Why did you choose to work at HBS?
I started working at Harvard about nine years ago, and knew then that HBS was a great place to work. It was common knowledge within Harvard University that HBS was ahead of the curve in terms of how they use technology in education. It was evident that HBS had a distinctive blend between the business world and higher education.
Where were you working before?
My Harvard career began as a part time technician in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Media Services department. While there I researched other Harvard schools to see what they had to offer. I learned about Harvard's career fair and that event launched my networking journey. I got to know HR personnel and scheduled several informational sessions with a variety of hiring managers across the University. Those efforts landed me a position at the Graduate School of Education as an entry level computer technician. Three years later and a few months before starting at HBS I was promoted to interim helpdesk supervisor.
How does HBS compare - positively and/or negatively — to your previous place of employment?
What I like most about my job in ITG is that we develop and own most of our technologies. This allows us to implement innovative solutions that are welcomed, championed and green lighted in a relatively short time frame. My role has evolved over time and has been shaped to match my skill set.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of HBS?
I enjoy Latin dance, including Salsa, Meregue, and Bachata. I'm a self-proclaimed Iron Chef utilizing cast iron skillets passed down from my father and great aunt. I document these kitchen experiences in my food blog In my spare time I also write poems, prose and lyrics to hip-hop instrumentals.
What opportunities have you had at HBS that could have only happened here?
I've had the opportunity to serve as President for the Crimson Toastmasters club, a group of Harvard community members who join together to practice and improve their public speaking skills in a comfortable, relaxed setting. For the past two summers the HBS HR department enthusiastically hosted two of our Toastmasters meetings!
I've been given the opportunity to commit my time to co-develop and co-facilitate customer service workshops at the Harvard University Center for Workplace Development (CWD). Here I had the opportunity to train staff members in customer service skills.
Most recently, I designed a custom public speaking skills workshop for our HBS MBA students. In addition to that I recently delivered an IT orientation for our MBA students. These students documented their experiences on my blog: http://kevinball.blogspot.com/2011/02/harvard-mbas-talk-about-their.html#comments.
These additional experiences are a culmination of my thirty year radio and television career where I served as an on-air talent, voice-overs, and MC for Newport Jazz Festival and host of other national events. Currently I consult with a Boston based entertainment company serving in the artist professional development arena.
The work/life balance that HBS provides has allowed me to be involved in all of these fulfilling activities within and outside of my workplace.