On May 24, the Class of 2018 took their last steps as MBA students and crossed over the Commencement stage into the role of an HBS alum. This moment has been a dream for each student since they first walked through the doors of the MBA Admissions office, and for many, years before that. For the Admissions team, Commencement can be bittersweet. We remember your applications and interviews. We watched you inspire your classmates and grow into the amazing leaders that you have become; but frankly, we hate to see you go. But above all, we wish you the best in each of your new endeavors; from social enterprise to venture capitalism, from consulting to entrepreneurship. We can't wait to see the impact you will make on the world.

For those of you just beginning your path to the Commencement stage (whether you are starting your first year at HBS this coming Fall or have just started thinking about taking your GRE or GMAT), here are the 9 best moments to look forward to at your HBS MBA Commencement.

1. Hanging out on Baker Lawn as students for the last time

students hanging out on Baker Lawn


Year round, Baker Lawn is one of the most popular places for students to gather. Whether it's for a giant snow ball fight in February or picnics and volleyball in the Spring, Baker Lawn will become one of your favorite spots to unwind, study, and hang out with your friends.

2. Dressing up to go out with friends in Harvard Square

Harvard Square is a nightlife staple for students from each of Harvard's many programs and schools. Just a short walk from Harvard Business School across the JFK bridge, Harvard Square has restaurants, bars, live music, and shopping for the entire community. 3. Listening to Dean Nitin Nohria give the most inspiring speeches

Dean Nitin Nohria giving a speech
Dean Nitin Nohria giving a speech

Dean Nitin Nohria is no stranger to using alliteration in his life-changing speeches. This year's letter of choice was 'E', which stands for enterprise, energy, and empathy. The entire speech and other Commencement highlights can be found on the 2018 Commencement Highlights page.

4. Sharing your success with your family and friends

MBA student on the commencement stage with his family

Partners and families are an instrumental part of the Harvard Business School community and have the opportunity to join HBS clubs, attend events, and be a part of their MBA student's section. It's no wonder why we see so many families walking across the Commencement stage hand in hand.

5. Walking across the HBS Commencement stage

MBA student and dean Nitin Nohria shaking hands on commencement stage

The HBS Commencement stage has been the starting point of a new journey for thousands of the world's most influential leaders. Distinguished HBS alumni are there to support and guide students every step of the way. HBS Alumni know better than anyone what it's like to be able to walk across that stage and into their futures.

6. Cheering for your section mates

graduate students cheering their mates at commencement ceremony
students cheering at commencement ceremony
During your first year at HBS, you'll quickly learn that your section becomes an extension of your family. Each section is made up of 90 students with different backgrounds, interests, experiences, and ambitions. The section experience is one of the most formative and defining experiences at HBS so cheering for your section mates on graduation day will inevitably be one of your most memorable moments.

7. Celebrating

student celebrating on graduation day

three students celebrating on graduation day
After two years of immersive learning, hundreds of cases, countless events and outings, and more friends than you can count, you'll find that you have a lot to celebrate. MBA students know that after this day their lives will never be the same.

8. Knowing you've made a group of lifelong friends
graduate students on graduation day

Have we mentioned all the friends? Forging impactful and life-long friendships remains one of the most talked about take-aways for each HBS student.

9. Inspiring the next generation of leaders who will make a difference in the world

This may be the best reason of all. At HBS not only will you learn how to become a leader that makes a difference in the world, but a leader that inspires future generations to do so as well. It's your turn to make a difference. It's your turn to lead the way.

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