Monday, March 2, 2009

Fun Times at HBS ASW

I'm exhausted. The HBS admit welcome event was a great experience and I would encourage all applicants to go to the admit weekends for the schools to which they have been accepted, even if they are not planning to go there. You will have great points to compare and contrast across the schools and your decision will be better informed. For example, after attending a case-based HBS class, I am now much more sensitive to the use of the case format and want to understand more about Stanford's pedagogy. To be very honest, I hadn't given it much thought before.

Quick recap:

Thursday PM - arrived in Cambridge, met up with my friend who I stayed with, went to campus to pick up my schedule (and free class of 2011 t-shirt and bag), was pleasantly surprised by the number of people I know who I ran into (both current students and admitted applicants), back to Cambridge for dinner, out to a bar where loads of HBS students were hanging out, home at around 2.

Friday AM - brutal 6:45 wake-up call, walked to campus and grabbed coffee/bagel before hearing welcome speeches from current students, a dean of something, and the Director of Admissions (Dee gave some sage advice: forget our résumés and go a little deeper in our interactions during the event), listened in on a class and learned from the student I sat next to that HBS will not hang either the Taiwanese or the Tibetan official flags in the classrooms because they are trying to build their exec education in China, went to the faculty panel and heard how great the case method is and not to over commit myself.

Friday PM - long lunch, career services run-down of the stats (no new information about the class of 2009 since my earlier post), housing tour, financial aid discussion, cocktail hour where I met some cool second-years, dinner (see dessert pic above of HBS seal embossed white chocolate) where I met some cool first-years and heard Professor Frances Frei tell a room full of applicants not to come to HBS if it wasn't for them (wise words), then out again with friends, home to my host's house for a late-night dance party and pizza.

Saturday - home.

I left with greater fondness for HBS, especially for its case method, emphasis on high quality of teaching, and its students. However, I have come to the conclusion that I would be going to HBS over Stanford primarily because it is Harvard Business School. The Harvard name carries a lot of weight, maybe more than I realized. But it's not enough for me to pick it over Stanford.


Anonymous said...

what do you think about this huge ethics issue facing harvard medical school? was there any mention of this?

Palo Alto for a While said...

No mention of this issue. I am happy to see big pharma being called out publicly for some of their questionable practices. I am personally interested to see what will happen to the drug sales rep profession and direct-to-consumer advertising in the U.S.

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