Officially Back In Boston!

Ok, so technically I've been back in Boston for nearly 2 days, BUT today was the first day that I actually got up, put on real clothes and makeup, and crawled out of the cave that is my dorm room, so I feel like I'm justified in saying that I'm officially back in Beantown as of today. This morning's adventures involved picking up my course material for the first two weeks (exciting!), checking my mail after a whole summer (depressing loan statements) and saying hello to Harvard Square (where I had mundane errands to run). Thankfully what looked like it was going to be a cold, wet, gloomy day (as it was yesterday) has turned into warm blue skies with only the tiniest bit of nip in the air --- a signal that fall is on its way already.

For now, I'm off to Target and then Lauren and I are having a belated birthday dinner at Grotto (yay for extended Restaurant Week menus!). Classes officially begin next Wednesday, although we have a "Welcome" from the Dean on Tuesday and then Section reuinions afterward. I'll be sure to keep on top of my postings as things get going!

My Institutional Memory Video is Finally Up!

Last fall I participated in the HBS Institutional Memory project, that I believe was tied to the school's 100 year anniversary. Regardless, it was an opportunity to sit down in front of the camera and talk about my experience at HBS, which at that point had only been 6 weeks long, but already significant! I've been checking the site for months to see when the Class of 2010 videos would be posted and today I noticed that they were! So take a few minutes (or 7, that's how long my video runs) and check out what some real HBS students have to say about their experiences applying to and attending HBS!

EC Courses!

I have so much to blog about -- my reflections on my time in DC, my brief trip to Disney, what's in store for my life in the next few weeks/months, but right now I'm too excited about my EC Courses to think about much else! Course Selections (which were delivered via lottery) came out today and I'm SO thrilled to have received almost all of my top picks. There are a few classes that overlap a bit in coursework, so I may try to swap out one or two during add/drop, but overall, I'm totally satisfied.

Fall Schedule:

  • Consumer Marketing (My #1 pick)
  • Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise (My #2 pick)
  • Authentic Leadership Development (My #3 pick)
  • Commerce & Society
  • Managing Service Operations
Winter Schedule:
  • Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries (My #1 pick)
  • Competing with Social Networks (My #2 pick)
  • Half-Course in Digital Marketing Strategy (My #3 pick)
  • Half-Course in Retailing (Also a #3 pick)
  • Managing Innovation
  • Leading Innovative Ventures (this is the one I'm most likely to swap out since it's so similar to Managing Innovation).

The Global Fund for Children

Hi folks! I'm blogging from my apartment in DC for the very last time. Tomorrow morning at 4:45a.m. I'll be hopping on a shuttle to the airport and flying out to Disney. And while I'm super excited to see all my old co-workers and go back to the parks after a whole year away, I'm definitely sad to be leaving DC and the friends I made here. Since my last day at GFC was yesterday, I got to thinking and realized that I never truly gave the organization it's due on my blog. And since yesterday was a particularly poignant day in my internship (I did my final presentation, said my goodbyes and hopefully left having made an impact), I wanted to devote today's entry to them. I'll blog more about my reflections on my DC summer in a later post.

So, what is The Global Fund for Children? I wouldn't be surprised if many of you hadn't heard of them, as I definitely hadn't until I applied for my internship last March. Now, perhaps that's because I was entirely tuned out to the non-profit community, but that's another story in itself. In a nutshell, The Global Fund for Children is a grant-making organization that supports innovative, grassroots groups around the world that in turn help the most "vulnerable" (aka impoverished, those without access to education or proper health care, etc.) children in their communities. They are structured with Program Officers that cover different regions of the world, and these officers go out and scout for the groups that will eventually be funded. One of my favorite grantee partners is the original: the train platform schools in India.

The organization's founder, Maya Ajmera, discovered this group before she started GFC -- in fact, it was her inspiration to begin the non-profit. Basically, children in India who work/sleep/eat/live on/near the train platforms weren't getting an education, but instead of trying to change the culture and get those kids sent to school instead of being sent to the platforms, one innovative teacher decided to bring the school to the kids. He/She (?) started coming by and giving lessons to the children. Maya found out that it took something like $400USD a YEAR to support this school and keep things running, and that's when she decided to start GFC and give small, but incredibly meaningful, grants to people that are trying to make a difference at the COMMUNITY level. Through my summer, I've learned that all too often it's these small, grassroots-level groups that are missed -- they fly under the radar with all of the huge, more national-in-scope non-profits that steal the spotlight. Yet often, it's these small groups that truly understand the needs and culture of the community THE BEST -- they can make the most difference, and they don't need a million dollars to do it.

So that's how GFC's grant-making mission came about, but then there's also a book publishing program, and that's where I spent my summer. The Global Fund for Children Books brand is spectacular -- at present they have roughly 25 photo-illustrated titles that are all about multiculturalism and promoting global citizenship among children. A few of my favorites are Global Babies, a board book for infants/toddlers that shows the faces of babies around the world, Faith, a book for elementary-school children that depicts kids of all different religions engaging in prayer, celebrations and rituals, and Children from Australia to Zimbabwe, which was actually GFC's first book -- it's an A-Z tour of the globe featuring children from 26 different countries. What I like best about these books is the fact that they introduce children to diversity at a very early age and in a way that's subtle, but again, can make a great impact. It teaches children to recognize the different cultures of the world, but also helps them look beyond the differences to find how similar they actually are to all different races, religions, socioeconomic statuses, etc. It really does promote global citizenship, which I hope helps foster a more tolerant, accepting and peaceful generation!

During my internship, I was essentially in charge of revamping GFC's books marketing program and creating a strategic partnership outreach platform. I worked up an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan template for the organization and filled it out for three of their books, and then I did research surrounding strategic partnerships in both the corporate and non-profit sectors and hopefully got GFC's foot in the door with several different organizations. I also made some great friends while I was there, and will miss seeing everyone's smiling, PASSIONATE faces every day (Hi Tamar, Jerry, Cynthia, Maya, Victoria, Amy, EVERYONE!).

If you are interested in learning more about The Global Fund for Children, I HIGHLY suggest that you visit their Web site -- and check out the ONLINE BOOKSTORE (See the SHOP ONLINE link at the top right). If you purchase your children's books (for your children, as a gift, for a friend who is having a baby shower) directly from GFC's Web site than all of the proceeds from the sale go right back into funding GFC book development and/or grantmaking (i.e. purchasing from a mass retailer deliver only a small royalty to GFC, so if you really want to help the organization, buy direct)! And of course, if you have any questions about my experience, you can feel free to ask me directly. :)

That's a wrap folks, see you real soon (i.e. after my Disney trip!).