Health care is on everyone’s mind these days. With so many challenges around lowering the cost of health care delivery while increasing quality and people’s access to care, come opportunities for new ideas, improved operations, and medical innovations. To meet this challenge head on, the Health Care Initiative (HCI) at HBS was founded to bring together the people, ideas, and resources that yield new innovative models for health care practice.

The HCI connects MBA students, alumni, faculty, staff and executive education participants by serving as a gateway for research, educational programs and entrepreneurial projects across all sectors of health care.

1.       Community

Prospective students and admitted MBAs often ask what it takes to be a part of the HCI. The only real requirement is a passion to make a difference in health care. To help capture the breadth and depth of health care at HBS, the Health Care Initiative hosts a “Welcome Reception” in September for students who have an interest in the industry. This event offers the opportunity for incoming students to meet faculty who teach and conduct research in health care, leaders of the student-run Health Care Club, and the staff who support the many health care activities and programs both on and off campus. 

2.       Career education

Later in the fall, the Health Care Initiative works with the Career and Professional Development (CPD) department to execute “Career Days.” This program is typically structured as a series of panels made up of alumni who are leaders in their respective industries. The HCI offers five to six panels that span various health care sectors and health care topics. These panels are a great opportunity for interested students to learn more about a specific sector and ask alumni all the questions they have related to that field and HBS at large. 

3.       Mentorship

Across the School, we often hear that the alumni are one of the best resources at HBS – from their insight and networking potential to securing internships and full-time positions. To capitalize on this benefit, the HCI offers the “Alumni-Student Mentor Program.” Each fall, the Health Care Initiative polls alumni from all sectors of health care to determine if they would be interested in mentoring an MBA student. Once we have the complete list of alumni, students are invited to sift through their profiles and make requests for one or more mentors. The HCI then does its best to match the students to the alumni of their choice. Students can have as many mentors as they like, but we highly recommend you have at least one – it can be a life-changing relationship.

4.       Rich curriculum

While HBS does not offer a “major” in health care management, there is no shortage of health care educational opportunities. A significant number of cases in the first year of the MBA program are health care-related. There are also 8-10 health care electives available in the second year, as well as numerous independent projects. Also, with nearly 200 health care-related events that are hosted by the HCI, the student-run Health Care Club, and the HBS Health Care Alumni Association, it’s important to begin prioritizing your interests early so that you can plan your events schedule accordingly – it will not be possible to attend every health care event!

The first few months at HBS can feel like you're drinking from the proverbial fire hose. However, rest assured that if you have an interest in health care and are looking for guidance, the HBS Health Care Initiative is here to help you through this very exciting time in your life.