Harvard Business School Announces New RISE Career Fellow Program

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BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) will select a RISE (Recognizing Individuals Seeking Equity) Career Fellow from the MBA Class of 2023. The fellow’s income will be supplemented for one year following graduation so that they can work with, learn from, and make a difference in a growing business that is creating economic opportunity for marginalized communities in the US. All graduating students are eligible to apply for the program in February 2023, and the fellow will be selected in March.

“The RISE Career Fellow program will strengthen HBS’s connections with underserved communities and

help to fulfill the School’s public commitment, made in its Advancing Racial Equity action plan, to engage with the broader business community to promote racial equity,” said Alicia Thomas, director of diversity and inclusion for HBS’s MBA and Doctoral programs. “The experience is meant to have a lasting impact on the fellow’s development as a leader and on the company and community where they will work.”

The fellowship’s unique model provides funding for one graduating student to join an organization dedicated to creating local financial and business opportunities. The RISE Career Fellow will select a company and partner with its leadership to design a one-year position that will apply their MBA skills to bring significant value and capacity to both the business and its community.

Applicants may work with the HBS Career and Professional Development team on their job search and will be encouraged to pursue an opportunity in a community with a racial wealth gap, ideally one that has not traditionally attracted HBS MBAs. The fellow will receive an award of $112,500 from HBS, which will combine with the employer’s commitment of $37,500 for an annualized salary of $150,000.

HBS offers a variety of career support and exploration fellowships. Nearly 66 percent of students change career paths after completing their MBA, and the School does not want debt burden to affect their career choice.

“Programs like these allow recent graduates to pursue career paths for making a difference in the world aligned to their passions,” noted Senior Lecturer Henry McGee, who teaches the course Scaling Minority Businesses. “Once in their role, they can engage in meaningful, senior-level work while earning a market competitive salary that the business may not be able to afford on its own. It also gives the business access to top-tier MBA talent that can assume a longer-term strategic or operational role.”

HBS previously launched the RISE Fellowship for financial aid, which awards $10,000 to up to 10 MBA students in each class who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to serving marginalized communities of color within the US prior to enrolling at HBS.