HBS Black Alumni Gather for Career Fair

The African-American Student Union's 25th Annual Career/Alumni Conference for the Harvard Business School (HBS), attracted approximately 500 alumni and students to Cambridge this weekend.

The conference served as a forum for prospective, current and past students to interact and exchange ideas, according to Beverly J. Anderson, president of the student union.

The theme of this year's conference, 'Our Silver Past And Our Golden Future,' commemorated the silver anniversary of the event, according to Mark A. Tatum, coordinator of public relations for the conference and a first-year student at HBS.

"The conference also serves as a networking opportunity for potential career choices for students and alumni," Anderson said.

Between 350 and 400 of the Business school's 1,200 black alumni around the world attended the conference, according to Tatum. "Alumni come back to the University to share their perspectives on what they have been doing," he said.


"The caliber of speakers that we brought in was incredible," he added.

The four-day conference included panel discussions and keynote speeches by Robert Holland, former CEO of Ben and Jerry's Homemade Inc.; Loida N. Lewis, chair and CEO of Beatrice International Holdings, Inc.; and Earl G. Graves, president and CEO of Earl G. Graves, Ltd. ,

"We also invite prospective African-American students to the event," Tatum said. He added that attending the conference as a prospective student last year convinced him to attend HBS.

Both Anderson and Tatum said having a black perspective as the focus of the conference allowed the group to better zero in on issues HBS's black students and alumni face.

"We feel that students and alumni of African descent have specific issues and needs that are not fully addressed in any other forum," Anderson said.

For instance, a panel discussion on "Women of Color in Business" allowed minority women associated with HBS to respond very specifically to audience concerns, Tatum said.

"We brought in prominent African-American alumni who described how they have dealt with some of these issues," he said