I know, I know…I have been an incredibly delinquent blogger this year. For that, I do apologize. Hopefully I can make it up (or at least provide a valid excuse) by giving you a peek into what I’ve been up to since coming back to campus in the Fall.
I am in my EC year at HBS. EC stands for Elective Curriculum, whereas in the first year you are in the “RC”, or Required Curriculum. Don’t let people confuse you when they drop the lingo. RC and EC is just HBS-speak for first year or second year.
As you have probably already gathered, in your second year the curriculum is…elective! You get to pick all of your own classes, which allows you to tailor your educational experience. Below I’ve listed out all of the classes I have taken or am taking this year.
Building and Sustaining Successful Enterprises – What we call a “spinach” class. You take it because it’s good for you. The course is based on Clay Christensen’s theories of disruption and innovation. I actually learned a ton. If you want to basically take the class without actually going to business school, just read the book!
Entrepreneurial Finance – A deep dive into the financing of start-up ventures. We studied lots of interesting companies and read way too many dense term sheets!
Negotiations – Not in the core curriculum, but it absolutely should be! Key takeaway: Always know your BATNA.
Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries – Possibly the coolest (and definitely one of the most oversubscribed) classes at HBS. Professor Anita Elberse does research and writes cases on what it takes to make it big in the creative industries. She brings amazing protagonists to class, including Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United, Alan Horn of Walt Disney (formerly Warner Brothers), and Troy Carter, Lady Gaga’s manager. Amazing!
Venture Capital and Private Equity – In this course we study…venture capital and private equity! It’s a great overview of how funds are set up, how GPs and LPs get paid, how investment decisions are made, and how to successfully exit. Over the course of the semester we are making PE investments as teams in an online simulation.
Running Small and Medium Sized Enterprises – A refreshing course that studies companies somewhere between start-ups and corporations. Not everyone who goes to HBS is going to found their own company or run a huge one, so it’s nice to learn a bit about what goes on in smaller enterprises.
Competing with Social Networks – This course focuses on the competitive advantage companies can create by productively leveraging social networks.
How Star Women Succeed – An awesome new class that dives into some of the specific challenges or biases that women encounter over the course of their careers, along with actionable strategies we can use to overcome them. The professor has done a lot of research on what sets star performers apart from just regular ones, and has some really interesting insights to share.
Authentic Leadership Development – This is a very introspective class that a lot of second year students take. The purpose is to help you develop your authentic style of leadership. It is pretty cool to step back and reflect on who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to make my mark on the world, especially during this last semester.
Coordinating and Managing Supply Chains – More spinach! Yum.
Hello, friends! Apologies for being so MIA. Things have been crazy yet glorious in my world, per usual. I thought I’d check back in with all of you lovely folk to say hi and highlight some of the cool stuff that’s been going on at HBS this year.
I am serving as co-president of the HBS Women’s Student Association, and we have been focused on celebrating the 50th anniversary of women in the MBA program. I’m honored to be leading the organization during this important year, and am so excited about all we’ve done so far and all that is coming up.
We kicked off our year long celebration with a bang a couple of weeks ago, and have generated a ton of momentum on campus. We hosted two badass keynote speakers – Dr. Debora Spar and Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter – to start a conversation on campus about why women are so underrepresented at the highest levels of business and government. Dr. Spar is the president of Barnard College, a Goldman Sachs board member, former HBS professor, and prolific writer and speaker on women in business. Her article, “Why Women Should Stop Trying to be Perfect” was on the front cover of Newsweek the same week she visited HBS for her keynote address. Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter is a professor at Princeton, former Director of Policy Planning for the State Department, and is the author of the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” in The Atlantic. Her article sparked a national debate on women in business.
Introducing Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter
Both speakers drew huge crowds at HBS, and I’m pumped to share their remarks with you! HBS recorded their keynote addresses – to view Dr. Spar’s address please click here, and to view Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter’s click here.
In addition to our keynotes, we hosted a school wide champagne reception with Dean Nitin Nohria to raise a glass to the women of HBS – past, present, and future. It was a great event and it was wonderful to see so many students, faculty members, and staff come out to celebrate this milestone for our community.
We are going to continue to bring inspirational female leaders to campus over the course of the year to talk about the evolving role of women in business. Stay tuned for more!
Hello, friends! It’s been a while, apologies for my radio silence over the past month. Things have been crazy. Since you last heard from yours truly, I have finished my first year of classes at HBS, taken exams, packed up my apartment, jaunted all over Israel, spent some quality time in North Carolina with the fam, moved up to Washington, DC, and started my internship at a fabulous start-up. Whew!
I can’t wait to tell you more about my summer internship at The Shirt, but before I do that I want to give you a peek into my recent travels in the Middle East. I spent ten glorious days in Israel with a group of HBS folk, and it was absolutely amazing. The trip was organized and led by a group of Israeli students, and was possibly one of the coolest experiences of my life. We learned a ton, had a ridiculous amount of fun, and had incredible access to important political, business, and military leaders who were eager to share their views with our group. It was top notch all the way, but – then again – I have come to expect nothing less from anything and everything associated with HBS. These people do it right!
Those of you who have followed me for a while now know that I am a fan of top ten lists, so you won’t be surprised that I have created a “Top Ten of Israel” in an effort to convey all of the awesome-ness of this trip to you. So, without further ado…
1. Tel Aviv
Ahhh Tel Aviv, such an amazing place. It is a glorious party town right on the Mediterranean with a very modern and optimistic kind of vibe. The people were cool, the bars were bumpin’, and the food was absolutely delicious. I would highly recommend stopping by Tel Aviv if you find yourself in that neck of the woods at any point. It’s a blast!
2. Avicii Concert!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Avicii, he is a kick ass Swedish DJ. Click here to listen to one of his songs that you may recognize. Anyway, the stars aligned for us and Avicii was playing in Tel Aviv while our crew was in town! We had a glorious time noodling to his beats, though I think I permanently lost like 10% of my hearing…
3. Chillin’ with some Camels
No trip to the Middle East is complete without an intimate encounter with a camel’s hump! I’m happy to report that I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with my very own dromedary while in the Negev Desert. Not necessarily the most comfortable form of transportation, but at least they get good mileage!
Ahhh holy, holy Jerusalem. Walking through the Old City was like a flashback to all of my Sunday school classes. There is just so much history there. In the span of one day I saw where Jesus was born, where he ate the Last Supper, where he was betrayed, where he was crucified, and where he was resurrected. Talk about a heavy day! I learned a lot about Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions while literally standing on ground zero of modern religion. Amazing!
5. Bethlehem and the West Bank
One of the most impactful experiences I had in Israel was crossing the Israeli border into the West Bank, which is Palestinian territory. As you’ll see in the pictures below, there is a huge wall built between the two and you must cross through an official check point to enter and exit.
I went into the West Bank to visit Bethlehem and see the Church of the Nativity (where Jesus was born and put into the manger).
In addition to being an important religious site, Bethlehem is also home to the “Stars & Bucks” coffee shop. Vaguely reminds me of another coffee shop chain I know…
6. Rave in the Desert
Question: What do you get when you combine a huge group of rowdy HBS students, the Israeli desert, a thousand glow sticks, several buckets of glow-in-the-dark body paint, a full moon, and a kick ass DJ? You get a RAVE IN THE DESERT, that’s what!
Honestly, words cannot even describe this absolutely ridiculous night, so I’m not even going to try. Just know that it was aaamazing.
7. Masada and the Desert
Israel has tons of desert. I mean tons. As a result, we spent a lot of time, well, cruising around the desert! It was awesome – I love me some arid landscape.
8. Checking out the Air Force
One huge perk of traveling in Israel with our Israeli friends was that we had ridiculous access to really important people. For example – the second in command of the Tel Aviv Air Force personally gave us a tour of the base, described Israel’s air defense strategy, shared his personal views on Israel’s conflict with Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries, and took us out to the runway to see F-16s taking off! Amazing.
9. Floating in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea was a crazy experience – it is the lowest body of water in the world, and is freakishly salty. The salt results in insane levels of buoyancy – you literally cannot sink. There are tons of other great minerals in the water, and we soaked it all in during our afternoon there. Cross that one off the bucket list!
10. Visiting a Kibbutz
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of a “Kibbutz”, don’t worry – I had no idea what one was until I got to Israel. Basically, a kibbutz is a commune where families live together and share resources equally. They were set up all over Israel shortly after the country was established, and each community was tasked with producing one particular good in an effort to put the new country on a path toward self-sufficiency. As Israel has trasitioned to a market economy, many of the kibbutzes are defunct, but some of them were really successful and continue to this day. We visited NaanDanJain, a kibbutz specializing in irrigation technology.
Keep checking back, there’s more to come from me!
Hello out there! Sorry I’ve been so MIA. But, I’m baaaaack…with a friendly reminder that Mother’s Day is coming up on May 13th!
No time to run out and get a card for the most important lady in your life? Never fear, Effortless Post is here! We’ve got you covered with a great selection of super classy cards that will knock your Mom’s socks off. Visit effortlesspost.com now so we can help you become the oh-so-thoughtful person your Mom raised you to be.
How does Effortless Post work, you may ask? It’s easy!
1. Log in to effortlesspost.com (you can log in via facebook)
2. Pick a card, any card!
3. Choose how you want to send it:
- We can hand write the message of your choice and mail it for you OR
- Opt to receive the card in a pre-addressed, stamped envelope so you can write your own message and pop it in the mail
4. Bask in the glow of your Mom’s gratitude
PS – we mail domestically AND internationally!
And, if making your Mom’s Day isn’t incentive enough to try out our website, please support us anyway to help our business win the Field 3 contest! The entire HBS first year class will be presenting to investors in a couple of weeks. Those investors will decide which business is the best out of each section, and then the finalists will compete in front of the entire school to win the whole shebang!
So please, surprise your mom AND support yours truly by buying a Mother’s Day card from effortlesspost.com. I will be forever grateful (and your Mom will, too!).
Yes, I am happy to report that – after weeks and weeks of toiling away like mad scientists – we have officially launched effortlesspost.com to the world! This experience has been amazing, and the cool thing is that we’re truly just getting started. As a quick recap for those who missed the overview several weeks ago:
Our business is called Effortless Post, and, basically, we’re bringin’ mail back. We have created an online platform to streamline the process of sending cards and notes to people in the mail. The site instantly links to your Facebook account, populating a personal planner with all your friends’ and family’s upcoming birthdays. You can also manually input other occasions, like holidays, anniversaries, or weddings. Once you decide you want to send a card to someone, you can either 1) Type in the message you would like handwritten on your behalf, then we send it all the way to the end recipient or 2) Receive the card yourself in a pre-addressed, stamped envelope just in time for you to write your message and pop it in the mail. Effortless!
We envision this business as a way to help people follow through on the thoughtful gesture of sending a card to friends, family, or colleagues, without all of the hassle.
I need your support to truly make this a success! Please please visit effortlesspost.com, sign in using facebook (takes less than two seconds) and let me know what you think! We have a lovely selection of awesome cards for all occasions, including Mother’s Day (coming up on May 13th!) and Graduation. I would really appreciate any and all feedback you have on the customer experience. Please leave a comment on this post or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, feel free to pass the link along to any and all people in your life who strive to send thoughtful cards but just can’t seem to make it happen. Keep in mind that we mail domestically and internationally!
Your opinions mean the world to me, so keep the feedback coming! Speaking of feedback: We heard some loud and clear today from our classmates here at HBS. Today was the final trading session of our “financial market”, in which students can buy and sell (fake) shares of people’s startups. It was very exciting – we were all in our classrooms watching the stocks of all of the businesses trade live. See below:
I am happy to report that our stock skyrocketed over 80% by the end of trading! See below for photographic evidence (our ticker is WKD). Ahh, HBS – there’s nothing like setting up 900 Type A people to compete against each other, and then literally displaying the results of the competition for the entire school in real time. Gotta love capitalism.
Today, as I was leaving a school wide presentation, the wondrous sounds of Lady Gaga began to boom out across Spangler Lawn. A crowd rapidly gathered. There seemed to be some sort of commotion. I raced to investigate and encountered…
A FLASH MOB. Amazing. See below for photographic evidence:
The students putting on the HBS Show (satirical musical written, choreographed, and acted by HBS students… whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother time) danced as if Lady Gaga herself were there serenading them.
Ahh, HBS. You never fail to delight.