When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.
Career Treks are an integral part of the Harvard Business School (HBS) culture and allow groups of students to network with governmental, corporate and nonprofit representatives in particular geographic areas. These optional trips take place during the fall and winter semesters as well as during the January break and range in length from two days to more than a week. Past treks have included trips to the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia and Japan as well as a WesTrek to the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to attending alumni panels, meeting with government officials and visiting companies, participating students take time to relax, explore and simply enjoy their stay.
Treks are particularly important for students looking for a job through personal connections and for those seeking employment with smaller, or foreign, organizations that may not be able to participate in traditional on-campus recruiting. Treks are organized by student clubs, often with the support of the school and corporate sponsorship of events, such as a lunch or happy hour. In a November 2011 entry on his personal blog, a first-year HBS student noted that attendance on the WesTrek grew from approximately 60 students in 2010 to roughly 200 students in 2011: “20% of the entire first-year class!” In 2011, students on the trek visited firms such as Facebook, Google and Sequoia.
For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at HBS and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.