OCS Firsthand Advisers

The OCS Firsthand Advisers platform connects students with alumni virtually from a variety of Harvard schools who have worked at top organizations worldwide and have volunteered to support current students in their career pursuits. This tool features:
  • Nearly 2,500 alumni across a variety of industries and professions.
  • Ability to search alumni by field of study, industry, employer, and area of expertise.
  • Scheduling and connection tools to engage in “flash mentoring.”
  • Options for a one-on-one career chat, resume review, or mock interview.
  • “Group” features that connect students and alumni across specific affinity and interest areas.
  • Critical advice from alumni in the post-COVID economy.
  • Over 1,000 new advisers that have been added since the COVID outbreak, thanks to outreach by the Harvard Alumni Association.

There are also several thousand professionals on OCS Firsthand Advisers who are not Harvard alumni, but are still available to you free of charge.

Getting Started

Access the OCS Firsthand Advisers platform using these simple steps:

  • Visit https://harvardocs.firsthand.co/.
  • Click the “Get Advice” button.
  • If it is your first time accessing Firsthand, use the "No password yet?" link to have a password sent to your Harvard email address. Otherwise use the password you created or the “Forgot password?” option.
  • Complete Your Profile. The following fields are required for your profile to be considered complete:
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email
    • Current Location
    • Education (required for each degree):
      • School Name
      • Graduation Year
      • Degree
      • Field of Study
    • Career Goals (“I’m really not sure” is an option)
  • For more information, review the How to Register video tutorial.

OCS / HAA Firsthand Adviser "Group" Pilot

OCS has partnered with the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) and other campus partners to pilot the "Group" feature in the Firsthand Advisers platform. By joining a Group, students and alumni can identify each other based on a shared interest, identity, or residence. There is also a "Discussion" feature to post questions, thoughts, etc. only to other group members. Below are the alumni communities that have volunteered to participate in this pilot. This is just a small number of groups and does not fully represent the diversity and expansive interests of Harvard alumni and students.

  • Currier House
  • FGLI (First Gen, Low Income) Students and Alumni
  • Global Development Sector
  • Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance (HAAAA)
  • Latinx/Hispanic Students and Alums
  • Native American Alumni of Harvard University (NAAHU)
  • Public Service Advising