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Dear Harby: The Advice Column for MBAs

Dear Harby, Valentine's Day is fast approaching, but no one at this school seems to understand what an acceptable gesture is. Last year a classmate I was dating got me three Citigroup preferred shares and a DVD of American Psycho (I mean, really - he couldn't have at least sprung for Bank of America?). Can you please point the students at this fine institution in the right romantic direction?

Sincerely, All out of Love in Aldrich

Dear All out of Love,

I completely understand your plight. Sometimes, the basics of how to be a decent human can get swept up in the spreadsheets. Have no fear, though, Harby is here to remind the students of HBS how to show you care:

  1. Flowers. Though red roses are customary, tulips are a great way to say "I'm irrationally exuberant about you."

  2. Chocolates. Always a safe bet, be sure to show you really care by going for a chocolate million dollar bill.

  3. Tickets to a show. Skip this year's Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, and instead go see a romantic performance of a timeless classic (rumor is Ray Dalio will be sharing his Principles in Boston this summer).

Hope that helps! Always willing to do my part to help the capitalist commercial romance machine.

Adoringly, Harby

Dear Harby,

It looks like lots of my classmates had amazing trips over break! My Instagram feed was inundated with picturesque landscapes, exotic animals, and magnificently curated food. I, on the other hand, laid low and focused on recruiting. Can you help me feel less lumpy? Sincerely, Serious FOMO in Spangler Dear Serious FOMO, It may seem you have done little with your wild and precious winter break, but don't despair. Here are some recommendations to up your travel, happiness, and social media game:

  1. Turn a job search day into a long weekend! Maybe you landed that internship or job already. If not, who cares? Totally overrated. Skyscanner a flight and take off! And make sure to bring your iPhone X to get the most out of the obligatory Instagram shot (#RecruitingforLife).

  2. Consider all the money you saved by not doing those things. A penny saved is a penny you can put into stocks – or, better yet, Bitcoin! (Editor's Note: Not investment advice. Also not recommended. But also definitely not investment advice.) And you can make a lonely finance-bound classmate’s day by asking them to manage your newfound marginal wealth.

  3. As for social media, you need to show your true, authentic self: take a real #lifeathbs photo. Like a picture of you grabbing peanut butter packets in Spangler Grille. Or spilling cream all over the the Aldrich Coffee Cart. Or reading cases in your underwear.

After all, you can still do a trek in the spring, right? No? Not so much? Well, at the very least you can read a coffee table book on European cathedrals and tell everyone how amazing your imaginary journey to Chartres was – maybe I’ll provide some recommendations next month.

Bon voyage, Harby

Dear Harby,

I’m finishing up on my one year since signing up for the Chase Sapphire card, and I can’t afford the annual fee with the rest of my business school expenses. What should I do?

Sincerely, Charging in Chao

Dear Charging,

Business school is a costly endeavor, and sadly we all have to prioritize what to spend our limited funds on – which is why you need to find other places to cut expenses in order to maintain that “satisfying thunk” every time you buy a round at Daedalus. Not to worry, though - there are plenty of places to scrounge up extra cash! Soulcycle classes can be bought on the cheap through Groupon, Sunday mornings Sweetgreen sells Saturday’s kale at a (steep) discount, and you can always hide some protein under your $1.45 Spangler oatmeal.

No matter what you do, do not, under any circumstances, let your Chase Sapphire membership expire. Do you want to be that person, begging a sectionmate for lounge access guest passes during a layover on a trek? Or worse, wait in the general boarding area with the Sloan and Wharton grads? It’s only $95, a small price to pay for your self-respect.

Reservedly, Harby

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