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SEI Welcomes First-Year MBA Students

By: Margot Dushin 17 Sep 2020

In early September, first-year students around the globe logged on for a virtual and warm welcome to the HBS Social Enterprise community by faculty, administrative leaders, and second-year students. The Kick-off was an opportunity for incoming students to meet fellow classmates, and learn about social enterprise related opportunities and resources.

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HBS Social Enterprise Initiative advice to first-year MBA students

SEI’s new director, Rob Zeaske (MBA 2002), welcomed the group and noted that “the activities happening in the world around us call for additional attention and the need for leadership towards complex problems.”

Faculty co-chairs, Dutch Leonard and Kash Rangan also spoke to the unprecedented times at HBS and around the world. Kash said “history will judge us on how we react to this crisis and how we come out of this” and called on students to “use all of the management tools and education you have to contribute to the solution.” Dutch led a mini-case discussion on Hamilton
themes, noting that “in these challenging times, there is also huge opportunity to make a difference.” He noted that “HBS is a great place to start that journey” and urged students to “use this time to explore your purpose.”

Social Enterprise Initiative team members Rob Zeaske, Margot Dushin, and Shelby Longland gave an overview of Social Enterprise at HBS, highlighting ways to engage and stay connected. They emphasized the opportunities across sectors and how students can tailor their experiences through academics, careers, community, and new ventures. Leaders of the dozen social enterprise related clubs each spoke on their clubs’ missions and activities – underscoring the robust community for exploring and engaging in social enterprise.

To further connections, students broke into small groups to share their interests in social enterprise with HBS section mates. About 20% of the Class of 2022 comes with experience in social enterprise, and a third have an interest in social impact. While some students are coming to continue their involvement, many are exploring social enterprise for the first time.

The Kick-off closed with a video of HBS Social Enterprise Initiative advice to first-year MBA students. Students heard from the faculty, students, alumni, and staff they will be connecting with in the coming years, as part of our strong and vibrant community!