Perspectives: Careers & Connections

John Read

Former President, Outward Bound
MBA 1971


“Wherever I've been, the people aspect of my work has always been the most engaging.”


Over the course of my career, I've moved between the government, private, and nonprofit sectors, serving in various roles under President Ford, managing a truck-parts manufacturing plant, and working in private equity. Wherever I've been, the people aspect of my work has always been the most engaging.

Careers & Connections

We've had four summer interns from HBS over the years. Each of them comes equipped to immediately apply their MBA skills to nonprofit management. It's not a question of fitting a square peg into a round hole, nor is it young people taking a break from their career aspirations. They're here to learn something relevant to their career path and directly apply what they've learned in business school. As an example, one summer we had a young woman—an engineer by training—who showed a real agility in organizing data to resolve strategic questions. Before her, we had a summer fellow who did a thorough analysis of one of our programs and developed a business plan for its expansion. These are capable men and women who apply their experience and training to the real work of this organization, which is enormously beneficial for them and for us.


At Outward Bound, I find it satisfying to have a vision for what this organization can be and to see progress in that direction from month to month and from year to year. It hasn't been linear by any means, but to be able to commit to an organization and its mission is particularly satisfying when the end goal involves kids with transformed lives on the other end.