Out of the many benefits of pursuing an MBA from Harvard Business School, the alumni network is arguably one of the greatest. With more than 80,000 alumni working in leadership positions globally, there is no shortage of excellence to tap into. At the same time, that number can be overwhelming when it comes to finding the right people to build out your professional network. Fortunately, the HBS community has found a way to make that task less daunting and more valuable for alumni, faculty and students alike.

Throughout the past 100 years, alumni have volunteered their time and thought leadership to establish more than 100 alumni clubs, shared interest groups and associations around the world. These clubs help make the vast alumni network more personal, professionally relevant, and, in many cases, local. From a health care management point of view, the HBS Health Care Alumni Association (HBSHAA) has achieved terrific success in creating a community of health care-focused alumni who are working in all industries including life sciences, care delivery, digital health, payors and more.

The HBSHAA was launched in 1999 by a group of health care MBAs, led by Bunny Ellerin (MBA 1995), who were looking to connect more deeply with fellow graduates who also worked in health care management. Over the past 21 years, the HBSHAA has become a cornerstone of the HBS health care community. As careers in health care grew exponentially, the HBSHAA expanded as well and now boasts 21 clubs based in the US and 17 clubs internationally. Each of these clubs hosts events and programs that allow local alumni to gather and get to know one another more personally. This also allows for additional leadership opportunities for alumni to explore as each club is led one or more regional directors. In addition to the events taking place at the local level, the HBSHAA hosts monthly “Virtual Round Tables” where folks can register to attend an online discussion led by faculty, CEOs or other health care constituents as a way to keep a steady stream of fresh health care content to its members.

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the club is its signature event: The HBSHAA Annual Conference which brings together hundreds of alumni from around the world. To make this two-day conference a success, the volunteer leaders of the HBSHAA work diligently to secure top keynote, world-renowned speakers to share their experience and expertise on various health care topics. The conference also includes panels, break-out sessions, and round-table discussions.

The Health Care Initiative is a proud supporter of the HBSHAA and appreciates the value that it adds to the overall HBS community. A benefit of that sponsorship is that it provides students with free membership to the HBSHAA while at HBS and for the first six months post-graduation. We encourage you to check out their website for more information and upcoming events.