Sunday, September 21, 2014

The busy life

Things are starting to ramp up. It's weird, I thought that my first 3 weeks of HBS were hectic. I can't remember the last night I actually was able to get 8 hours of sleep. Everyday seems filled to capacity -- from time spent in class and with my discussion group, to preparing cases, to study groups and review sessions, to dinners with my sectionmates, to countless parties.

Yet, I'm realizing that this has likely been the most relaxing time of my first year, because now, clubs are kicking off. Amongst the 90+ student clubs at HBS, I have to decide which ones I want to join, and whether I want to run for an officer position. Right now, I'm thinking about joining the Social Enterprise Club, and there are several more that I'm considering, including Board Fellows, and the Harbus Foundation.

In addition to those activities, we're now also gearing up for recruiting. This coming week, there's an event called Career Teams. Apparently about 600 first year students participated last year and it's supposed to be incredibly helpful. Plus, our officially-formatted HBS resumes must be submitted to the career development office soon. These resumes will go into the large Resume Book that is seen by employers/recruiters.

So anyway, despite the fact that I'm severely sleep-deprived and I know that things will only become more intense, I'm still ridiculously excited about what's ahead of me for this first year at HBS.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Round 1 Applicants -- Do this

Eek, it's almost time to finally press "Submit" on your application!

You're stressed and tired and likely feeling anxious. Take a moment to breathe. If you've been focusing on your app for multiple hours, walk away for a bit. Spend some time re-focusing your energy, then come back later to proofread. Make sure you are telling a compelling story that shows how you will contribute to the HBS classroom experience and one that highlights your leadership potential. The admissions committee isn't looking for the next great author, so your writing doesn't have to be award-winning... but don't be sloppy. Watch out for typos and check your grammar. Consider having a friend or colleague review your essay. After that, take Dee Leopold's advice and "don't overthink it." Press "Submit," and then go celebrate. You deserve it.

Friday, September 5, 2014


The admissions team is running a social media campaign called "Life at HBS." Based on feedback from prior years, it seems that applicants are really interested in what life is really like at HBS. They've asked us current students to use the hashtag #LifeAtHBS on many of our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc posts. So, if you haven't already checked it out, it'll give you something to do after you submit your application and are looking for a distraction for the next 3 weeks until interview invites are released (I wish they had this when I applied!).

In the spirit of that campaign, I'm writing more about my life at HBS. Here are a couple of basics:

All first year students (known as RCs), take 6 classes the first semester:
  • TOM: Technology Operations Management: This is basically an operations class
  • FRC: Financial Reporting and Control: This is an accounting class, but HBS likes to use fancy names
  • LEAD: This is a class on leadership and is often cited by alums as one of the most important classes they took
  • MKT: Marketing: This name is pretty straightforward
  • FIN: Finance: We won't officially start our finance classes until next week
  • FIELD: This is a three-part course that spans the entire first year. In Field 1, the focus is on interpersonal dynamics and teamwork. In FIELD 2, we'll all travel to developing countries to consult on a good or service for a company. Lastly, in FIELD 3, we'll work in small teams and get a couple thousand dollars from HBS to launch a start-up.

We're typically in class from around 8am-3pm, followed by activities, events, speakers, meetings with professors, and review sessions. Then, we spend a few hours each evening preparing for the following day's cases. Amidst all of that, we often have group dinners or go out for drinks. There are also multiple campus parties each week. All-in-all, we are often sleep-deprived, but the experience has been pretty freakin' amazing.