Welcome from Your Student Association Co-Presidents

Gaby Santana Goldstein, Contributor
Connor Cash, Contributor

Gaby Goldstein (MBA ’20) and Connor Cash (MBA ’20) share their thoughts on the beginning of this new school year.

Welcome Class of 2021 and welcome back ECs! We are Gaby Santana Goldstein and Connor Cash. Together we are your Student Association Co-Presidents for this year.

This past week has been a great moment to reflect on the past year. When we look back to this time last year, we remember feeling excited, anxious, and of course a bit overwhelmed all at the same time. Thoughts of “Do I belong here?” and “I know they keep saying I’ll grow here, but will I really?” raced through our heads. Before we knew it those voices got quieter and we found ourselves speaking up in class, forming strong bonds with sectionmates, and finding our voices at HBS.

We wanted to take this moment to highlight some of the key priorities of the Student Association and how all of you can help us shape what 2019–2020 will be all about.

The Student Association is a body of volunteer students who have chosen to dedicate their time to serving all of you. Together with the Senate, we are here to represent your voices throughout your time at HBS.

Our mission as your 2019–2020 SA Co-Presidents is to create a sustainably inclusive community. This year we have chosen to really focus on three key things:

We want HBS to be:

First, a place where we are deepening our connections with one another;

Second, a place where we care and invest beyond our comfortable campus relationships;

And third, a place where your bank account doesn’t determine your experience.

This year’s SA is a team of over 30 amazingly dedicated peers who are all incredibly excited to meet you over these next couple of days and throughout the year. All summer they have been hard at work creating moments for all members of our community to feel that they do, in fact, belong here. In these next couple of months, we hope you’ll join us for COB Happy Hours, Community MyTakes, a new series called Perspectives, as well as exciting programming around academics, careers, families, socioeconomic inclusion, arts and culture, and so much more!

We know the Student Association is just one piece of the larger puzzle that makes up student life at HBS. Our ask to the other student leaders on campus and to all students with community ideas is to connect with us. We would love to work together and support one another.

Finally, though we’ve only been here for a year, we have had some time to reflect. We will leave you all with three takeaways to keep in mind as you start or continue your HBS journey:

  1. There are many avenues to pursue at HBS. It’s important to explore, take risks, and keep an open mind to new adventures and perspectives.
  2. Don’t forget those who got you here. Keep them top of mind and seek out moments of gratitude.
  3. Most importantly, enjoy each other’s company. Be cognizant that we all come from different walks of life with widely varying life experiences, but the common kindness, mutual respect, and understanding of differences is the glue that holds this community together.

Connor Cash (MBA ’20) is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Cornell University in 2015 with a degree in Engineering Physics. Prior to HBS, he worked in private equity and investment banking in New York, where he spent most of his time sharpening his pencils and developing a fondness for belts and suspenders.

Gaby Santana Goldstein (MBA ’20) is originally from New York City and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2010 with a degree in Sociology and Spanish. Prior to HBS, she worked in tech in New York, most recently at Facebook working in a Sales and Partnerships role. Outside of work, Gaby serves on the Political Committee of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and is an involved alumna of Nightingale and Prep for Prep leading several alumni community and fundraising efforts. Gaby lives in Boston with her partner, Adam Goldstein, and ridiculously adorable goldendoodle, Gimli (yes, named after Lord of the Rings).