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Researching Career Choices Made by Women

Published: 05/15/2006

A new initiative to integrate Baker's information resources into the Harvard Business School curriculum has born its first fruit with professor Myra Hart's spring program New Path: Setting New Professional Directions.

The six-day program gave seventeen HBS alumnae "an immersion in everything you need to know to re-enter the professional work force, a combination of deep dive into yourself, a look at who you are and understanding what is really satisfying to you," Hart said. "What's the best utilization of your skills that will really make you happy and actualized?"

Hart said her team worked with Baker staff in defining the elements needed to incorporate in the program, strategies for communicating with the program's participants about various School offerings, and providing resources for participants to do hands-on work.

The work on New Path was just the start for the Curriculum Services Group, which was formed to find innovative ways to integrate Baker's considerable information resources into HBS curricula, and thus is part of Baker Library's mission to support the teaching and learning experience at HBS. This group of business information subject experts, who also have an education background, began their work by taking a systematic look at how courses and cases are developed at HBS and identifying programmatic ways to proactively engage in these processes.

The group's first tasks are to:

  • "Map" the HBS course and case development processes in order to identify key points where Baker's information resources could enrich the learning opportunity.
  • Inventory course and case development related work already underway in various Baker departments as illustrative of the range of possibilities that could be more broadly applied across HBS.
  • Launch several pilot projects to test collaborative approaches and identify models that will apply in similar situations.

New Path resulted as one of the group's first pilot projects--an opportunity to work with the faculty and program staff to leverage Baker's resources and information research expertise, said Elizabeth Bibby, Director, Curriculum Services.

Other pilot projects include:

  • Executive Education: collaborating on the development of the new OPM group, working with Professor Lynda Applegate.
  • MBA: collaborating with Professor Nabil El Hage and his Research Associate, Chris Payton, in the development of a new EC half course, "Active Investing in Illiquid Assets."
  • MBA: collaborating with Professors Kash Rangan and Senior Lecturer Michael Chu on revising a new EC half course, "Business Approaches to Serving the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid."

Each project has a slightly different focus on the interplay of research, teaching, and creating and sharing new knowledge (e.g., through cases, articles, conferences, etc.), said Deb Wallace, Managing Director, Curriculum and Information Research. "Cross-functional teams of Baker staff with different capabilities have been brought together to work on each of these projects. At the same time, we are engaged in an action research project to test our hypothesis that the teaching and learning experience at HBS can be enriched through a collaboration with faculty to leverage Baker resources and expertise."

Contact: Deb Wallace

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