Around The Yard: Benjamin Cohen

Returning to for a third season, "Around The Yard: Life As A Harvard Student-Athlete" explores life away from the playing fields for select Harvard student-athletes through their own first-person narrativeFor a full list of blog entries, click here.

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Benjamin Cohen
Feb. 24, 2017

People often ask if it's easy to get lost at a big university like Harvard, but in my opinion the size of the university is actually one of its most underrated assets. I’ve experienced this advantage of access through the research project on human capital in startups that I’m working on at the business school.

We want to understand how the roles and responsibilities of employees change as startups grow and prosper, or wither and die. Our project brings big (longitudinal) data to this typically qualitative question. Working with Alicia DeSantola, a doctoral student and Professor Rory McDonald has been an amazing opportunity for mentorship and to get exposed to new ideas and the field of academic research in general and learn new skills.

For me, the project has been an outlet to apply the theory and methods that I’ve learned in class. For example, this semester I’m taking a class called Networks where we learn how to analyze networks (I wonder why they call it networks, haha) which has inspired me to apply some of the same methods to better understand the networks that exist within startups. This exploration might result in an independent study in next fall.

The best part is that I am able to be a full participant in my academics, athletics and the research team, which is only possible because of our coaches commitment to developing a flexible practice schedule that works for all of the athletes on the team.