From the Editor’s Desk

Harvard Business School in Boston. September Campus Shoot
Upoma Dutta, Editor-in-Chief

Carpe Diem: Here Is Our Chance to Make the Most Out of the Year

Like so many of you, I was not sure how the start of the Fall semester would look like. Would the hybrid model live up to its expectations? Would we find some much-needed sense of normalcy on campus and in the classes after a summer that was anything but ordinary? Most importantly, would we continue to feel as excited about our days at HBS as we did when we first got the “The answer is YES!” letter from Admissions? We waited to publish our issue until both ECs and RCs had their first week of classes and had a chance to reflect on their experience.

It was worth the wait, as students headed into the Labor Day weekend with a palpable surge of excitement to make the most out of this semester. As Raseem Farook reports, many RCs were pleasantly surprised to find that the first-ever virtual START week felt anything but “virtual.” We share the sentiment of Professor Trevor Fetter’s inaugural column that gratitude is in order for the well-executed, behind-the-scenes efforts from the faculty, the administration, and the staff to keep us motivated to learn and grow.

As ECs and RCs have already heard countless times, the Covid-19 crisis is set to bring a paradigm shift to many aspects of our lives and the ecosystem in which businesses operate. Our stories featuring EC entrepreneurs James Williams and Shelly Xu show how they are bootstrapping their startups to address emerging opportunities borne out of the crisis. We cannot wait to feature the many members of the HBS community who will realize their entrepreneurial dreams in the midst of the chaos.

While Covid-19 continues to be the overarching theme of our issue, I hope we do not lose sight of the fact that this is not the only crisis facing the world. Joe Bao and John Geagea explore recent challenges facing their homelands and the businesses operating there–challenges that are large and complex enough to command their own BGIE and LCA cases. I hope we draw lessons from their reflections in our journey to become future leaders in an increasingly interconnected world.

Lastly, welcome, RCs! We, at the Harbus, hope to provide a platform to HBS students to share their voices and I hope that you will consider contributing your stories in the months ahead.

Upoma Dutta (MBA ’21) came to HBS after spending roughly four years in the media and entertainment industry in New York, where she helped two media companies (HBO and Disney) transition into the streaming era and build on new strategic growth opportunities. Originally from Bangladesh, she also worked for the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) early on in her career to promote financial inclusion and financial sector stability in South Asia.