19 Feb 2014

Winter Update

It's been a while since I last posted a blog. My team reminded me that I need to be more consistent in posting, so I'm going to try. This post will, hopefully, be the first of six in 2014.

One of the reasons I haven't posted in a while is that we're very busy in the Doctoral Programs Office - in the past two months we've hosted the second iteration of the BEST course offerings, processed close to 800 admissions applications, started the Spring term, and began our financial planning for the coming academic year. This is probably the busiest part of our annual cycle and I think I speak for everyone in the office that Spring can't come too soon!

In Dean Nitin Nohria's annual update on HBS, he highlighted some of the innovations taking place in the HBS Doctoral Programs:

"In the Doctoral Programs, building on the findings of an intensive self-study in 2011-12, we have instituted a handful of new requirements. To build a stronger sense of community and cohort, we now have a single start date in the summer and a shared orientation experience....In January 2013, we launched Business Education for Scholars and Teachers (BEST)...a fully integrated course for our PhD and DBA students that helps them understand the language of business and provides them a general management perspective."

As I mentioned, we followed the successful launch of BEST in 2013 with the second course in the three-course BEST series last month. 52 first- and second-year students attended the BEST Markets course, covering Strategy, Capital Markets, and Business, Government and International Economies. The BEST course series has been very successful in exposing our students to the language and functions of business while providing them with a unique perspective to conduct research with impact on practice.

On the Admissions front, we are within weeks of having a final list of admitted students for all eight of our doctoral programs. The application pool was impressive, as always, and that made the selection process extremely challenging. We ended up interviewing over 70 candidates and they were all impressive in their own right. Stay tuned for more information in future postings.

That's it for now. As I said, I'll have six postings this year. The next one will be out in mid-March.

Best, John

 
31 Oct 2013

Fall in New England

Fall in New England...the weather is great, the leaves are turning every forest into a painting, the Red Sox have won the World Series, and the holidays are right around the corner. I hope everyone is enjoying it as much as I am. With that said, of course, it also means that the last day of fall classes is less than six weeks away.

For those of you applying to one of our programs, the application deadline is only 32 days away. So far, we are seeing a healthy number of applications and we're looking forward to reading them beginning December 2nd. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact us via email. Remember that your Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to tell the admissions board why you want to get a doctoral degree. Tell us what drives you toward a career as a Scholar.

If you live in either the Atlanta, GA or Chicago, IL area, HBS representatives will be traveling to those cities for admissions recruiting. We'll be present at the DocNet event being held at Emory University in Atlanta on November 19th, at another DocNet event at U. of Illinois - Chicago on November 20th, and the Ph.D. Project annual conference being held in Chicago on November 21st.

For a number of our students, it also means that the job market is heating up. Of the 40 or so students in their fifth year or beyond, roughly 65% have indicated that they will be graduating in the current academic year. That is really great and all of those students are commended for reaching this major milestone in their academic career. For the latest list of HBS doctoral students on the job market, please click here.

As we look to the remainder of the year, we continue to roll out changes to our doctoral programs. This January, for example, we will be holding our second course in the Business Education for Scholars and Teachers (BEST) series. BEST Markets will focus on how organizations operate in the marketplace through effective strategy development, the capital markets, and in international settings. This course will be taught by an outstanding teaching group consisting of several HBS faculty.

That's it for now; check in around early December for my next update.

All the best, JFK

 
15 Aug 2013

A New Academic Year

As I mentioned in my last posting, we're happy to welcome 27 new doctoral students to HBS this week. Beginning with a Red Sox game tonight, the new students will experience a number of traditional orientation sessions, research activities, social events, and academic training throughout August. This month-long orientation format provides the new students with the opportunity to get settled in the Boston area while being exposed to the HBS community over an extended period of time prior to term start.

With the 27 entering students, the total doctoral student enrollment at HBS is now 143 which is the largest enrollment in the School's history. Of those 143, close to 30 of our students have indicated that they will be on the job market this academic year. To see a listing of those students, please check out our web site here.

For those of you looking to apply to one of our programs, our application will be available in early September. Our tentative application deadline will be December 2, 2013. Since this is our only application period, please to be sure to take a look at the admissions web page for information about the admissions process.

 
20 May 2013

Commencement Time

In ten days, the class of 2013 will participate in Commencement. On May 30th, 15 of our doctoral students will graduate and begin their professional careers as faculty members, scholars, and researchers. Of the 15 graduates, 12 have accepted an academic position and 3 are going on to industry jobs. The academic placements continue to be strong with placements at Stanford, Wharton, Michigan, Cornell, MIT Sloan, and HBS amongst other great schools. I look forward to watching all of our graduates grow professionally and make their mark in the world.

Congratulations to all our graduates:

Abigail Allen (DBA A&M), Ethan Bernstein (DBA MGT), Sen Chai (DBA TOM), Stephanie Hurder (PhD BE), Ben Iverson (PhD BE), Fern Jira (DBA TOM), Hoan Lee (PhD BE), Jeffrey Lee (DBA MKT), Mary Carol Mazza (PhD OB), Anoop Menon (DBA STR), Anna Milanez (PhD BE), William Schmidt (DBA TOM), Vaughn Tan (PhD OB), Robert Turley (PhD BE), and Melissa Valentine (PhD HPM).

And, while we will be sad to see those 15 students leave HBS, we are excited to be working on welcoming 27 new doctoral students this coming August. Of the 27 incoming students, 55% were born outside of the U.S. and 33% are female. Coming from a variety of academic backgrounds and professional experiences, this class is very diverse and we look forward to having them on campus to begin their development as scholars who will make a difference in the world.

On May 2nd we held our annual End of Year party on the Wyss lawn. We hosted about 100 students, faculty, staff, and family members to an afternoon of great food and drink. It was also an opportunity for the doctoral students to announce the recipients of the Faculty Mentoring Awards. Nominated and selected by current doctoral students, two faculty members, one tenured and one junior, are selected each year by a student committee. This year, the students honored Kathleen McGinn as the Senior Faculty member and Anita Tucker as the Junior Faculty member recipients. We thank Kathleen and Anita for the support and guidance they provide to our students.

That's it for now. See you over the summer...Regards, John

 
26 Feb 2013

Mid-winter update

It’s been a while since my last entry. This is probably the busiest time of year for the HBS doctoral office and we've increased the activity level with the introduction of our BEST course.

In January of this year, 54 students participated in the inaugural offering of the Business Education for Scholars and Teachers (BEST) Foundations course. This course, the first in the three course BEST series, is designed to provide doctoral students with an introduction to the language and functions of business while also exposing students to new ways of thinking about their individual research agendas. All in all, BEST Foundations was a great success. We received positive feedback from students and faculty. In particular, students found that learning about the various business functions provided many of them with new ideas about research and the integration of other perspectives into their own research agendas. Additionally, there was a great cohort-building effect that resulted in students from different programs collaborating in new ways. As we delve further into the feedback we received, we will likely find several ways to make improvements to next year's class.

In addition to the launch of the BEST course and completing our annual planning cycle, we are also finishing up with our Admissions decisions and making final notifications to applicants. This year, HBS received 816 doctoral applications for our eight programs. While this number is down slightly from last year, there were three programs which saw increases in the number of applications - Organizational Behavior, Management, and Accounting and Management. As expected, the quality continues to be strong across all of our programs and it was difficult to make the final decisions. We look forward to hearing from the admitted students...preferably with an acceptance of our offer. We'll see them all in March for Admitted Student Day and will do our best to convince them that HBS is the right place for each of them.

In the meantime, we are always happy to share news about our current students. They continue to be busy with research that is catching the attention of the Harvard community and beyond. Recently, Scott Lee (HPM) was profiled in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences alumni magazine Colloquy (see pages 4-5) for his remarkable research on health care workers and health care delivery in Africa. Also, Tiona Zuzul (Strategy) and Vaugh Tan (OB) were featured in the Harvard Gazette for their collaborative work on how people innovate in an unstructured market in India. These are but a couple of examples of the great research being done by our students.

All the best, JFK

 
14 Dec 2012

End of Year Reflection

2012 has been a great year for the HBS Doctoral Programs. Under the leadership of our faculty chair, Kathleen McGinn, the first formal program review in over ten years was completed and approved with a strong endorsement from the HBS faculty. The key innovations that came from the review included the replacement of the longstanding MBA course requirement with the introduction of a three-course series called Business Education for Scholars and Teachers (BEST), the addition of a formal teaching requirement, and the renewed focus on rigorous quantitative methods training for our students. All of these innovations are aligned with the mission of the HBS doctoral programs - to educate scholars who make a difference in the world through rigorous research with relevance to practice.

The first course of the BEST series, BEST Foundations, will be launched in January 2013 with 54 students enrolled. We're excited by the potential of the BEST courses and will be able to expose students to the language and functions of business while simultaneously providing a foundation for research that will influence leaders, organizations, and markets. In subsequent years, we will launch the second and third courses of the BEST series, BEST Integration and BEST Teach, respectively. BEST Integration will provide students with additional exposure to the language and practice of business on a global, integrated scale. BEST Teach will prepare students with the skills to design and develop a course and exposure to best practices in classroom teaching, both case-based teaching and other traditional teaching methods.

In the Spring, we accepted a great incoming class of 25 new students to the doctoral programs. Also in the spring, 23 students graduated, joining the ranks of the HBS alumni. While graduation is a bittersweet moment in many regards, it is always great to see our graduates leave HBS and begin their academic career. Over the summer the 25 new students arrived on campus and have had a great first term.

This Fall, we introduced an expanded Job Market preparation series. Historically, HBS has provided students on the job market with presentation skill training focused on the delivery of an effective job talk. This training has been well-received over the years and this year we introduced two additional modules to the training, one on the effective use of presentation slides and the second on the development of a structured story to convey the key points of the job talk. This expanded series has received excellent feedback from the students who participated and we're looking forward to seeing how successful our students will be on the market.

On December 3rd, we began the evaluation process for selecting the incoming class for the Fall 2013. While very much in the early stages of the process, the quality of the applications is truly impressive and it's exciting to see so many great candidates. Stay tuned for the results.

Finally, the doctoral programs held our annual holiday party yesterday. In addition to sharing the holiday spirit, we also recognized five students for excellence in doctoral student research. The Wyss Award, recognizing HBS Doctoral Students for outstanding research while enrolled in an HBS doctoral program, was awarded to Ethan Bernstein (DBA Management), Anoop Menon (DBA Strategy), and Melissa Valentine (Ph.D. in Health Policy - Management). The Martin Award, recognizing students in the Ph.D. in Business Economics program for outstanding research in their field, was awarded to Dmitry Taubinsky and Bob Turley. Congratulations to each of these students.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to another successful year in 2013.

Best, John

 
01 Oct 2012

 

It's hard to believe that I welcomed my third class of new doctoral students to HBS this year. In my three years as Executive Director, the Programs Office team has accomplished many things that we are all proud of. For me, two of the most visible accomplishments each year are the new entering class and the graduating class. They represent the new and the old, the beginning and the end, or the turning of a page to a new chapter in life. This year, we welcomed 24 new doctoral students to the School. Almost half the entering class (44%) are women, 32% are from outside the U.S., and 1 in 4 are minorities. Each of them have great academic credentials, intellectual curiosity, and personal drive. We're thrilled and proud to have them join our community and we look forward to their future success.

And while we help the new and current students get into the routine of a new academic year, we are also looking to next year's class. As many of you know, the admissions application is now available on line for interested prospective students. The application is found at: http://www.hbs.edu/doctoral/admissions/. The application deadline is Monday, December 3, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Please be aware that we do not accept admissions applications submitted after the deadline.

I hope many of you will have the opportunity to meet representatives of the HBS Doctoral Programs at recruiting events this year. This month, we will be participating in two DocNet events; one in Washington, D.C. and one in Atlanta, GA. In November, we will be attending a DocNet event and a Ph.D. Project event in Chicago, IL. I hope that you will be able to either join us in one of those cities or on-campus for an information session.

As I mentioned, one of the visible accomplishments of each academic year is seeing students graduate and go on to new chapters of their lives. As we do each year, students on the job market are able to take advantage of a training program aimed at preparing them to give their job talks. This year, I am happy to report that we have expanded that program. We have retained the presentation delivery aspect of the workshop and have added two new modules; one focused on the preparation of slides and one centered around the idea of storytelling. This three-part workshop will provide our students with the ability to deliver their job talk papers in a clear and compelling manner with a presentation that is supported by effective slides and a narrative that is concise and yet powerful. We look forward to seeing the results of this investment in the coming year.

I hope all of you are enjoying the autumn weather.

Best wishes, JFK

 
21 Aug 2012

A Fall Update

This is always an exciting time of year...students are beginning to show up for pre-matriculation activities, there is more buzz on campus, and the Doctoral Programs Office is finalizing plans for new student orientation and term start-up. Next week, we will officially welcome 25 new students to the HBS doctoral programs. This year, we welcome 10 new DBA students, 10 Business Economics students, 3 Organizational Behavior students, and 2 Health Policy - Management students. Of the 25, 14 are male, 11 female, and 8 come from outside the United States. Each of these students are impressive in their own right and we look forward to working with them. Orientation will be a combination of presentations and panels, interactive learning, and community building activities. We kick off with a visit to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox on Monday, followed by a full agenda on Tuesday, and program specific meetings on Wednesday morning.

Our current students have also been business over the summer. We have had students in Europe, Asia, Africa, and several spots in the U.S. conducting field research. Additionally, the Academy of Management annual meeting was held in Boston and several students presented their ongoing research. Of special note, Melissa Valentine (PhD in HPM program) was the recipient of the Outstanding Paper with Practical Implications for Management Award for her work, "Team Scaffolds: How Minimal In-Group Structures Support Fast-Paced Teaming."

As the fall term begins, some of our attention will turn to Admissions. For those of you thinking about applying to one of our eight programs, here are a few important dates. First, the admissions application deadline is December 3, 2012 for students starting in the fall of 2013. Second, the admissions application will open around the beginning of December, 2012 so keep an eye on the GSAS and HBS web pages for more information. Third, members of the programs office will be traveling to the DOCNET events in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, GA in October, and to the Ph.D. Project meetings in Chicago.

I hope you had a great summer. I look forward to seeing you on campus.

 
30 May 2012

One year ends, another one begins...

Last Thursday, 22 of our students participated in Harvard University and Harvard Business School commencement ceremonies. It is wonderful to see them decked out in their crimson robes and hoods ready to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Of course, as excited as they are to receive their degrees, I believe most of them also feel a certain anxiousness about leaving the acquired comfort of graduate school to begin their new careers. I know the doctoral administration has mixed emotions on commencement day - we're very proud of the graduating students and yet, we're sad to see them go. Nonetheless, we bid all the members of the Doctoral Class of 2012 a long, prosperous career and great success in life.

In mentioning our graduates starting their new careers, it seems appropriate to point out that of our doctoral graduates this year, 16 accepted faculty positions, four are going on to post-doc positions, and two accepted positions in industry. As in previous years, this class has placed graduates at top-tier schools such as UC-Berkeley, Chicago, HBS, Northwestern, UNC, USC, and Stanford. Even as the market seems to be changing in some academic disciplines, our students continue to perform extremely well in the market by receiving multiple offers and placing into highly sought after positions...As I'm writing this blog, one of our doctoral program alumnae just stopped in while visiting from Wharton and mentioned that it doesn't seem possible that she graduated two years ago; she said it "seems like last week." ERF - Thanks for stopping by!

Now that commencement has passed, our focus in the programs office shifts to the entering class. Representing less than 3% of the application pool, this year's entering class is an impressive group. With 10 DBA students and 15 PhD students arriving over the summer, we're already beginning to plan for their arrival and for the term start in August. These incoming students represent a wide range of experiences and backgrounds and we're confident that they will be very successful in our doctoral programs. This incoming class will also be the first class to go through the programs under a revised set of program requirements as a result of our recent Programs Review project. The program review has resulted in several changes to the structure of the HBS doctoral programs, but the most visible of those changes is the elimination of the MBA course requirement. Instead of having to take up to five MBA courses, doctoral students entering the program this year will have to complete a three course sequence in the January terms of the first three years of study. This series, Business Education for Scholars and Teachers (BEST), will provide doctoral students with a basic understanding of the main functions of business, an opportunity to develop research that will influence practice, and begin to think about developing academic courses that integrate relevant research with management practice. In addition to the introduction of the BEST series, HBS has also introduced a formal teaching requirement to the program of study for all students starting with the incoming class. More information regarding the program review and other changes will available later this summer.

I hope you all have a great summer. If you're looking to apply to one of the HBS doctoral programs in 2012, the admissions application will be open around the beginning of September.

Best, John

 
09 Jan 2012

A Global New Year

Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 is a year full of great adventures and happy moments. As the new year begins here at HBS, the campus is missing the presence of students and participants. In addition to well-deserved time-off over the holidays, our students are engaged in a variety of activities around the world.

On the research front, we have several students in spots around the world conducting field research. For example, Ryann Manning is in Sierra Leone working on a project studying performance issues with healthcare workers in that country. Another example is Hummy Song who is Zambia working on a field experiment with Nava Ashraf on better understanding the determinants of men's preferences for fertility and family planning. And the list goes on and on.

Pat Satterstrom is participating in Michael Porter's seminar on "Value-Based Health Care Delivery," a three-week intensive seminar examining organizations working to implement these delivery principles in practice.

Several students on the job market are in the middle of their search activities. We have around 20 students on the market this year, representing all of eight of our degree programs. Several of those students took advantage of the American Economic Association (AEA) annual conference that took place in Chicago last week to interview collectively with several schools. I know of at least a half-dozen of our students who took part in those interviews and I'm looking forward to hearing about the job market talk invitations that occur as a result.

As a final example of our students taking advantage of the January term, two students are taking part in the School's Immersion Experience Programs (IXP's). Lisa Kwan is currently in China on an IXP entitled "China: Understanding China's Business Environment," and David Yang is participating in an entrepreneurial ventures program in the Silicon Valley. Both of these programs place students (MBA's and doctoral students) in markets around the world and provide them with the opportunity to experience business in a context different from the HBS classroom environment.

All of this is just a glimpse into the ongoing work of our wonderful doctoral students...even though class isn't in session, they are busy working on a variety of endeavors that will add insights into their ongoing research efforts.

All the best, JFK

 
09 Jan 2012

A Global New Year

Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 is a year full of great adventures and happy moments. As the new year begins here at HBS, the campus is missing the presence of students and participants. In addition to well-deserved time-off over the holidays, our students are engaged in a variety of activities around the world.

On the research front, we have several students in spots around the world conducting field research. For example, Ryann Manning is in Sierra Leone working on a project studying performance issues with healthcare workers in that country. Another example is Hummy Song who is Zambia working on a field experiment with Nava Ashraf on better understanding the determinants of men's preferences for fertility and family planning. And the list goes on and on.

Pat Satterstrom is participating in Michael Porter's seminar on "Value-Based Health Care Delivery," a three-week intensive seminar examining organizations working to implement these delivery principles in practice.

Several students on the job market are in the middle of their search activities. We have around 20 students on the market this year, representing all of eight of our degree programs. Several of those students took advantage of the American Economic Association (AEA) annual conference that took place in Chicago last week to interview collectively with several schools. I know of at least a half-dozen of our students who took part in those interviews and I'm looking forward to hearing about the job market talk invitations that occur as a result.

As a final example of our students taking advantage of the January term, two students are taking part in the School's Immersion Experience Programs (IXP's). Lisa Kwan is currently in China on an IXP entitled "China: Understanding China's Business Environment," and David Yang is participating in an entrepreneurial ventures program in the Silicon Valley. Both of these programs place students (MBA's and doctoral students) in markets around the world and provide them with the opportunity to experience business in a context different from the HBS classroom environment.

All of this is just a glimpse into the ongoing work of our wonderful doctoral students...even though class isn't in session, they are busy working on a variety of endeavors that will add insights into their ongoing research efforts.

All the best, JFK

 
07 Nov 2011

An Autumn Update

It has been a busy fall term at HBS. After welcoming our new students at the end of August, we've all been busy with research, courses, and staying engaged as a community of students, faculty, and staff. Early in the term, we welcomed our new faculty chair of the HBS doctoral programs, Kathleen McGinn, the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration. We are thrilled to have Kathleen in this important role and look forward to working with her in leading the doctoral programs. Kathleen took over from Mihir Desai, the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance, who oversaw the HBS doctoral programs for the past three years. Mihir played a key role in providing steady leadership and stability during a period of dramatic change in the doctoral programs; our thanks to Mihir.

Our students continue to overwhelm me with their research ideas and creative intellect. We recently honored five of our students with the Wyss and Martin Awards. The Wyss Award is awarded to those doctoral students who have excelled at academic research while enrolled in the HBS Doctoral Programs. The Martin Award is presented to students in the Ph.D. in Business Economics program who have produced outstanding academic research while in enrolled in their program. This year, the field of submissions was truly extraordinary and, as a result, the selection process was very difficult. In the end, the faculty selected four students for the Wyss Award and one for the Martin Award.

The 2011 Wyss Award recipients:

Ryan Buell (DBA, Technology & Operations Management)

Zoe Chance (DBA,Marketing)

Andras Tilcsik (PhD, Organizational Behavior)

Chia-Jung Tsay (PhD, Organizational Behavior)

The 2011 Martin Award recipient:

Jacob Leshno (PhD, Business Economics)

The Doctoral Programs office staff is in the midst of several recruiting trips in preparation for the December 1, 2011 admissions application deadline. To date, we have visited Princeton U., Stanford U., UC-Berkeley, University of Southern California, Harvard College, and Hampden-Sydney College (where we met with several surround schools). Later this month, we will be in Wisconsin and in Chicago. So far, the interest level is high and the early indicators are this will be another very successful admissions season.

Lastly, I wanted to mention a few of the amazing events we have had this fall, including a doctoral program BBQ, the HBS Alumni Achievement Awards, a performance by Yo Yo Ma and several other great musicians, and the IBM challenge where HBS and MIT students competed against the WATSON computer of Jeopardy fame.

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the beautiful autumn weather. I could go on and on about the HBS doctoral programs, but I'm going to save something for the next time.

 
31 Aug 2011

The Start of a new Academic Year

It's the Wednesday prior to Labor Day and that means the beginning of a new academic year at Harvard. The Doctoral Programs Office is busy this week hosting new student orientation, seeing current students back on campus after a summer of research activities, and getting course enrollments finalized for the Fall term.

Over the past two days, we held new student orientation for our 26 new students. Our focus for those two days is to provide a sense of what it means to be an HBS student/scholar. We provided the students with an overview of their program requirements, a series of panels and presentations about research and the resources of the school, and information about how to be an engaged member of the HBS community. Given that the Boston area was hit by Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday, we were fortunate to be able to hold the orientation sessions without a hitch. This year, we added a new session on communications skills, led by Allison Gilmore from DuMore Improv. It was fun and developmental at the same time. Allison did a superb job of engaging our students and the students had a great time. The initial feedback we have received from those who participated has been very positive.

The new students are a great group. We have 10 DBA students, 6 OB students, 1 HPM student, and 9 BE students starting the program this term. Demographically, there are 14 males and 12 females, 12 students from outside of the U.S., and the average age is about 27 years of age. From an educational background, these students come from large universities and small liberal arts colleges with the common characteristic of being very talented. We're looking forward to seeing the new students develop new skills and creating new knowledge in their chosen fields.

Today is also the first day of classes at Harvard. Along with the new students, many of our current students are beginning another year of coursework and research. Of special note, I want to share that several of our students have been singled out for their work:

  • Erin Reid (OB) has been selected to receive the Emerald Best Student Paper Award, given by the Gender & Diversity in Organizations (GDO) Division at the Academy of Management (2011) for her paper, "Passing as Superman: The Ideal Worker and Men's Professional Identities."
  • Andras Tilcsik (OB) has won the James D. Thompson Award for best graduate student paper from the American Sociological Association's Organizations, Occupations, and Work section.
  • Kristin Wilson (STR) and Stan Veuger have been selected to receive the The Public and Nonprofit (PNP) Division's award for the Best Paper Written by a Doctoral Student.
  • Sameer Srivastava (OB) has been selected to receive the State Farm Companies Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award.
  • Melissa Valentine (HPM) was awarded the 2011 Susan G. Cohen Doctoral Research Award in Organization Design, Effectiveness, and Change.

This is a very exciting time of the year as new opportunities and possibilities start anew. I wish all our students great success and a hearty welcome. See you around campus.

 
14 Jul 2011

Summer time at HBS

It is the middle of summer and it's hot in Boston. As with many parts of the country, we're experiencing hot and muggy weather. Of course, come January we'll be wishing for days like today.

One of the common questions I seem to get at this time of year, usually from students, is "do you get the summer off?" Unfortunately, that's not the case. The Doctoral staff is working all summer closing out the past year and ramping up for the new academic year. We already have 12 of our 26 new students on campus and the remainder will be here next month. So, the summer is a time to take some well-deserved vacation, but there is still much to do. Here are a couple of examples:

In June, the HBS Doctoral team participated in a Doctorate in Business Recruiting Forum held at the Sloan School at MIT. This event was hosted by DOCNET, a consortium of schools with doctoral programs in business, and attended by over 200 guests and 18 schools, included both a faculty and student panel discussion and an informational forum. The panel of MIT/Sloan faculty and students was excellent and the guests who attended were able to about the doctoral education experience first-hand. After the panel, a forum was held for those interested in finding out more about the doctoral programs at the participating schools. From our perspective, the event was very successful. There were 3 or 4 staff members at the HBS table and we talked to easily over 100 perspective applicants, from the local Boston area as well as from locations as far away as Georgia. If you are interested in pursuing a doctorate in business, you should definitely check out the DOCNET website .

Here on campus, we've recently completed two projects that will support our ongoing marketing efforts. We have designed a new marketing brochure that is part of the larger HBS-wide campaign, "The World's Thinking." For the Doctoral programs, this campaign really highlights that HBS is a school where new thinking begins in the form of research and cutting-edge management ideas. It's a great piece and I'm looking forward to showing it to prospective applicants as we begin our recruiting travels. The second piece focuses on the research that our doctoral students are working on or have recently published. It's amazing to see the over 200 different research works that have been produced by our current students.

I hope everyone has a great summer. If you're thinking about applying to one of the eight HBS doctoral programs, our application will be available at the end of August. In the meantime, take a look at our web page to learn about our programs, the School, and the application process.

Best, John

 
26 May 2011

Commencement Day

Commencement Day 2011! We are toasting 9 DBA and 11 PhD graduates today as they join the ranks of HBS Doctoral alumni. I'm reminded each Commencement Day that the cycle of academic programs is very seasonal...we begin at the dawn of Autumn each year and end in the peak of Spring when nature is in full bloom and days are turning warmer. All things are possible. That is certainly true for our graduates; all things are possible as they embark on their professional lives as leaders who will make a difference in the world. Congratulations and best wishes to the doctoral class of 2011.

In addition to congratulating the class of 2011, we are also pleased to announce the 2011 Faculty Mentoring Award recipients. Each year, a committee of doctoral students selects one senior faculty member and one junior faculty member for their exceptional support and mentoring of doctoral students. This year, Al Roth, the George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration, received the senior faculty award, and Dennis Campbell, an Associate Professor and Marvin Bower Fellow, was recognized as the junior faculty recipient.

Class of 2011

Doctor of Business Administration

Lalin Anik, Claudine Madras Gartenberg, Andrew Alleyne Hill, Venkat Kuppuswamy,Christopher C. Liu (November 2010), James Patrick Naughton, Tuan Quang Phan, Markus David Taussig, and Howard H. Yu

Doctor of Philosophy

Julia Rose Adler-Milstein, Juan Almandoz (March 2011), Michael Jonathan Dickstein, Samuel G. Hanson, Judd Kessler, Scott Duke Kominers, Hongyi Li, Amanda Ruth Merryman, Laura Serban (November 2010), Amanda Kay Starc, and Aditya Sunderam

 
02 May 2011

Young Alumni Research Day (YARD)

Last week, the HBS Doctoral Programs hosted seven alumni of the programs for our inaugural "Young Alumni Research Day" (YARD). A combination of research symposia sessions, a moderated panel discussion, and informal discussions at lunch and dinner made the day a great success. Over 150 students and faculty attended the various sessions. Current students found the day to be energizing and, as one student said, "one of the best events I've attended while at HBS." Every one of the returning alumni did an extraordinary job presenting their research and sharing their experiences as junior faculty with our current students. We are very proud of them and they truly made the day an event worth remembering. We're already looking forward to next year!

The alum's who participated in the YARD event included:

Modupe Akinola (PhD Organizational Behavior, 2009), now an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbia Business School

Emilie Feldman (DBA Strategy, 2010), now an Assistant Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Renee Richardson Gosline (DBA Marketing, 2009), now an Assistant Professor of Marketing at MIT/Sloan School of Management

Adam M. Kleinbaum (DBA Management, 2008), now an Assistant Professor at the Tuck School of Business

Matt Marx (DBA Technology and Operations Management), now an Assistant Professor at MIT/Sloan School of Management

Katherine L. Milkman (PhD Information Technology Management, 2009), now an Assistant Professor of Operations and Information Management, The Wharton School

Catherine M. Thomas (PhD Business Economics, 2006), now an Assistant Professor at Columbia Business School

I want to thank each of them for attending the first YARD event. Their commitment and willingness to give back to HBS are exceptional and we look forward to the next time they return to campus.

 
25 Mar 2011

Making an Admissions Decision

Doctoral programs across the country have made offers to applicants and are now waiting to hear from those candidates. It's not always easy to wait for those responses and it's not an easy decision to make. An acceptance decision about which doctoral program you will attend is commonly a difficult one. The expanse of information available on-line and elsewhere can make the decision even more difficult. For example, I was recently scanning a discussion board web site and came across an interesting string of comments regarding doctoral programs. Postings went back and forth describing how this school's program is the best because of one desirable attribute and another viewpoint noting and equally valuable trait of another school. It was interesting reading. Clearly, the contributors were engaging in healthy rhetoric supporting their respective positions. In the end, however, I was struck by how many of the entries were based solely on the writer's personal opinion" which, by the way, is one of many reasons why discussion boards exist and thrive" with little factual basis. I reminded myself that I needed to take the content of the discussion with a grain of salt. I want to share that point with you. I think it is important to point out to those of you making a doctoral education admissions decision that you should collect as much information as you can, talk to trusted friends and colleagues, and be very deliberate in weighing all of that input. The ultimate goal should be making a decision that is the best one for you, a choice that is based on your values, your vision, and your personal goals. That decision will shape you in ways that you may not even be aware of right now and I want you to make the best decision you can.

 
15 Feb 2011

Wyss and Martin Awards

Through the generosity of Mr. Hansjoerg Wyss (MBA 1965) and Dr. Roger Martin (MBA 1981) the HBS Doctoral Programs is able to recognize a group of HBS doctoral students each year for excellence in academic research. These students are selected from several applications and represent the very best student-scholars enrolled in our doctoral programs. This year, I'm really pleased to highlight the following five recipients of these awards. As you will see, our students conduct research on a wide-range of topics and demonstrate the breadth of work our programs support.

The Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research, which was established in 2004, is given to doctoral students who have excelled in conducting outstanding academic research while enrolled in the HBS doctoral programs. This year, three students were selected to receive the Wyss Award.

Claudine Madras Gartenberg (DBA/Strategy) Claudine's research crosses strategy and organizational economics in looking at the conditions under which firm scope can induce incentive conflicts within an organization.

Michael Dickstein (Ph.D./Business Economics) Michael's work focuses on incentives in the prescription drug market. His research includes studies on the what incentive designs effectively address principal-agent problems, how pricing and promotion policies interact with consumer learning in the demand for experience goods, and how observational studies contribute to judging the efficacy of different treatments.

Lalin Anik (DBA/Marketing) Lalin's research takes a behavioral approach to understanding social networks. Her focus is on whether products that are associated with certain social identities can subsequently be used as primes to make specific networks salient.

The Martin Award for Doctoral Research is awarded to HBS doctoral students enrolled in the PhD in Business Economics program who have excelled at conducting outstanding academic research. This year, the faculty selected two students to receive the Martin Award.

Judd Kessler (Ph.D./Business Economics) Using a combination of lab and field investigations, Judd's research investigates the economic and psychological forces that motivate individuals to contribute to public goods.

Sam Hanson (Ph.D./Business Economics) Sam's work focuses on two strands of research: Corporate supply responses to systematic mispricing; and, How to best regulate financial markets and intermediaries. His job-market paper is entitled "Issue Quality and Corporate Bond Returns"

We look forward to the future for all of students and believe they will be the core of leading scholars in management research for years to come. In some ways, it is unfortunate that we are able to recognize only a small number. Congratulations to each of the award recipients!

 
26 Jan 2011

January at HBS

You may be seeing weather reports about the cold winter in Boston. The high on Tuesday was around 10 ËF, which is making the 32 ËF today seem balmy by comparison. As a factor of fact, a recent article in the Boston Globe showed a graphic indicating that the Boston area is headed toward a "100-inch winter," meaning 100 inches of snow. While that is common in other parts of the country, Boston averages about 40 inches of snow in a typical winter. Fortunately, the climate during the non-winter months in Boston more than make up for the cold. Besides, there is a certain New England pride in being able to adapt and overcome the winter storms and cold temperatures. So, don't be afraid of the Boston winter, just buy a warm coat, a good pair of boots, and sturdy gloves and you'll be fine. I feel warmer already...

Besides the weather, January is a busy month for the doctoral programs. HBS doctoral students have returned to campus to begin the winter/spring term. Many of them spent the winter break traveling to see friends and family and have returned re-energized and ready to continue their coursework and research. Others participated in an HBS Immersion Experience Program (IXP) where students had the opportunity to travel to spots all over the world to be exposed to and learn about businesses and markets in these countries. This year, doctoral students traveled with other students to Turkey, China, and India. The IXP experience is a great supplement to the student's research interests and allows first-hand exposure to non-U.S. economies and cultures. This year, students have shared that the IXP experience was one of the best experiences they have had and it provided new perspectives on the study of business management that they otherwise wouldn't have had.

In the past four months, our students have produced over 20 published articles and cases, and have been recognized for their excellence in academic research. These articles have shown up or are forthcoming in the Harvard Business Review, in the American Sociological Review, and Production and Operations Management, to name a few. Next month, I will highlight the winners of the HBS Wyss and Martin Awards, given to selected students for excellence in academic research.

 
22 Dec 2010

Happy Holidays

It's snowing in Boston, just in time for Christmas.

On behalf of the HBS Doctoral Programs staff, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a great 2011. I hope you are able to spend time with family and friends and have a wonderful time.

Happy Holidays, John

 
18 Nov 2010

Program Updates

I was planning on writing about the final push to the admissions process, but I think I'd rather write about a two updates about the HBS doctoral programs.

A key advantage to studying at Harvard is our amazing faculty. As a doctoral student at HBS, you have ready access to both the Business School faculty and the University faculty. Recently, a member of the HBS faculty, Al Roth, was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world's "seven most powerful new economists." Our congratulations go out to Professor Roth for this amazing achievement. In addition to his own research agenda, Professor Roth is active in the doctoral programs as an academic advisor, dissertation committee chair, and mentor. He has been recognized by the doctoral programs for his outstanding mentoring of doctoral students and is highly regarded by the many students who have worked with him. One student comments, "Al is very generous as a research adviser. He schedules long meetings with students, never rushing a discussion and typically going into substantial detail on proofs, empirical results, etc."

The fall is the time of year when doctoral students are beginning to give job talks about their research as they begin to think about life after graduation. To help prepare the students on the job market, the doctoral program office sponsors a 6-hour workshop on presentation skills. Students are provided with instruction on a wide-range of topics, including the use of slides to complement their presentation, voice projection techniques, and how to answer questions from the audience. Additionally, students practice and get feedback on their talks in a group setting and individually in one-on-one sessions with our workshop leader. This year, we had about a dozen students participate in the workshop. This is an investment that has paid great benefits to the students and we believe is helpful to our students on the market. In the spring, we will be launching a new workshop for students presenting at conferences.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

 
22 Oct 2010

Reference Letters

At a recent information session about the HBS Doctoral Programs, I was asked about the importance of reference letters. That is a common question at information sessions and in e-mails that we receive from prospective applicants. So, let's cover that topic â" here are some tips on reference letters.

First, we ask for three letters of recommendation with at least one from an academic source. Ideally, the academic source will be a professor who knows you well as a student, a research assistant, or in some other academically-based interaction. We'd like to get a sense from this reference what your academic abilities are and what your potential is as an academic scholar. The better this person knows you, the more likely he/she will write a letter of recommendation that provides a more complete perspective of you and your potential. I like to tell applicants that recommendations that provide "depth" are more valuable than a recommendation that reflects your attendance in a single class that you took with the recommender.

Second, we ask for "at least one" academic recommendation. That doesn't mean you can't have more than one. In selecting the individuals you will ask to write letters of recommendation, focus on people who know you really well. At the risk of repeating myself, I think it's more important to have recommenders who know you really well regardless of their backgrounds. If you have three individuals who know you really well and it just so happens that they are all academics, then that's O.K. On the other hand, if you have only the one academic reference and the other two recommenders are people who know you from other life experiences you have had, that's O.K. as well. Bottom line...select individuals who really know you and can provide an in-depth reference.

Last, getting recommendation letters that consist of three sentences isn't really helpful to the admissions process. So, be sure that the people you ask to write a recommendation have the time to do a thorough job. You want each letter to help you chances of being offered a seat in the targeted program. Each recommendation is valuable so be sure you are getting the most out of each selection you make.

 
01 Oct 2010

Our community

It's a beautiful day in Boston -- " the sun is out and the fall season hasn't quite started in New England." Of course, now that the Red Sox are officially out of the playoffs, summer is over. Fall means sports fans will focus on the Patriots. For us at HBS, the fall term is well on its way.

One of the things I really like about my role is the sense of community that exists in the HBS Doctoral programs. On September 16th we had a welcome dinner for our new students and their spouses/partners. The format was casual and all the students had the opportunity to have a quiet night away from books, articles, and problem sets. The evening highlighted for me the importance of the HBS community and providing support to the new students. The new students spoke positively about the way their fellow classmates have helped them with course work and how older students are willing to provide advice about courses, starting research, and other program questions. The same initial interactions with faculty members have been very positive and the students raved about the support they have received from teaching faculty and advisors. In my view, this collegial environment adds a great deal to the doctoral experience and provides the foundation for the networks each of our students will rely on in the future. Each class has a role in providing support and guidance to the classes that follow them. This year's class will be mentored by other students and faculty. Next year, those of you who are successful in gaining admissions to an HBS doctoral program will be mentored by this year's class. The cycle is really never-ending and fundamental to becoming a member of the academic community.

Another theme of the dinner conversation was how each of the students (and their guests) is finding a routine that meets their personal needs. As I listened to the students at my dinner table, it reminded me of the importance of building balance into a daily routine. Finding what works best is an individual thing, but thinking about the routine as a framework bounded by academic work, relationships such as family, and personal time for things like exercise and sleep is one way to approach it. As Orison Swett Marden once said, "Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man's being." In talking with current students, many of them follow some form of that approach. For example, some of our students go as far as having regular "date nights" with their spouse. I think having a clear set of priorities, both professional and personal, is a key to a balanced life.

 
01 Oct 2010

Our community

It's a beautiful day in Boston â" the sun is out and the fall season hasn't quite started in New England. Of course, now that the Red Sox are officially out of the playoffs, summer is over. Fall means sports fans will focus on the Patriots. For us at HBS, the fall term is well on its way.

One of the things I really like about my role is the sense of community that exists in the HBS Doctoral programs. On September 16th we had a welcome dinner for our new students and their spouses/partners. The format was casual and all the students had the opportunity to have a quiet night away from books, articles, and problem sets. The evening highlighted for me the importance of the HBS community and providing support to the new students. The new students spoke positively about the way their fellow classmates have helped them with course work and how older students are willing to provide advice about courses, starting research, and other program questions. The same initial interactions with faculty members have been very positive and the students raved about the support they have received from teaching faculty and advisors. In my view, this collegial environment adds a great deal to the doctoral experience and provides the foundation for the networks each of our students will rely on in the future. Each class has a role in providing support and guidance to the classes that follow them. This year's class will be mentored by other students and faculty. Next year, those of you who are successful in gaining admissions to an HBS doctoral program will be mentored by this year's class. The cycle is really never-ending and fundamental to becoming a member of the academic community.

Another theme of the dinner conversation was how each of the students (and their guests) is finding a routine that meets their personal needs. As I listened to the students at my dinner table, it reminded me of the importance of building balance into a daily routine. Finding what works best is an individual thing, but thinking about the routine as a framework bounded by academic work, relationships such as family, and personal time for things like exercise and sleep is one way to approach it. As Orison Swett Marden once said, "Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man's being." In talking with current students, many of them follow some form of that approach. For example, some of our students go as far as having regular "date nights" with their spouse. I think having a clear set of priorities, both professional and personal, is a key to a balanced life.

 
16 Sep 2010

Admissions season is off and running

I hope all is well with you. We're off and running with a new academic year. The campus is busy again with lots of energy with students, faculty, and staff all over campus. As we get the year rolling, it also means turning our attention to the admissions cycle.

If you are planning on applying, I hope you will take a look at our website. You'll find a great deal of information about each of our doctoral programs and answers to several common questions. As you look through the doctoral programs offered at HBS, notice that we cover a wide range of academic areas that provide applicants with many options. For example, the Ph.D. in Business Economics degree program provides students interested in the study of corporate finance to study with finance faculty at HBS as well as economics faculty from Harvard University. In this way, those students have the opportunity to work with world-class faculty members from both "sides of the river." I think the broad range of programs and the ability to work with faculty from both the Business School and the University are great features of our programs.

Clicking on the "Admissions" tab on the website, you will see that our admissions application is now open, with a deadline of 5:00 PM EST on December 3, 2010. Please note that application deadline for the Health Policy program is 5:00 PM EST on December 15, 2010. Lastly, please be aware that we will not be accepting admissions applications for the Science, Technology, and Management program this year.

Thanks to all of you who have provided feedback and suggestions for future topics. Whether you're thinking of applying to one of our programs or just looking around, thanks for taking the time to read about what's going on at HBS.

 
25 Aug 2010

The incoming doctoral students

September 1st is the start of a new academic year at HBS. I want to share some information about our incoming class of 24 DBA and Ph.D. students. We're very proud of these students and are confident that each of them will become outstanding scholars, both as world-class researchers and outstanding teachers.

Let me start by providing some context of how we got to this group of new students. Our application pool numbered 935 applications. Over 60 finalists were interviewed across the nine programs, and we were excited to extend offers to approximately half the pool. The final breakdown of our incoming class by degree program:

Program Incoming Students
DBA programs 9
Ph.D. Business Economics 9
Ph.D. Organizational Behavior 6

Demographically, the incoming class profile is unique in a few ways. Two-thirds of the new students are women. The average age is just over 26 years or age, and roughly 40% are international students. Several of these students hold a Masters degree, in fields including Business Administration, Public Policy, and Economics. Several students join our programs directly from their undergraduate program.

I'm really thrilled with this incoming class, partly because they represent the first class admitted while I have been the Executive Director, but more so because they are just so very impressive. As we move into the fall, we will begin the admissions cycle again. We're looking forward to seeing what this year will bring our way. I am very optimistic that this year's application pool will be as impressive as in the past. For those of you thinking about applying to an HBS Doctoral program this year, please keep an eye on the website for updated information.

 
18 Aug 2010

The start of the year

As I've thought about this first entry, many things are competing for the white space on my computer screen. First, welcome to the HBS Doctoral Programs web site. We have added this feature to provide a means to communicate with those of you interested in what's going on at HBS. Our plan is to post entries fairly often — more during peak times like our admissions cycle and less during the summer months. Most importantly, we will be using this site as a means to provide updates and commentary on a wide range of topics concerning our doctoral programs and doctoral education in general. I hope that you find what I, and others on the team, have to say informative and useful. With that said, I'd also like to invite you to send us your ideas on topics that might be of interest. As you see to the right of this space, we are providing you with the means to suggest topics that you would like to hear about. I can't guarantee that we will address every topic submitted, but we'll definitely be paying attention for themes. I look forward to hearing from you.

Today is a short two weeks from the first day of fall-term classes. Over the summer, there has been a lot of time spent on getting ready for the new school year. Even so, September 1st seems to be looming in the future causing a feeling of excitement and anticipation. Our first big event of the year, Orientation for our 24 new DBA and Ph.D. students, will be held at the end of August. Our focus for those two days is really to provide a sense of what being a doctoral student/scholar at HBS means. We will provide an overview of the academic requirements, a series of sessions on research from a student and faculty perspective, and provide important information about being a member of the HBS community. This last point is very important, especially since our students will be with us for the next five years. A highlight of this year's orientation will be our new Dean, Nitin Nohria, attending our student reception. This will be an opportunity for all of our students to hear from Nitin and to interact with him in an informal setting.

In addition to the new academic year starting, our current students have spent their summer engaged in research, classes, attending conferences, and preparing for the job market. HBS doctoral students have been attending conferences, conducting field research at NASA, working at the U.S. Department of Justice, and preparing for qualifying exams. In future entries, I will highlight these activities and more. For now, I will close. Thank you again for taking the time to read about the HBS Doctoral Programs.