Here’s what the tarot cards, fortune cookies, 1-900 numbers, and general intuition suggest we may look forward to in the continuing deployment of the FIELD program.
The Future of FIELD
Now that job hunting season is over (at least for those among us intelligent enough to give up on their wild professional fantasies and just settle on a corporate consulting position), HBS’ intrepid FIELD program has returned to take center stage in the hearts and minds of the masses. Many of the HBS brass have suggested that FIELD III is the capstone element of the course curriculum…but what if we’re not done just yet?
FIELD III (Present)
According to HBS’ executive summary, student teams conceive and build out microbusiness ideas with the goal of generating “arm’s length” revenue. Each team is given $3,000, with which it may tacitly bribe classmates into participating in heavily biased and/or inconclusive surveys, trials, and focus groups. Punishment for performing poorly is the assignment of a 10-12 page paper. Key takeaways include a wild redefinition of the business term “arm’s length,” and a broadly-applicable ice breaker, conversation topic, and general thing to bitch about.
Pretty much the same as Field III, only this time, students are allowed to create businesses that leverage campus food services, delve into the realms of alcohol, adult toy subscriptions, and violence, or otherwise engage in illegal activity. Purportedly, the goal of this module is to proactively bamboozle and discourage students (via Field III) before allowing them to actually enter an industry with any real income potential. Non-profit business ideas are still not allowed.
FIELD V, VI
These courses, taken simultaneously, expand the Field program farther down in the timeline of the entrepreneurial process. In Field V, groups of students will each be given a mid-sized business with modest past success and growth potential (See Exhibits 1 through 9,452 or whatever). Over the course of a semester, they will develop an effective exit strategy and be charged with actually selling their businesses to “strategic acquirers.” In Field VI, students form the aforementioned Private Equity (“strategic acquirer”) firms and will be subjected to hearing out their classmates’ banal pitches. Each PE team is afforded a minimum level of $3,000 with which to buy its portfolio of startups, but may receive additional funding based on the whim of a few overzealous HBS students in Sections C or H who just altogether take trivial activities way, way, way too seriously.
Students are split up into teams and asked over the course of a semester to individually write 10-12 page papers. Those teams who fail to develop effective papers by certain arbitrary milestone dates will be punished by being forced to start microbusinesses.
In the ongoing chronicling of the life of the entrepreneur, Field VIII commences where Field V left off. Students are placed in the shoes of moguls who have just recently sold their businesses, and are set on acquiring a postgraduate education. Each student will be charged with writing lengthy personal essays that articulate pertinent made-up life experiences and character traits. They will also be provided $3,000 which they may use to pay for admissions application fees, GMAT prep courses, or professional essay writing services. Upon successful completion of the module, winners will be asked to take on crippling amounts of student loan debt in addition to forfeiting whatever money they had left.
Students, as entrepreneurs, are placed into arbitrary sections of 90 and will face the daunting task of completing an Ivy League education. Field IX curriculum will cover all of the core competencies that a modern entrepreneur/businessman may face, including Strategy, Corporate Accountability, Government/Economics, Finance, and Entrepreneurship. Within the confines of Field IX, students will also be challenged to participate in an innovative new form of coursework called “Field III,” and will have to weigh the merits of contributing at full capacity against the benefits of proper preparation for the rest of their classes, trying to get a job, and having a proper social life and sleep cycle.
Just sit still and do nothing. Seriously. Take it easy for a little while. That’s all. Maybe paper and pens, or crayons, will be allowed.
…Er, I got ahead of myself. Maybe this one is a bit unrealistic.
Josh Petersel is kind of a hippy.