In the traditional sense of the term, the Heartland has referred to any U.S. state that doesn’t touch an ocean. At HBS, the Heartland Club’s focus is even broader. Our focus is on specific regions in the United States that are underrepresented in the HBS student body. From Buffalo, New York to Reno, Nevada, the Heartland has so much to offer, and we want to make sure we have that representation in the student body and in our outreach initiatives. In order to do this, we want to increase exposure to the Heartland in all aspects of student life, inside and outside the classroom.

Introduction to Heartland Club leadership

CFO Alex Green (MBA 2021) and President Heather Jackson (MBA 2021) are thrilled to be leading the club through its inaugural year.


Alex Green and Heather Jackson 

Heather Jackson hails from Columbia, Kentucky--a town of 4,000 people in the Southcentral region of the state. A first-generation college student, she attended Vanderbilt University where she majored in English Literature before heading down to Miami to work in Global Operations for Restaurant Brands International on the Burger King brand. Before school, she tried her hand at entrepreneurship and launched her own venture in the travel space. For Heather, HBS was something she applied to as “the ultimate longshot”, and she wants to use the Heartland Club as a catalyst to change that mindset for anyone who has ever felt like they wouldn’t belong at Harvard. She’s most looking forward to connecting the dots between the people of her hometown and the students of HBS, as well as leading a trek to the Bluegrass State (bourbon tastings included).

Alex Green was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After studying Environmental Engineering at Princeton and receiving her Masters in Water Resource Management at Cornell, she returned to her hometown to work for McKinsey & Company. After several years in McKinsey’s Cleveland and New York offices, Alex moved back to Cleveland to take over the operations of her family’s industrial manufacturing company, which they then sold to a strategic acquirer during her RC year at HBS. Alex can’t wait to connect with other HBS students with a ‘heartland’ state of mind! Also, GO BROWNS!

Our other founding members represent the vast diversity in the Heartland, hailing from many parts of the region, industries, and employers. For example, we have founding members who attended University of Illinois and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana and members who worked at ExxonMobil in Texas and ArcelorMittal in Indiana.

Where the Heartland Club came from

The idea for a student club grew out of an independent project completed by two members of the Class of 2020, Frankie Costa and Brian Linville. After organizing a trek to their hometown (Pittsburgh, PA), Frankie and Brian searched for more ways to share similar experiences with students at HBS. The founding ECs recruited Heather and Alex to lead the club when they discovered they were planning treks for their classmates to their hometowns (Columbia, KY and Cleveland, OH). From there, the initiative began to attract not only those from the Heartland, but also anyone who wanted to learn more about what other U.S. cities have to offer.

Why we started the Heartland Club

First, our goal is to build a strong community and support network among the HBS students who come from the U.S. Heartland. Students at HBS are empowered to build and innovate in ways that will enrich the HBS learning experience and community. Students and staff at HBS highly value diverse perspectives from across the U.S. and around the world. Students from the Heartland bring an important perspective to our case discussions and our community—helping classmates learn from, and build on, our different life and work experiences before HBS.

We also want prospective students from the Heartland to know and truly believe that their voices are valued at HBS, they can find their place in the HBS community, and can have a vast array of opportunities post-graduation.

What we are doing now

The Heartland Club is actively building community on campus through virtual social events and small-group outdoor gatherings. The Heartland Club is also excited to work with HBS MBA Admissions and Career & Professional Development (CPD) to host events, treks, and virtual sessions throughout the year. We are here to build a community of individuals who can help to better represent the vast diversity of experiences from the American Heartland.