I just finished my first week as a Harvard Business School MBA candidate!... Wow, that feels pretty cool to say.
This week was a mix of every humanly possible emotion. I began the week with extreme excitement and a bit of anxiety, wondering what this adventure would hold. At 7am on Monday morning, we were given our section assignments. Sections are a defining aspect of the HBS experience, and how the program is able to feel close-knit and intimate, in spite of the fact that there are 900+ first year students. Each student is assigned to a section of about 90 people. We will stay in the same section for the entire year, taking all of our courses with the same group of people. We stay in the same room for all of our classes, while our professors rotate.
In addition to the sections, we are also all assigned to discussion groups of 6 people. The discussion groups are a cross-sectional mix. We meet every morning at 8am to discuss the cases for the day. The discussion groups are essentially a microcosm of the section experience, as they are composed of a diverse mix of students with varied experiences and backgrounds. By meeting daily with this small group, I've already been able to form bonds, which I'm sure will only deepen as the semester progresses.
Overall, I had a great week, but holy cow, I'm beyond tired. I was up until around midnight last night preparing cases for today's classes. The workload is pretty intense. That's why it's Friday night, and while many of my classmates are going out, I'm excited to relax in my on-campus apartment, watch mindless television, and go to bed early.