Why We Recruit is a series of interviews with our recruiting partners to discuss everything from their experience of working with HBS to what they want students to know. Each week, we will release a new interview that dives into a unique perspective of recruiting.

Name, Title and Organization
Tsveta Semova, Senior Director, Recruitment and Admissions Strategy, Education Pioneers

Describe your organization in three to five sentences.
Many people want to improve our education system, but if they don’t want to teach or be a principal, they need help finding a position in education that utilizes their skills. Education Pioneers (EP) is a national nonprofit that recruits, develops, and connects talented professionals from diverse backgrounds—including graduate students—to work for K-12 school districts, charter schools, and other education organizations. Our Pioneers work on issues related to student data analysis, external relations, operations, human resources, strategy and more. They solve problems from outside of the classroom so students and teachers can succeed inside of the classroom.

How long has your organization been recruiting at Harvard Business School and what roles do you hire for?
EP has recruited Pioneers from Harvard Business School ever since our founding in 2003. We look for students who want to utilize their growing business expertise to impact the education system from outside the classroom, and match them with roles in the education sector through our signature Education Pioneers Fellowship program. While we’ve primarily focused on summer placements in the past, we just announced this fall that we’re expanding the Education Pioneers Fellowship to support long-term and full-time placements as well.

More than 50 HBS students have been EP Fellows over the last 12 years. In fact, the first-ever leader to say “yes” to an EP Fellowship was an HBS alumna who served her Fellowship at Aspire Public Schools in the Bay Area, and went on to work at the U.S. Department of Education and now the Walton Family Foundation. Other HBS Fellows have done important work like setting up Newark Public Schools’ universal student enrollment system, developing new teacher talent management strategies for KIPP New Orleans, researching youth engagement best practices for the Chicago mayor’s office, and so much more.

What recruiting tactics have you found most successful in engaging with students and/or alumni at HBS?
We’ve prioritized building personal, face-to-face relationships with HBS students through on-campus recruitment presentations and interview sessions. We also identify students who may be social impact or education-oriented through student organizations and the HBS resume database, and reach out to them virtually. Given the mission-driven work we do, it’s important to EP that we learn more about each interested student’s passion for transforming education in addition to their resume -- so we create as many individual touchpoints as we can to get to know each individual. We also leverage HBS alumni who are also EP alumni to build these connections.

Give us your elevator pitch – what is the one thing students should know about working for you?
Education Pioneers is on a mission to transform education building a movement of 10,000 leaders from diverse backgrounds making a difference throughout the education sector by 2023. At the center of this effort is our Education Pioneers Fellowship, which provides leaders like you with pathways into education leadership careers that make a difference from outside the classroom. As a Fellow, you’ll know that your skills and expertise are being connected with the education organizations that need you most. Plus, you’ll get to build your K-12 education knowledge through leadership development workshops and forge lifelong connections through a local cohort. There’s no more meaningful work than transforming education for children -- and there’s no better way to find your path than through EP.

Is there anything else you would like to share with fellow recruiters or those who are new to recruiting with HBS?
We’re always impressed with the insights, diversity, and passion that our HBS Fellows bring to the network. They ask smart questions, draw connections between their work on the ground with our collective mission to transform education, and make a true impact for our Partners. We’re thrilled with our continued recruitment partnership with HBS.