As members of the Curriculum & Learning Services (CLS) team at Baker Library, we have the opportunity to work closely with MBA students: in the library, online, and in the classroom. In a typical year we answer over 2,000 research questions from MBAs. 

What may be surprising is that a large number of these questions (in addition to those related to course work or independent projects) that focus on career research – helping students create target lists, and learning more about industries or the companies they’re interviewing with.  We also provide a lot of support to students with their startup ideas and business plans.

We asked members of our team to share stories about meaningful interactions with MBAs, and the different ways students (and their partners) utilize the resources at Baker. Here’s what our librarians have to say: 

1. When They’re Working on Startups

Back in 2012 a first year student reached out to me requesting an informational interview.  He was involved at the time with an Australian firm that streamed videos to the academic market. I met with him and spoke about licensing models to the academic market and how selection criteria were made. We met a few more times during his tenure at HBS. He is now the COO of the firm. Baker recently had a trial of the product, licensed several videos, and now participates in a Harvard-wide subscription to the streaming service. –Andrea

2. When They’re Participating in the New Venture Competition

Working with MBA students I am always surprised at the small connections that occur.  Earlier this year, we were hosting a research drop-in session for entrepreneurs as part of the New Venture Competition.  While going through the available resources, it turns out the student was working in the field of Ed Tech, a topic I cover in a bi-weekly newsletter put out by the library.  I was able to quickly show him a lot of additional content. We worked together compiling a long list of information and he emailed shortly after to say thanks and how happy he was with all the library could offer. –Austin

3. When Working on a Faculty Project

I remember having the opportunity to provide a personalized library orientation to a student who arrived to campus early to work on a faculty project. I was able to get her up to speed for the faculty project, and also as a student too. It was fun seeing her around HBS and when she visited the library to meet with her discussion group and do research, and I answered questions she had about locating information for one of her course projects.  It was very rewarding engaging with her over the years. – Cynthia

4. When They’re Searching for Jobs

Helping HBS partners with their research is an interesting and rewarding aspect of the services Baker Library offers. Like the MBA students, partners are transitioning to a new area and hoping to pursue their own career opportunities and academic interests. I’ve enjoyed various interactions with partners including consultations on identifying HR positions in Chicago, setting up access to other Harvard Libraries, and meeting at the Job Search Cafés. – Jen

5. When They’re On Campus for START Week

One of my favorite moments in the academic year is START week.  During START, we provide a Baker Library Open House for incoming RCs for them to get to know staff, tour the space, and learn about how library resources and services can help them during their time at HBS. It is so rewarding to meet students as they’re starting their journey – they’re usually full of enthusiasm and ideas! I always come away from the open house having made connections with several students that last throughout their two years. I love building on those relationships, and they often remain past graduation. I still get emails from one alum I met at orientation to check in to say “hi”, and for recommended reading. - Leslie

6. When They’ve Got a Question

A good day for me almost always involves finding a resource or information to answer a student’s question. This semester I had the opportunity to work closely with students in a new HBS course called Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship. Students were charged with identifying an underserved market in the black community and coming up with an entrepreneurial idea to serve the market. It was so inspiring to hear the great ideas that students came up with and to show them how to use Baker resources to validate their ideas. This experience was an exciting three way collaboration between the professor, Baker Library and the students. - Mallory

7. When They’re Going on Global Immersions

One of my favorite research activities is working with students on their FIELD Global Immersion projects. One of the library services offer research for the FGI course is a series of drop-in hours to support students with their team assignments. The breadth of industries and sectors, and the wide ranging locations of their immersions is always fascinating. I’ve also been lucky enough to act as a FIELD program manager a few times, which provided me with the opportunity to see the students’ research come to life and to get to know them in a different context. - Meghan