative Entertainment and Media Club (EMC) here on campus, led by some amazingly inspired classmates who lead us on treks across the country and world, organize a stellar and attention-grabbing conference each year (which I worked on in 2015 with a keynote from Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner), and draw influential and forward-thinking speakers.  The club is an amazing resource as well as CPD where I have a career coach I call on frequently.

The job search complexity in the entertainment/media space has always been clearly explained by my more experienced classmates.  We seem to recruit a bit later and interesting job opportunities appear in the spring more frequently than the fall.  I look forward to using this spring to find a great role in the entertainment media space where I can have a hand in both the creative as well as the managerial.

– Nick White, MBA 2015


Crossing the Atlantic

Coming to Harvard Business School was a forcing function to re-think my career path. One thing was for sure, I was committed to not return to consulting post-HBS. Therefore, it was a surprise to my friends, and most of all me, when I decided to join McKinsey’s London office this fall.

Somewhat ironically, my decision to go back into consulting resulted from the incredible experiences I had at a tech startup this past summer in Zambia. Those three months in Africa gave me the opportunity to fulfill my goals of working in a tech and e-commerce startup, getting hands-on operational experience, and navigating in an international market. Zambia also exposed me to the role of a general manager, with touch points that spanned marketing, sales, business development, HR, IT, and other more nebulous functions. While I enjoyed every aspect of my time in Zambia, the answer to “What do I want to be when I grow up” was still evading me because “everything” didn’t seem like a realistic conclusion. That’s where McKinsey’s generalist model and its breadth across industries/functions came in.

Though I have been fortunate that my personal travels have taken me to various parts of the world, my professional focus had primarily been in the US. Thus, prior to coming to HBS I knew I wanted to work somewhere abroad. That was where London came in – a crossroad city connecting dozens upon dozens of markets across Europe and Africa.  What is life if not for exploring?

So, I came to HBS as a consultant and leave as a consultant. However, it’s not the beginning or the end that’s important. The path that lies in between has changed who I am on both a personal and professional level. My classmates, professors, and friends have driven me to question myself and my goals. They’ve spun me around in circles and have left me dizzy and dazzled. Though that sounds like a pretty bad carnival ride, it’s certainly better than blindly following the herd.

That’s it for the next couple years. What comes next I don’t know. Whatever the journey, I’ll be ready with open arms (pun unavoidable and italicized for those unfamiliar with 1980s music).

– Minh Chau, MBA 2015

An update from the Hospitality Club

Our office had the chance to sit down with the HBS student Hospitality Club COO, Keaw Poopichapong. Here’s what she had to say:

As a club officer for The Hospitality and Travel Club, what are you most excited for?

  • We are really excited about the variety of events that our HTC team is planning, both on the career and fun sides. For example, we just had an exclusive dinner at the Chef’s table at Menton which was praised as one of Boston’s best restaurants. The Marriott team visited campus to give an HTC-exclusive industry education presentation. The best part was that they gave our members a surprise gift – Marriott Gold Membership status! We are also pleased with the increased collaboration with other clubs at HBS, such as the Real Estate Club who we are working with on the Dubai Trek and the Annual Conference.

What are the top buzz words among your members this year?

  • Treks! We might have up to 4 treks this year, doubled from previously just 2. There was a lot of excitement around the inaugural Dubai trek this coming January that we are co-hosting with three other clubs. This is a great addition to our usual Las Vegas Trek and New York Trek. We are also in the planning phase for the Italy Trek during spring break. Let’s see how it goes.

Describe one of your greatest events last year?

  • The New York Trek was our favorite event last year. The lineup was amazing. Our Keynote Speaker was Amar Lalvani (HBS 2001), Managing Partner of Standard Hotels, former Global Head of Luxury & Lifestyle Development for Hilton and former Head of Global Development for W Hotels. The celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud made a special appearance during our lunch and restaurant tour at Bar Boulud. We also had a coffee chat with the NYC Dining Room Collaborative (executives from some of NYC’s most notable restaurants such as Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Jean-Georges, Daniel, Del Posto etc.). We did hotel tours at three of NYC’s top properties – W Downtown, the Standard High Line and Dream Downtown. We also met with the Tao Group’s Director of Nightlife and Director of F&B, did some wine tasting with a wine expert and also visited two start-ups in the travel and food industries. It was such an eventful day and we hope to make the trek event better this year.

What events are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

  • Our 5th Hospitality & Travel Conference this Spring is going to be bigger than ever. We are partnering with the Real Estate Club and will have joint panels of great industry leaders. It will be on March 29th, 2015 and we are already starting to work on it.

Keaw Poopichapong, Chief Operating Officer, Hospitality & Travel Club (HTC)



Finance Conference Recap

On October 25th, 2014, the Finance Conference took place at Harvard Business School, with the theme of Finance in the New Era of Growth. This was the first year of a joint-hosting for the event between the Harvard Business School Finance Club and the Harvard Kennedy School Finance and Macro PIC. Over 400 attendees registered for the event, which featured three keynote speakers and six panels through the course of the day.

The opening speaker was Mr. Doug Braunstein, current Vice Chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase. With experience in investment   FC- First Speaker  banking spanning back to 1986, Doug spoke on the inevitable cycles of the industry as well as his optimism in the ability of financial institutions to adapt to the deluge of regulatory changes seen since the financial crisis.

His discussion was followed by a selection of pFC- Women Panelanels, which included M&A, Structure of the Financial Industry, Women in Finance, and Capital Markets, each of which probed deeply into the subtopics covered.

Following lunch, Steven J. Goulart, CIO of MetLife, was able to speak about the investment philosophy at MetLife and on his views of the investment world following the crisis. This was followed by the panels Industry Regulation, Impact Investing, and Careers in Finance. Attendees also had the opportunity to engage in coffee chats with recruiting representatives from select firms.

The day ended withFC- evercore the closing speaker, Roger Altman, Founder and Executive Chairman at Evercore. Roger spoke on the broader economic risks he sees today as well as on his outlook for the future, which was a fitting close to the day’s discussions.

Janet Jin, HBS Finance Club Co-President


Don’t leave this out of your job posting…

Creating a compelling job posting can be tricky.  Within a short amount of space you have to strike a balance between being informative and engaging. With first-year job postings going live on 10/10, it feels like the perfect time to share a few questions to keep in mind as you add your summer internship job postings:

  • What makes your organization unique? In addition to your organization’s industry and mission, the company description section is a great opportunity to highlight what distinguishes your company from others in your sector.  Is there a quirky aspect of your company culture you want candidates to know about?  Use this space as an opportunity to share what truly makes your company one of a kind.
  • What is expected of an intern? Students often report that they did not apply for positions because the job descriptions were vague.  Use the job description as a place to convey not only the day-to-day tasks but also final project deliverables, internship structure, and any distinct opportunities (i.e. working with CEO or other senior leaders, collaborating with other interns).
  • Could this position lead to a full-time opportunity? If there is opportunity beyond the internship, let students know. This is a great way to identify candidates that are really interested in pursuing a career at your organization.
  • Is this role open to international students? Yes! All international students are eligible for U.S. work authorization after the first year of the MBA program and none require visa sponsorship.  Work authorization is issued by Harvard so hiring international students requires no more paperwork than when you hire U.S. workers. With more than 30% of the HBS student population from international locations, do not forget to select “All May Apply” under Work Authorization.
  • Who is your ideal candidate? Use the qualifications section to clearly state who your ideal candidate might be.  If you have specific requirements, let candidates know.  If your qualifications are more open, let candidates know that as well. Many of our students are interested in transitioning to a new industry or function, so consider the value that someone with a unique and diverse background might bring to your organization.

Get the Scoop on Date Release at HBS

Interested in recruiting HBS students next year but not sure where to start? Or have you recruited at HBS before but just need a little refresher? Here is what you need to know as you start planning for on-campus recruiting in 2014-2015.

What is “Date Release”? The new recruiting season for the next academic year is kicked off with Date Release, when our office informs recruiting partners of the available recruiting dates for interviews and recruiting events. This year, Date Release occurred on Wednesday, April 23rd.

How can I learn more about the recruiting events at HBS? Visit our website for details on the many ways to connect with current students. We have a variety of options throughout the year, including interviews in Boston and San Francisco, company presentations, and small group meetings between your company representatives and students. You can also view these event opportunities on our Recruiting Calendar.

When can I start making requests? You can start making requests for specific dates in Career Hub (our online recruiting platform) now.

Why so early? Doesn’t recruiting start next fall? Yes, recruiting does not officially start until September 8th for second-year students and October 27th for first-year students, but given busy travel schedules in the fall, many companies like to make their plans early.

How does the process work? Companies participating in Date Release will have until Friday, May 9th at 12 PM ET to submit their top date preferences and then date assignments are made by lottery. We will then send email confirmations by May 29th.

Still have questions? If you any questions feel free to reach out to your industry recruiting coordinator to discuss which events and interview dates might be a good fit for your recruiting strategy.

Not ready to recruit now? If you need more time, keep in mind this is just the start of event planning for 2014-2015; we will continue taking date requests throughout the year.

If you are ready to get started? Create an account in Career Hub and input your date requests.