Traditionally, the phrase winter break denotes relaxation -
a rest for the mind between the semesters of a school year. Yet for some
Harvard Business School (HBS) students, this year's break involved stimulating
field work in locations such as Israel, Mexico, and New Orleans.

More than 320 first-
and second- year Harvard MBA students participated in this year's Immersion Experience Program (IXP), which maximizes participant-centered learning by
integrating HBS's distinctive case method of instruction with field-based
learning. Each IXP group is anchored by the expertise of one or more faculty
members who develop the program content and lead the various activities.

This year,
participating students engaged in one of the following programs:

  • Boston:
    Healthcare - Science, Delivery, & Regulation

    - led by
    Professor Richard Hamermesh
  • Boston:
    Value-Based Healthcare Delivery

    - led by
    University Professor Michael Porter
  • China:
    Understanding a Business Environment

    led by Senior Fellow Regina Abrami
  • Europe:
    Europe Divided? The Economic Geography of Business

    - led by
    Professor David Collis
  • Israel:
    The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital 'Miracle'

    - led by
    Senior Lecturer Daniel Isenberg
  • Mexico:
    Business Opportunities in Emerging Markets

    - led by
    Senior Lecturer Michael Chu
  • New Orleans:
    Service and Leadership in an Entrepreneurial Environment

    - led by
    Lecturer Stacey Childress and Professor David Thomas
  • Silicon
    Valley: First-Hand Views of High Potential Entrepreneurial

    led by Professors Thomas Eisenmann and Senior Lecturer
    Michael Roberts

The IXP is a
school-led experience, compared to the student-led Career Treks that many HBS
MBAs also participate in during the winter break to explore careers and make
valuable contacts in different parts of the world. It is generally composed of
three elements:

  • Pre-departure activities to
    introduce and prepare students for the IXP,
  • An intensive multi-day
    Immersion Experience during a School break, and
  • A post-program opportunity
    for sharing

    lessons learned

    with the wider

    HBS and Harvard

    University community.

Through the
Immersion Experience Program, HBS MBAs become involved in some of the world's
most important issues, often in the region of the world where these issues are
actually taking place, said Regina Abrami, faculty chair of the HBS Immersion
Experience Program. Now in its third year, the program embodies the
School's ongoing commitment to provide students with an education in general
management and leadership that is both practical and far-reaching in today's
ever-evolving global environment.

Founded in 1908 as
part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than
200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well
as more than 140 open enrollment and custom Executive Education programs.