A New Way to Recruit

When I was a student at HBS, I spent a lot of time discussing my career with classmates who were interested in learning about my experiences working in venture capital, or as a summer intern at a start-up.

HBS coffee chats are a great way to understand how to find opportunities in a given field, day-to-day responsibilities in those fields, and how those positions may affect one’s career trajectory. As HBS students, we are all extraordinarily lucky to be part of a talented group of professionals willing to share our experiences and advice with one another.  Unfortunately, most people are not as fortunate. Starved of the peer set we sometimes take for granted, most job candidates are forced to rely on google searches, and questionable third-hand accounts of how to procure and succeed at the jobs that interest them.

I started working on LifeGuides a year ago while still in business school.  We set out to democratize career-related knowledge, so that anyone could understand whether a given career path was right for them, how to successfully pursue that path, and  how those efforts could affect one’s long-term career trajectory.

Nearly a year after starting this journey, LifeGuides now features nearly two thousand pieces of content, most of which comes straight from employees at top companies.  By having such a prominent presence on the site, LifeGuides offers a unique way for businesses to recruit the proactive, well-informed candidates that are already searching for detailed career information through LifeGuides.

Furthermore, LifeGuides allows corporate recruiters to convey their opportunities in far greater depth than is currently available via a careers site or LinkedIn posting.  This is a pitch that has resonated with companies, and we’ve signed on some great corporate partners as we continue to grow.

Were it not for my HBS experience, I would never have founded LifeGuides.  Even as an alumnus, the Harvard community continues to support this audacious goal by providing office space at the Launch Lab.  With an HBS classmate as our head of content and section mates as our initial contributors, the HBS community remains a driving force behind our very encouraging growth.

At LifeGuides, we’re excited to provide a new  opportunity for job seekers to understand various career paths, in addition to offering great companies a new opportunity to communicate with the most thoughtful candidates in the job marketplace.  Check out our guides, mentors and companies.   Or, if you’re interested in using LifeGuides to recruit talent, feel free to send me an email at phil@lifeguides.me.

– Phil Strazzulla, MBA 2014, LifeGuides Founder

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Building a Consumer-Centric Strategy: Highlights from the Marketing & CPG Club’s Conference

On November 16th, 2014, the Marketing & CPG Club hosted the 2014 Marketing Innovation Conference at Harvard Business School. This year’s theme was “Building a Consumer-Centric Strategy” and the conference drew MBA attendees from HBS, MIT, BU, Dartmouth, Tufts, and more.

The day-long conference featured 3 keynotes, 6 panels, a networking lunch and cocktail hour. As thought leaders in marketing, our keynotes delivered powerful presentations about how their company’s execute a consumer-centric strategy:

  • Michael Moynihan of LEGO shared the story of LEGO’s turnaround from near bankruptcy to a thriving company relentlessly focused on their core consumer. His story taught us all of the importance of letting “your fans own your brand.”
  • Mark Addicks of General Mills emphasized the importance of defining markets in human terms and always having a Brand Champion at the center of your brand. He shared many General Mills brand campaigns (e.g., Betty Crocker, Cheerios, and Fiber One) that effectively tailored messaging to their Brand Champion.
  • Kerri Hoyt-Pack of Nike Women’s Training closed the day by reminding us to “listen more” and “be where she is” in order to connect with and innovate for  female athletes around the world.

Students learned how marketers are dealing with shrinking budgets and measuring the ROI of their marketing mix on the panel “A Marketer’s Reality: Building Brands on a Budget” and how to resonate on an emotional level with consumers in “Consumer Engagement: How to Create the Most Meaningful Connection”.

All throughout the day, attendees posted their takeaways on Twitter using the hashtag: #MCPG14. Overall, it was an exciting day to connect with other interested members of the marketing community and learn how to keep the consumer at the center of any strategy!

For the full agenda and bios on all our conference speakers, check out www.mcpginnovationconference.com.

– Megan Ritter, Marketing & CPG Club Conference VP

Checking out Dublin’s Tech Scene

Career & Professional Development recently spent a week in Dublin at the 4th annual Web Summit.  It was evident from the attendance and energy at the conference that the technology and entrepreneurship scenes are thriving in Dublin.  In addition to the Web Summit, we checked in with the Dublin offices of Dropbox, Google and Twitter.  It was great to meet HBS alumni and recruiters at their place of work and to see that the cultures of these firms are alive and well while incorporating the Dublin vibe.  As for the Web Summit, HBS was represented in a big way with speakers from HBS alumni founded companies Cloudflare, Peek, Zynga, Gilt and others.

We left Dublin feeling super excited about the career possibilities for our students and alumni.  For our recruiting partners in Dublin and Europe beyond or for organizations based in the US with international opportunities, we’d love to hear from you about your hiring needs for the coming year.  With 6% of the Class of 2014 who sought employment accepting jobs in Europe and 17% accepting jobs in technology overall, there’s an ongoing pool of interested talent to meet your hiring needs.

-Cathy Hutchinson, Corporate Relations Director, HBS Career & Professional Development

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)

 

 

Company Information Day Recap

A few weeks ago we successfully kicked off first-year recruiting with Company Information Day (CID).  49 companies representing 22 industries based in Boston, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Sao CIDPaulo, and more filled the HBS campus.  From the presentations to the networking sessions company representatives had the opportunity to connect with over 350 members of the Class of 2016.

If you were unable to attend CID but are still interested in recruiting for summer interns or full-time hires, there are a variety of ways to get involved:

  • Educate students about your company’s culture and opportunities by participating in Company Presentations at HBS.  We already have 89 companies signed up to present in November and December.
  • Participate in an Industry Education Event which is educational in nature and offers companies the opportunity to engage with students on topics of interest outside of recruiting.
  • Connect with students through targeted recruiting events including receptions, coffee chats and dinners.
  • Attend an upcoming student-led club conference to connect with students interested in your organization industry, function or location.

– Kendall Borges, Digital Engagement Manager, HBS Career & Professional Development

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

 

Alumni: Where are they now? Featuring Robert Leke…

RLCurrent Position: Senior Associate, Tana Africa Capital

Current Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Tell us what you’re up to these days. I maintain a position at the same company I joined shortly after my graduation from HBS in 2012. I work at Tana Africa Capital (Tana), an Africa-focused investment firm targeting businesses in the consumer-driven and agriculture-based sectors. My time with Tana has been nothing short of a thrill. I am grateful for the exposure and experiences gained over the past 2+ years, evaluating and executing on investment opportunities in over 10 countries across the continent. Given the lean team structure at Tana, every team member is encouraged to continuously stretch himself/herself into roles of greater responsibility and influence. This has afforded me the opportunity for great learning, as well as great challenges. Traveling in the frontier markets of Africa clearly places one at the forefront of the socio-economic difficulties confronting the region today. However, I continue to be amazed by the profound determination and optimism which I discover in the people I meet: hope for a better Africa has never been stronger. Other than work, I have taken up more reading and enjoy exploring the gradual rebirth of Johannesburg’s once-derelict downtown neighborhoods.

How has having an MBA impacted your career? Obtaining an MBA has impacted my career in more ways than I would have imagined on my graduation day. Experiencing the case method has greatly enhanced my ability to unravel complexity in the midst of a challenging conversation, and contribute in a timely manner with relevant input which moves the conversation forward. Given the broad geographic reach of the HBS alumni network, I can gain from their hospitality – as well as learn from their experiences – in several cities where I travel. Finally, I have had the opportunity to maintain touch with some professors who have served as invaluable advisers during important junctures in my career thus far.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Where will the next chapter take you? I enjoy working with African businesses, providing support wherever necessary, to grow them in a sustainable manner. I do not foresee this interest changing over the next 5 years. I intend to continue growing my career at Tana, learning from its leaders and the increasing responsibilities which they offer to younger members of the team. I hope to one day help in building this investment firm into one which is known for its hands-on management approach, patient capital and deep knowledge in the sectors within which we operate in Africa.

– Robert Leke, MBA 2012