HBS students have traditionally been immersed in a case-study method that has encouraged them to think like leaders. As a part of the school’s recent curriculum innovation, Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD) gives students meaningful opportunities to act like leaders, translating their ideas into practice. FIELD is a required first-year course that spans a full academic year, divided into three parts: leadership intelligence (FIELD 1), global intelligence (FIELD 2), and integrative intelligence (FIELD 3). 


The primary component of FIELD 2 is the Global Immersion, in which students work in small teams and are required to apply the tools of design thinking – customer observation, brainstorming, and prototyping – to develop new products and services for Global Partner companies located in emerging markets. The culmination of the module comes in the January Global Immersion, when students travel to each market and work over a period of eight days to complete their projects and present their conclusions to their Global Partner.


October 2014 - December 2014: Students begin work on their project in Boston. During this time, they will:

    • Acquire a broad understanding of design thinking and product development through the MBA curriculum and FIELD course exercises
    • Engage with their Global Partner via email, Skype, or conference call to learn more about the business, project, and local context
    • Begin developing their new product or service proposal
January 5 - 12, 2015: Students travel to their Global Immersion location. While in-country, they will:

    • Meet with their project sponsor and relevant functional managers from the Global Partner to complete the design of the new product or service
    • Validate their product or service proposal by testing their ideas with local customers
    • Share their work in a formal presentation to senior management at the company’s local offices
The project work generated by the student team becomes the property of the Global Partner organization to implement as it sees fit. There is no cost or fee for organizations to participate in the FIELD Global Immersion. HBS coordinates student travel, lodging and meals during the program.


We are seeking project ideas from interested organizations that include the following elements:

  • Consumer-focused: Projects must involve a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) product or service given the need for students to easily access customers during the immersion.
  • Design opportunity: Projects must involve creating the concept for a new product or service.
  • Local Market: Both the Global Partner and target customers must be based in or near the immersion city, as students will remain in their immersion location for the duration of the program in January.

The project submission process begins in May, and projects will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the summer until early September.

If you are interested in being considered for this exciting program, please send an email to

Harvard Business School reserves the right to modify details of the Global Immersion program throughout the year.