Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Iris Su - Blueprint for Action


In order to provide incoming managing directors all the necessary tools it takes to cultivate a warm and inviting environment for their team members who are generally just beginning college, often confused and seeking a space and place to call home, I decided to do some more research on what it takes to create a good community (especially virtually). The purpose and goal of this research project is to provide some tips and support for leaders at HSA or similar work organizations on effective community-building.


In my pursuit of finding the answers to what creates a good community and what leaders such as the managing directors at HSA can do, I interviewed 8 individuals from various roles and differing durations at the company.

Through rather informal interviews, I was able to check-in with each of them and ask about how they felt at the company, what they thought about the HSA community, what worked well and what didn’t work well. The reason for such causal interviews was so that I would be able to get the most candid responses from each individual to be able to see what was going on and what was working well.


Through all the different interviews I conducted and getting some general information regarding how HSA is doing through its weekly climate surveys, I was able to see how the people felt about the community in the past, currently, and what they are looking forward to! There were also awesome tips (outlined down below in the guide I put together for future managing directors) and quotes that came out of the whole process. 


I decided to make something for the incoming managing directors to give them some more guidance on community building. Outlined below is a guide that I put together regarding a little bit about in-person community, virtual community, and effective tips and strategies. 

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