I feel fortunate to be affiliated with an institution with such a strong sense of mission. The HBS mission—to educate leaders who make a difference in the world—is at the core of all we do. It influences how we teach, how we learn, how we build community, and how we support one another. 

For the admissions team, the mission keeps us focused on crafting an exceptional class of leaders each year from across the entire world. We welcome applications from all people, everywhere, who share a passion for learning and making a difference in the world.

This past week, I had the great pleasure of spending two days with our Round 1 admits during Admitted Students Welcome. This gave me time to reflect, again, on the power of bringing together a smart, diverse, and motivated group of leaders in a learning community. 

This is especially true at HBS since the case method thrives on diverse perspectives. Easy answers are hard to come by in the real world, so the case method and the broader learning model at HBS are designed to help you develop good judgment. Let me explain.

Over the course of two years at HBS you put yourself in the shoes of hundreds of different business leaders facing big decisions. You debate with your classmates the best course of action, and you won’t always agree. But, you learn to listen, to respectfully make counterpoints, and to understand where someone else is coming from. Your professors expertly guide the conversation toward key insights, but much of the learning comes from your peers. The case method works because students bring different perspectives to the classroom every day — perspectives shaped by their individual experiences, upbringings, world views, and aspirations.

When I was a student, the most meaningful case discussions were the ones where I came in with a strong opinion about what the case protagonist should do, then walked out of the debate having totally changed my mind. Over the course of two years my classmates molded me into a better communicator, a person with more empathy, and a leader with better judgment. (Although I still have a lot to learn!)

So this post is a (long-winded) way of reaffirming our commitment to assembling a class of remarkable leaders who will make a difference in the world, wherever they come from. The recent U.S. executive order restricting travel to America for citizens from certain countries does not change this, nor are we changing our admissions policy or practices as a result. 

While we have limited influence on visa and residency decisions by the government, we will do our best to make it possible for each admitted student to attend HBS (and we are working with our colleagues across Harvard University to ensure that the consequences of the order, as it is being evaluated by the judicial system, are understood). The case method, our community, and the HBS mission depend on it.

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