Alumni Beat 11 – 2014 Kick-Off Presenter Highlight: Roy Hirshland


We were honored to have Roy Hirshland present at our 2014 Kick-Off. Here we highlight his professional experience and career highlights.

Roy Hirshland

Roy Hirshland

Roy Hirshland is a CEO, Co-Founder of T3 Advisors. Based in Boston, Palo Alto and San Francisco, T3 is the leading global real estate & workplace consulting firm focused on advising technology companies. T3’s clients include public companies like LinkedIn as well as many emerging technology companies.

As CEO Roy leads T3’s management committee and focuses on strategy and branding. Roy is a recognized business leader. Roy has been named one of the 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award winners for the New England Region and featured in INC Magazine, and he is a frequent speaker on leadership, the workplace, and entrepreneurship. In addition, Roy is the founder of the highly recognized annual Amplify Summit on brand and culture.

Roy is on the board of directors of BUILD, an organization focused on using entrepreneurship to change the lives of disadvantaged inner city youth. He is a graduate of Colby College.

Alumni Beat 11 – Alumni Spotlight: Aldo Frosinini


Aldo attends Swarthmore College and is a new addition to the SVMP Alumni Association as a member of HBS SVMP 2014.

Aldo shares his SVMP experience and favorite memories:

It was the first day. I had just arrived and the cab had dropped me off in the wrong spot which required me to walk half way across HBS campus. I hope you can forgive me if all I could think about was how quickly I could get to the air conditioned dorms. Along the way I met Kareem Heshmat a fellow SVMPer who was equally lost, but full of energy and enthusiasm. His upbeat attitude made me realize how much fun the program would be regardless of what we’d learn during the week. After meeting a few folks we made our way to the Spangler Auditorium where we met Breeshna and Les. No one knew exactly what we’d be doing during SVMP (“something about cases studies” we thought), but Les and Breeshna put us at ease by passionately explaining the program all while accompanied by hilariously well-timed classical music which was playing in the background. When they wrapped up their explanation, we had the opportunity to introduce ourselves. Hearing all the amazing things my fellow SVMPers had done made me realize the caliber of people that I would soon befriend.

As we finished up for the night, I was itching to network. My aim is to get into consulting (preferably in the energy sector), so when Fadhi Ali mentioned his work at Roland Berger, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more. He and I immediately hit it off and had a wonderful conversation that accidentally made us both late for our scheduled meetings that night. Seeing how easy it was to connect with the SVMP alumni made me appreciate the close-knit nature of the SVMP network – something I value more and more each day. As the program continued I was consistently blown away by my classmates and professors. I want to give a shout out to Karen Liu, who worked with me late into each night trying to cover every possible angle of each case in preparation for the dreaded cold call. The level of rigor and thoughtfulness my classmates brought each day impressed me beyond words and made me proud to be part of the SVMP community. As a newly minted alumnus of the program, I am excited to continue to engage and grow with this remarkable community!

Alumni Beat 11 – Alumni Spotlight: Jalen F. Blot


Jalen attends Temple University and is a new addition to the SVMP Alumni Association as a member of HBS SVMP 2014

Jalen shares his SVMP experience and some of his most memorable moments:

“While there were many positive takeaways from SVMP, the best aspect to me was definitely the camaraderie fostered between 83 other people just as passionate I am. I struggled the first couple days at SVMP, partly due to the icebreaker at the kickoff meeting revealing my peers’ talents, because I didn’t understand why I was selected to represent SVMP amidst such great people. In a room full of multi-linguist, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and so forth, I felt lost. The icebreaker was facilitated by Breeshna Javed, an SVMP alum, in a fashion where we were asked to state our name, major, where we were interning, and a fun fact about ourselves. While I felt uncomfortable because I thought that my fun fact was not adequate, I realized the value in the activity. Connections were made left and right as my peers revealed commonalities in location, aspirations, and passions.

Through sharing my personal life experiences and listening to the experience of others, I found my place and better understood that life experience is relative—no one’s experience is above anyone else’s. Understanding this relativity helped me realize that I was accepted for a reason and was deserving of the opportunity. It was then that the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy” came to life. That was a pivotal moment early in the SVMP experience that allowed me to flourish.

I found the Harvard Business School’s environment to be communal and uplifting rather than the cold and closed off place that media and societal stereotypes make it out to be. This was consistent among my peers, SVMP facilitators, and HBS professors. If an SVMPer had a question about personal growth, business advice, or graduate school direction, someone was always there with an answer or provided an introduction to someone who had the answer the SVMPer was seeking. As someone pursuing a PhD in Organizational Behavior, I was very grateful for the advice and suggestions that SVMP alum and HBS faculty provided me with. I can vividly recall a conversation over dinner with Dean Dee Leopold about PhD programs. She didn’t know the answers to my questions, but promised that she would put me in contact with someone who did. As promised, the next day I received an email from Jen Mucciarone, an associate director of Harvard Doctoral Programs. This small exchange and opportunity that Dean Dee granted me was just a slight example of the care that HBS as a whole has for its prospective and current students. Overall the experience I had was both unrivaled and life changing. While I do not know in what capacity, I know that I will be making a return to the Harvard Business School.”

Alumni Beat 11 – Alumni Spotlight: Neena Speer


Neena Speer is a graduate of Howard University’s Class of 2014. She is currently a full-time student at University of Alabama School of Law.

Neena shares her SVMP experience along with how it has influenced her professional development to date:

SVMP was the catalyst for my networking potential. It taught me the value of my colleagues, the future of business as I know it. It is a skill that has served and expanded my law school opportunities. I also learned the value of what I brought to the classroom and how it could not be similar to anyone else’s story. I learned that diversity is what helped expand the world view of future business leaders and is what contributed to their resilience.

My best SVMP moment was when I met a classmate of mine who came told me his story about how he ended up here. I could have been asleep, but I realized that sometimes you have to give up sleep to be successful in meeting someone who will change your life. I left that conversation closer to a person not because we were alike but because the differences we had enabled me to learn more than living close minded ever could have.

I use Les’s advice every time I can about the hand written letters, and I have realized that even I have great joy sharing with a past, present, or current mentor how much I have learned and how thankful I am to have met them and learned from them. That personality trait has helped me excel, learn how to leave great impressions, and I leave places with a sense of security. To know that you made an impact in some way is a my greatest aspiration and that tool really did change my experiences in a meaningful way.

Alumni Beat 11 – 2014 Kick-Off Presenter Highlight: Janice Kassman


We were honored to have Janice Kassman present at our 2014 Kick-Off. Here we highlight her professional experience and career highlights.

Janice Kassman

Janice Kassman

Janice Kassman is the Principle of Kassman Consulting. As former Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Janice Kassman has over 25+ years of experience helping students navigate collegiate life, and leading higher educational institutions in addressing strategic issues. Her expertise in student services includes recruitment and retention; multicultural affairs; admissions and enrollment management; program development; and career planning.

Janice is a motivational speaker who specializes in coaching young professionals. She focuses on the transition from college to the workplace, She specializes in coaching new employees on the transition from college to the workplace, having presented talks on professionalism, communication skills, and standards in the workplace at such places as BlackRock in New York City. Young professionals benefit from her expertise through individual coaching or small group workshops.

Alumni Beat 11 – A Message from Corporate Relations

 A Message from Corporate Relations


The Corporate Relations team partners with external clients to add value to alumni through assistance on professional development and graduate school applications. Our partners are enthusiastic about SVMP and are eager to add value to your career. The MBA Exchange is the motivated by a strong desire to help others gain the intellectual, aspirational, and financial benefits that only a top-quality management education can provide. Select that you heard about them through SVMP when signing up for a free evaluation.

If you are interested in learning more about our partnership, please email Victor Chen at

 Manhattan GMAT Highlight


Manhattan GMAT, one of the best test prep companies and a long term partner with us, offers $400 student discount and a 10% discount for alumni by using code SVMP100. Veritas guarantees score improvement; get a $100 discount by using code SVMPAA. The MBA House is the world’s largest GMAT preparation; the 10% discount code is HBSSVMP10%. One of our newest partners, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), is excited to offer alumni a 15% application fee waver and is thrilled to work with many of you in the future to pursue your dreams. Email once you start your application to receive waver instructions. When you are ready to make another move to pursue your MBA dreams, our corporate partners are here to support you! Please do not hesitate to reach out to Victor regarding any questions or comments.

Alumni Beat 11 – MBA Exchange Webinar Review




Special thanks to one of our feature partners – the MBA Exchange, for offering their time and expertise to host a successful MBA Admissions Planning Webinar! The MBA Exchange is the leading resource for applicants to the world’s best MBA programs. They have a mission to help others gain the intellectual, emotional and economic benefits of a top-quality management education through customized strategies and tactics that distinguish one MBA application from the rest. We caught a glimpse of the insights that help build a compelling MBA candidacy through an exclusive webinar featuring Pauline Jennette, a former Associate Director of Admission from Harvard Business School, a Wharton MBA alumna, and Master Admissions Consultant at the MBA Exchange.


Pauline shared her experience and expertise over a range of admission topics, such as why top tier business schools are truly the only option, and what the key distinguishing factors are between the top 3-5 versus the top 5-10 and so on. Other topics that were covered include: just how critical the GMAT is, how to strategically time your application, how to best plan for the interviews, the value of working with an admissions consultant, and many others.


So what is one of the strategies to ensure you have a compelling application to offer? A strong applicant is one who is perceived as more authentic by recognizing and embracing their vulnerabilities and by allowing that to show through their application.

With 100 registered participants, we are lucky to have had such a valuable webinar session with the MBA Exchange. Please feel free to sign up for a free consultation. When you sign up for a package make sure to put down SVMP so that the MBA Exchange staff will prioritize your request!

Visit the MBA Exchange