With our global headquarters located in Boston’s Back Bay, we are constantly inspired and energized by the outstanding academic and entrepreneurial work being done all around us. Boston is steeped in history and education — some of its oldest institutions are its world-class universities. By comparison Wayfair is a relative newcomer, yet much like our neighbors in the academic world we’ve shared a love for experimentation and learning since the start.
These mutual interests have led to exciting knowledge-sharing efforts, including a recent initiative with Harvard Business Publishing, a not-for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard University, reporting to Harvard Business School (HBS). We collaborated with HBP to pilot an engaging learning experience designed to provide leadership skills to technical employees.
"I found the program highly valuable as it provided well-rounded guidance in leading teams across cross-functional projects."
This program goes beyond the rote study and repetition of traditional courses by combining online learning, discussion and reflection sessions, allyship, exposure, and self evaluation. The inaugural cohort consisted of nearly two dozen employees on the Operations Technology team, whose roles range from software engineers to product managers to user experience designers.
Wayfair continues to invest in developing the technical leaders of the future and support this exciting trajectory, helping our ambitious employees further develop the skills and stretch experiences needed to accelerate their personal growth. Upskilling technical employees is integral to helping our people reach their ambitious goals and pursue their passions, while offering a culture that encourages the kind of smart risk-taking that is in our entrepreneurial roots.
The program ran for six months and included a curated selection of industry-leading courses taught by HBS professors, coupled with resources strategically selected to help Wayfairians achieve their professional development goals.
"I found the program highly valuable as it provided well-rounded guidance in leading teams across cross-functional projects,” said Krishna Kumar, senior engineering manager at Wayfair. “The syllabus was exciting and engaging with HBS case studies, team exercises, mentorship and allyship programs, and talks from Wayfair leaders and Harvard professors. It was a wonderful learning experience to listen to different perspectives from the speakers as well as my colleagues, and participate in intellectually stimulating conversations."
We are in the process of expanding the program to other Tech teams and plan to launch another cohort in 2022. Ultimately, we intend for this program to serve as a conduit for future Technology leaders as the organization continues to grow.
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