Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

My Findings

In hashing out what currently exists in the framework for SC turnovers, it became very clear that there was not much consistency or concreteness. I found the following themes throughout my interviews and conversations with past/current SC members, which were generally identified as problematic:

Abrupt transition:
            Many past SC members referenced their experience with a very abrupt transition into the position. Typically, one, one-hour joint meeting between the incoming and outgoing groups would be held in which keys to the FOP Office and some general advice would be handed over. With this being the only formal “hand-off”, many feel as though they were just kind of thrown into the position without much preparation or guidance.

Incomplete preparative materials:
            One concrete set of documents that is usually handed over to the incoming SC is a set of project reports. These project reports outline key takeaways from each SC project, as well as advice, a proposed timeline, and any key contacts to know and have. It has been revealed that over the last three years, these project reports have been very erratic in terms of completion and level of specificity/quality. This has left certain SC members, depending on the project reports they received (or did not receive), feeling as though they were ill prepared and were “reinventing the wheel” on each project.

Lack of collaboration/communication between transitioning groups:
            Many past SC members also discussed the lack of communication and collaboration between the groups both during and after the turnover. Even between people who work on the same projects but in differing years, collaboration and conversations going beyond logistical advice rely upon already existing personal relationships. As of now, there is no expectation or precedent set for communication between project point people from year to year. This is mainly where the idea of “reinventing the wheel” comes into play.


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