On our first official day here at HBS, I looked around at my classmates, all dressed in our finest business formal, and all I could think was, “Toto, we definitely aren’t at a tech startup anymore.” Before coming to HBS, I had spent the last 2.5 years as an analyst at an advertising technology startup approximately 10% of the size of our entire RC class. Prior to joining the startup, I had a slightly more traditional occupation working on the Loyalty Marketing team at a national luxury retailer (which, yes, did require me to wear a suit every once in a while, so it wasn’t a completely foreign experience).
I came to campus looking to build on and challenge the knowledge I’d already gained through my work experience about analysis, operations, and marketing, and excited (and nervous) to begin studying new-to-me subjects like leadership, organizational behavior, finance, and accounting. Like any HBS student, I was also excited to make new friends and meet new people with unique and diverse backgrounds, and everyone I’ve met so far has definitely not disappointed on either of these fronts. My sectionmates are amazing (hi Section C!), and I can’t wait to get to know everyone better. Clubs are just starting to get underway, and I’m excited to get involved in lots of them and start attending events.
I’m also hoping to study a wide range of companies, industries, and business problems in my time here. I’m not looking to make a total career switch (I’m still interested in marketing and the technology and retail sectors), but I’m also looking to explore general management/corporate strategy opportunities, the consumer finance sector, and management consulting, so it’s pretty safe to say I’ve got a lot of research to do once company presentations start next month! While it sounds a little overwhelming to have to try and narrow down these options for my internship search, having so many doors open to us here is also incredibly exciting.
For now, I’m just taking things one day at a time and making sure to experience as much as possible – I can’t wait to see how the rest of the semester turns out!
Elizabeth Hoffman, MBA 2015