Throughout my life I have always looked for a sense of community. A group of people I could depend on, who may or may not have shared similar interests but always supported me in personal growth and development through love and care. In high school, that community came from my involvement in sports and scholastic clubs. In college, it came from my passion for service and the uplifting of my community, and now at HBS it comes from a combination of all these things and then some.

Whenever I talk to prospective Black students considering HBS, one of the questions I always get is “How do you find community at HBS?” – a valid question that I also once asked when trying to find my own path to an MBA. But I’m here to tell you that I was able to do it and you can too!

When I think of community and belonging, I think of a place where I can be myself without worry of judgement or rejection. A place I feel welcomed, accepted, and loved. It’s a place that promotes my growth, pushing me out of my comfort zone to help me become a better version of myself, but also nourishing my spirit with love and support when I’m feeling down. I think of my community as a place where I can share my interests and dreams with others without criticism.

Now, after reading what I consider to be a sense of community, I can imagine that you might be skeptical that I would be able to find all of that in one place. But that’s the beauty of HBS! There are many students here from across the world, with different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and personal and professional interests, that finding (or creating) a community wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be. I found belonging within groups that share similar cultural or professional backgrounds, or similar personal interests. Together, all of these groups make up the core of my community at HBS:

The African American Student Union (AASU) plays the largest part of my community. AASU really fosters togetherness by centering its programming around the Black experience at HBS – something I find extremely valuable considering only a minority of the class will share this experience. We’ve had events ranging from a Protective Hairstyle Workshop to how to get VC funding as a minority founder. It has been so nurturing to be a part of this group.

A second group was programmed into my academic experience: the MS/MBA cohort. My HBS journey actually started earlier than most of my MBA classmates, when I spent the first three weeks of August 2022 in a design class with my MS/MBA cohort (comprised of 29 students). After spending all day, every day together, it became easy to think of these students as family. The shared interests in tough tech and the idea of becoming a tech entrepreneur also makes for some amazing relationships.

One thing I felt was missing from my experience but was a big part of my outward expression was a sneakerheads (sneaker enthusiasts) community. A place where students interested in sneakers from a personal or professional perspective, or both (like myself), could come together. But instead of accepting that this space didn’t exist at HBS, I created one. At the end of my first year, a few friends and I created the HBS Sneakers Club and it has been one of my favorite things here so far! It brings together so many students from different cultures and backgrounds and unites us around one common interest – shoes! We talk about the sneakers we’re trying to grab, the ones we missed out on, and everything else happening in the sneaker industry. The club has really completed my sense of belonging here at HBS.

Whether a club or group already exists or is yet to be created (possibly by the reader of this post), there is community to be found at HBS. All you have to do is go find it. And I promise, once you do, you’ll love your time here just as much as I do!