First month into the RC year, we gulped at Cranberry, admired Dell, decreased value of Netflix & chill, went nuts positioning (Planters), climbed Everest, all whilst missing Toby. But what do RCs think of HBS one month in? Through several direct / indirect conversations (and maybe a few Instagram stories), I have come to the conclusion that while the grass on the other side has never seemed greener, we are all too often feeling the same, albeit perhaps in different flavors. Still, our demeanors, blind spots, biases and character types may not make this apparent. While I am certain I will not be capturing all of our unique experiences in the below, I think some of these characters will resonate:
Steve Wozniak aka The Academic:
I am here to study. I love learning. Most importantly, I love finance. It is so fun. I am disappointed they only have Wall Street Prep for 6 hours on weekends – I wouldn’t mind if it was more like 12. I get called every other class so my participation must be low. I also spent 6 hours on Cranberry and still did not crack it. I am pretty sure I am failing.
Steve Jobs aka The Non-Academic:
There is disproportionate value in not doing too much homework. Whether you rank 89% or 11%, we are all 2s. HBS is smart and this is their way of telling us to chill out on the academics. More importantly, FIELD tells me it’s all about EQ now. I don’t raise my hand, but then I put myself at risk for a cold-call. That happened the other day, and I could not find my words. It is crucial I get to at least 11%. I am pretty sure I am failing.
SpongeBob aka The Section Lover:
I feel so lucky that I have an entire year (and more!) to learn with these awesome people. They are some of the kindest and most brilliant people I have ever met. The diversity of thought and people from all over the world is making my experience outstanding. It has only been 3 weeks though, so maybe it is too soon to judge?
Squidward aka The Section Hater:
My section is so boring – they barely want to turn up. There are some annoying people who will dominate the discussion. Some love to highlight that the case materials do not support my poor sectionmate’s point of view. I am also bewildered by some internationals’ lengthy comments – why are they so random? It has only been 3 weeks though, so maybe it is too soon to judge?
DiCaprio aka the Single:
I need to invest to find love. I just have no time.
Bey and Jay aka the Taken:
I need to invest to maintain love. I just have no time.
Lebron James aka The Tall:
How do I make the chairs go lower? It is too easy to get noticed. Knoll and Herman Miller – are you listening? This systemic discrimination based on my height is simply too unjust.
Peter Dinklage aka The Short:
Why is it so hard to get noticed when I raise my hand? I try raising my hand before a comment is done but even that doesn’t help. Should I start standing? This systemic discrimination based on my height is simply too unjust.
Jonathan Byers aka The Introvert:
I wish I was an extrovert – they are meeting so many people. I need my top ten friends and ideally found them yesterday. Staying in will not help me find my top ten.
Steve Harrington aka The Extrovert:
I wish I was an introvert – then I wouldn’t feel so compelled to have to go to so many parties and would actually get some sleep. Going to parties is definitely not going to help in finding my top ten.
Okay, okay, you get the point. We are all feeling as if we are mis-strategizing on the optimal HBS experience. We are all, to a certain extent, worried about academics. We are all struggling to balance the different opportunities and challenges both on and off-campus in our own unique ways. We are all trying to meet as many people as possible. We are all sleep deprived. So tomorrow, take a deep breath at whatever is bothering you and know you are not alone.
Note: content has been sourced from members of the Class of 2020 and where needed slightly modified to fit the character framework.
Tasnia Huque (HBS ‘20) hails from Dhaka, Bangladesh and is an aficionado of all things media and tech. Before HBS, she was an Investor with Cue Ball Capital, an evergreen venture and growth equity firm (and remains involved). She also has experience in Investment Banking at Barclays and in Product Management at Toast, a B2B2C restaurant management platform. You can find her on her blog @www.yetanotherview.com or on twitter @tasniahuque.