Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Where are HBS 2012 military veterans going?

In about a week or two, most of the HBS Class of 2014 will be showing up on campus. Echoes of "What did you do before school? Where did you go to undergrad? What do you want to do after HBS? Where are you from? Wow... that's so amazing!" will be heard on a non-stop pace for at least the next 30-45 days. Some people will absolutely fall in love with the idea of having 900 new potential friends, a few will really question what they got themselves into, and most will just feel awe-inspired that they're even at HBS and take every day as a gift.

HBS offered over 50 seats this year to military applicants, which is a higher number than in recent years. A couple of applicants will be going to Stanford instead, and a couple deferred by a year due to deployment or other military commitments. Plus there is one student who started with the Class of 2012, deployed to Afghanistan as a Marine reservist after his first year, took a 7.62 AK round through the shoulder, and is coming back to finish his final year at HBS this year with the Class of 2013. The student had a full recovery, and even managed to squeeze in his management consulting summer internship after coming back from demobilization!

What's important to note is the higher number of military students this year invading the halls of Spangler and Aldrich, with approximately 5 military guys/gals in every section. This is not an indication of a new trend necessarily, but it does continue to reflect the great emphasis and respect that HBS provides to the military community.

So what about the outgoing class? What are they doing? I've compiled some data...

So here are some observations:
  • About 60% of graduating military folks are heading to the traditional big three functions: Consulting, Banking, and General Management. So no big surprise there.
  • The rest are fragmented between Real Estate, Business Development, Investment Management, and a few are going into niche private equity positions. 
  • The "other" include marketing, product management, and two very unique positions which have very little to do with an MBA... just going to show that HBS spreads its seeds far and wide.
  • Interestingly, no traditional entrepreneurship coming from this year veteran's class. In frequent conversations with potential applicants and students, military students appear to have the least confidence in their entrepreneurial skills - which I think is a completely false position to hold, as some are the best qualified of all  - but that is the topic for another day.
So congrats to the outgoing Class of 2012! And welcome to the Class of 2014! Get ready for an incredible two years!