While working in investment banking and e-commerce roles, I realized the importance of interpersonal and leadership skills in successfully growing an organization. My decision to attend business school was largely fueled by my desire to build these skills. HBS has always stood out because of its teaching style, international reach, and cutting-edge research. Once admitted, I didn’t hesitate for a second and moved across the world to join the program. 

During my two years at business school I’ve had a lot of time to think about my career goals and explore different industries and job functions. Here are few things I think prospective students should know about exploring careers at HBS. 

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1. HBS will help you you think differently about your career

HBS helped me think more broadly about my career aspirations in the context of my values and the life I want to live. It opened my eyes to various paths available to reach my goals and instilled in me the importance of making a positive difference in the lives of people around me in any job I end up pursuing.

2. There are many resources available to help you explore new career options

At the beginning of my RC year I met with a career coach – one of the many programs offered by the Career and Professional Development Office. It was a very valuable meeting that made me see the variety of options available and helped me explore opportunities beyond those envisaged prior to HBS. 

Many students explore opportunities outside of their pre-MBA industries, either through involvement in on-campus activities and events, industry clubs, or summer internships. Even for those not necessarily considering a change of career, many students find it a valuable time to explore possible new opportunities. 

Alumni are also a great source of information to explore various careers. Personally, I reached out to several HBS alumni of LGBT Club and asked them about their opinions on a particular role or career path. Everyone was extremely approachable and their advice proved to be valuable when considering different career paths.

3. Elective courses and cases are also a valuable way to learn about different industries

Cases span different industries and geographies and are a great source of information about potential career paths and companies. In second year, one is free to choose courses and thereby focus on the areas of most interest for the future.

My choice of second year courses was largely driven by desire to build a broad base of leadership skills and develop better understanding of how technology is changing the underlying structure of industries. I believe the mix of topics covered will help me not only in my chosen post-MBA job but also further down in my career.

4. Many students change their minds about what they want to do after business school 

Many people come to HBS uncertain about what comes next. It’s perfectly ok to feel this way and trust me, you’re not alone. Throughout the program, you will have an incredible amount of resources to tap into that will help you narrow your interests and find the position you like. Don’t be shy to take advantage of what CPD has to offer, reach out to alumni and speak to your fellow classmates – often, they are the best source of advice.

My aspiration for the future is to launch and/or grow a business that helps people live healthier lives. I spent the summer at McKinsey in New York, with a hope to get exposure to different industries and function areas, as well as to expand my network in the healthcare hardware and software space. I think this experience will be extremely valuable in pursuing my long-term career goals.

Although I eventually decided to pursue a more traditional path (consulting) it was an educated decision thanks to the help I received from CPD, HBS alumni, and classmates whom I spoke with.