At Harvard: Part 1

There’s an amazing energy coursing through the campus of Harvard Business School these days. It’s a force to be reckoned with–it’s called OPM37 or HBS’ “Owners/Presidents Management 37th Class.” It only lasts three weeks a year for three years, and this is OPM37’s last year.

OPM is one of Harvard Business School’s most prized executive education programs, designed to elevate and expand the minds of leaders in business and industry around the world. From my first day three years ago to the present, I have been truly astounded by the diversity, intellect, talent and good humor of 160 classmates from the US, Canada, Central and Latin America, China, India, and all over the African Continent. We U.S. citizens make up less than 50% of the class. We women make up less than 8%. We American women make up half of that small minority.

We’re fortunate to have the creme de la creme of HBS faculty teaching us. As you can imagine, it’s a refreshing break for them to have classes full of experienced entrepreneurs well into their careers, rather than 22-year-old MBAs. This year, they’re taking us to practical levels of instruction, having us focus on our own corporate advantages and strategies on multiple levels. We’re looking at our leadership styles through different lenses and learning how differently others perceive us from how we perceive ourselves.

After three years, many have become tight friends, others have hired classmates and work together, others still have joined classmates’ companies’ boards, some have visited each others’ businesses, and many cavorted under the Cancun sun last fall where the Mexican contingent hosted a mini-reunion.

The combination of learning in class and learning from each other is a winner.  HBS has bottled the very finest essence of business education here.

Signing off from a little dorm room in Baker Hall,

Kate Simpson

President,
Academic Travel Abroad

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