Wow. It’s been an incredible year. When I joined about a year and a half ago, Harvard Undergraduate Consulting on Business and the Environment was a different organization. We served only startups and local businesses. We had only 25 members handling about 6 cases and a community that severely lacked any sort of cohesion.
That’s since changed, thanks particularly to our outgoing President, Kevin Stephen. Thank you Kevin for your leadership and guidance.
We now have over 75 members in our organization, have successfully completed 18 cases with multiple Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft and Roche, and are a completely different organization. We’ve had parties in Boston hotels, fun outings to paint balling, and a community that has come together as a large family.
In the past year, we helped fund Breaktime, a Harvard startup that provides work for the homeless, secured $10,000 in funding for sustainable initiatives on campus through our Sustainability Grants, volunteered with multiple local organizations during Sustainability Day, and offered $15,000 in prize money for Harvard student led startups via Ventures. We have made a significant impact on our local community.
We can’t wait to continue all of this in the future with our new leadership team from the Board to the Case Team Leaders and Associates all under our new President, Rainbow Yeung.
While our focus in the past year was on external growth and development, our focus this year is on internal stability and analyst education. We aim to do this in three main ways based on suggestions that analysts have made.
All of our analysts are incredible Harvard students with a wealth of experience in various fields. It’s time that our analysts get an opportunity to help guide their peers through lifelong learning initiatives. This upcoming semester, we will plan events that will allow any member of the organization to hold a workshop and teach a valuable skill. A workshop on financial modeling, on speaking with clients, on slide design. Analysts are exceptionally skilled and can offer so much to our organization. Most importantly, such workshops will allow others to learn, which is of course the whole point of joining such an organization.
It is extremely important to us that we have a roomful of not only intelligent people, but diverse perspectives. We know we have not done super well on this front up until now, so this semester we will focus on ensuring that we have people from various backgrounds joining our organization. We plan on partnering with other organizations that represent underrepresented communities as well as finding ways to provide role models for those communities. CBE can only grow to be an effective organization if we have a community that can have a positive impact on everyone, no matter where they’re from.
Finally, we want to make sure that CBE feels like a home to the undergraduates who join us. Up to this point, analysts have often felt siloed in their case teams, finding limited opportunities to meet members of other teams. That has to change. We will work towards ensuring that we provide ways for analysts to meet people working on cases dissimilar from their own and learn from others in the organization. At this point, we hope to try a bunch of stuff and see what sticks! If one of them helps us break the barriers we’ve inadvertently formed between the cases, then we know we’ve succeeded.
I, for one, am extremely excited for next semester. This is an ever-growing, ever-changing organization driven completely based on analyst feedback. We can’t wait to involve analysts in every initiative that we push and have another successful semester. Till then, happy new year!