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HBS Gives Thanks: The Unsung Heroes of HBS Experience

Why an annual tradition that was started in 2013 should become part of our daily lives…

When I first stepped foot on this hallow ground way back in November 2014, I knew this place was special. Part of what made my brief visit to HBS for my interview so memorable was how smooth the operations around here were ran. Everything ran on tight schedule, from coffee with a current student to iLab visit to campus tour. Everything ran smoothly and people seemed to be well coordinated, moving from one location to another seamlessly.

I didn’t give much thoughts back then because my mind was obviously occupied with other critical matters (like my interview!), but having spent nearly 9 months on campus, I began to wonder how much works go behind the scene in making our lives here on campus beyond magical.

For a moment, I have to remind myself that HBS is not Hogwarts, there are no house elves working tireless to make the bed, take out the rubbish, and brush the toilet bowl. This place is ran by a dedicated group of staff who works around the clock to make our student life as comfortable as possible, a fact sometimes we took for granted as we dash from one class to the next.

Three years ago, Class of 2014 came to this exact realisation – who ran HBS? There is a saying back in Malaysia that it takes a village to raise a child. Apparently, it takes 24 departments and more than 1,200 staff to raise a generation of business leaders at HBS.

We see them blended into our everyday life, from Marcela who greeted you with her warm smile every morning at Spangler Hall as you quickly grabbed your breakfast and dashed to your discussion group meeting, to Jose who quietly cleaned the blackboards between classes, to Kumar who patiently let you back in to your dorm and room because you locked yourself out for the nth times.

And then there’s Kieran who turned the heat up during that extremely cold Valentine Day’s weekend, Aizan who spent countless hours coding to make sure that Strategic Brew game we played was without any glitch, and Leslie who patiently went through all the financial concepts we should already knew by heart during FIN2 review sessions.

Some contributions were obvious while others were less so. All equally deserve our gratitude.

In the past years, the student body came together behind a marquee event to celebrate the staff for their tireless contributions in shaping our memorable student experience. This year however, the HBS Give Thanks committee feels that the spirit of Give Thanks should extend beyond the one-day-big-event-celebration.

Every month, The Harbus will feature the profiles of HBS staff, highlighting their works in the community. Hopefully, as we learn more about the people whose works affect every aspect of our campus experience, the spirit of Give Thanks and the culture of gratitude become ingrain in our daily life.

The Give Thanks Committee also ran an Instagram campaign from 25th – 29th April under the hashtag #HBSGiveThanks2016. DO YOU KNOW?

Get to know the various departments and staff behind the operations that shape your #LifeatHBS experience.

The Dean's Office supports Dean Nohria and oversees overall function of the School.

The Division of Research & Faculty Development (DRFD) is responsible for hiring faculty. Research Assistants work closely with faculty to develop and write cases. Faculty Assistants support faculty through tutorials, review sessions, and management of Learning Hub. The Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning helps train faculty.

The Doctoral Office is in charged with the administration of doctoral students, from admission to graduation.

The Finance Office manages the finances for the school.

The Harvard Business Publishing (HBR) is responsible for the free HBR copy you receive every month in your Aldrich mailbox, sales and marketing of HBS’ cases, and corporate learning.

HBX is in charged of building, managing, and growing HBS online learning platform.

Human Resources manages hiring process, payroll, HR issues, and other related HR services.

Information Technology Group- maintains network; develops educational simulations; provides media services and tech support.

The Initiatives is a faculty-led research initiatives that source students, faculty, staff, executive education, and alumni to work on interesting projects in line with the School’s mission to make a difference in the world.

Knowledge & Library Services manages the Baker Library and information management for entire School and also acts as archive for historical collections.

Marketing & Communications manages PR, brand and style for the school, distributes e-newsletters

The MBA Office consists of Admission, CPD, Financial Aid, GEO (that manages FIELD2 and IFC), Registrar Services, Student Academic Services that is in charge of prematriculation, FIELD1 and 3 support, wellness programming, student activities, and various other student support services, and Program Administration that consist of upper level management, MBA IT, and MBA marketing to keep the program run smoothly.

The Operations is the caretaker of landscaping, campus services, facilities maintenance, housing, operations support services, restaurant associates, security, Shad, and custodial services.


No of StaffDean's Office

7Division of Research & Faculty Development

269Doctoral Program


15Global Initiative

5Harvard Innovation Lab

10HBS Initiatives


43Human Resources

12Information Technology Group

154Knowledge and Library Services

53Marketing and Communications

14MBA Program


46Contractors (Various)

425Adzmel Adznan (HBS 17’) is a trained engineer, accidental strategist, and aspiring writer who enjoys spending his time at the beach reading, writing, and sunbathing. Prior to HBS, he worked in the oil & gas industry for 7 years and apart from writing for The Harbus, he is involved in the Energy & Environment and  Outdoor Clubs. He plans to rent a small cottage in the Caribbean over the summer to finish off one of his many outstanding novels.

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