Chances are if you come to visit us on campus (or chat with
a student or alum) you’ll hear a lot of HBS terms and acronyms being thrown
around. So what do they all mean? Here’s a quick guide to some key HBS lingo.
Hall is where all first year classes take place. Aldrich Hall was opened in 1953
(and later updated in 2004), and the horseshoe-shaped classroom layouts were
specifically designed to facilitate case method learning.
CASE METHOD: Pioneered
by HBS faculty and one of the highlights of the HBS experience, the case
method is a profound educational innovation that presents the greatest
challenges confronting leading companies, nonprofits, and government
organizations—complete with the constraints and incomplete information found in
real business issues—and places the student in the role of the decision maker.
Students will read 500
cases during their two years at HBS.
CLUB: There are
student clubs which range from industry focused clubs to recreational/sports
clubs to geographical interest clubs. These
clubs host over 25 conferences a year and bring extraordinary speakers to
hosts around 25
conferences annually; they are open to the public and organized by student
clubs. Conferences include the H. Naylor Fitzhugh Conference, the Dynamic Women
in Business Conference, and the Tech Conference. For a full list of conferences
CPD: CPD is the Career
and Professional Development Office on campus. About 70% of students change
careers after HBS, and CPD works to help each student define their own
unique career vision. The CPD team includes over 55 career coaches
who specialize in different industries, geographies or life stages. CPD partners with over 1,500 organizations
from around the world that participate in some form of the recruiting process
at HBS; whether it is interviewing on campus or posting jobs on our website.
EC: EC stands for
“elective curriculum” and refers to the flexible second
year at HBS. Second year students are also referred to as “ECs”. There are
over 100 elective courses for students to choose from, as well as opportunities
to cross-register with other Harvard schools, MIT’s School of Management,
Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts. Additionally, ECs can elect to go on a
global immersion in January, or to design their own independent
FIELD: FIELD is a required part of the first year curriculum and
stands for Field Immersion Experience and
Leadership Development. FIELD Foundations takes place during the first
semester and engages small teams in interactive workshops that reshape how
students think, act, and see themselves. FIELD Global Immersion takes place in
the second semester and culminates with student teams going into global markets
around the world to help develop a new product or service concept for global
FOMO: With so
many things to participate in at HBS it can feel like there aren’t enough hours
in the day! FOMO stands for “Fear of Missing Out” and you can learn more about
it from student Britt Williams here.
GEO: GEO is the Global Experience Office on campus.
You’ll work closely with this department when going abroad for FIELD Global
Immersion or IFCs in your second year.
IFC: IFC stands
for Immersive Field
Courses. You’ll have the option to take one of these in your second year,
and they usually include classroom work in the fall that culminates in a global
immersion in January.
I-LAB: The Harvard Innovation Lab is a state of the
art building which serves as a hub for entrepreneurial activity around the
university and the Boston area. With
office space and a packed calendar of programming, the i-Lab brings
entrepreneurs throughout the university together.
NVC: The New Venture
Competition is an annual student competition sponsored by Harvard Business
School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Initiative. Students
can test their ideas, get feedback from industry experts, and win prize money.
Hear more from 2015 winner RapidSOS
15% of students come to HBS with significant others. Partners
receive many of the same great benefits as students, like an HBS Partner ID
card (to join our fitness center and use library resources) and access to some
MBA Career & Professional Development services. Partners are also
encouraged to attend HBS-sponsored partner events and join HBS clubs.
RC: RC stands for
“Required Curriculum” and refers to the first
year at HBS. Second year students are also referred to as “ECs”. As RCs,
students take a set of 10 Required Curriculum courses which are the foundation
of the general management education.
ROCK: The Arthur Rock Center
for Entrepreneurship is the hub of entrepreneurship at HBS. The Rock Center manages many different
programs including the New Venture Competition, the Rock Accelerator program, the
Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program, the Rock Summer Fellowships, and the loan
reduction program for students pursuing entrepreneurial ventures after school.
SA: The HBS Student Association represents and
advocates for the student body and serves as the main interface between
students and the faculty/administration.
Through our academic, social, and professional initiatives, we strive to
create an invaluable and rewarding MBA experience for all students
SECTION: HBS can
feel like a big place
– so the class is divided into ten
sections of about 90 people. During your first year you will take all your
classes with this group, and it’s likely they’ll become your closest friends at
SHAD: Shad is a
the three-story, brick and concrete structure that houses a multipurpose gym,
indoor track, cardio and weight room, racquet courts, locker rooms, and
exercise studios. It is exclusively open to members of the HBS community.
epicenter of student activity. It is home to the dining hall, game room, US
Post Office, Harvard COOP, MBA offices, and more.
START: START week
is the first official welcome for the new class of MBA students. START takes
place over the course of students’ first week on campus in late August; all
first years (RCs) participate in START and a group of second year (EC) START
Ambassadors plan and lead activities throughout the week.
Friday students gather on campus to celebrate the close of the week over food
TREK: Pack your
bags to travel to different parts of the world! HBS Treks are student organized
trips that give you a chance to network, explore career options, and learn about
new cultures with your classmates.
underground tunnels at HBS connect different buildings around campus. The best
part? You can go from your dorm to your classroom in shorts and flip flops –
even in the middle of winter.