Category Archives: The HBS experience

HBSTimes… but now even bigger and better!

Accepted! - Getting in and Fitting in at Harvard Business School - Book cover


Getting in and Fitting in at Harvard Business School


HBSTimes has been home to my stories on life as a student at Harvard Business School. After graduation, I continued to pen down my experiences of what were probably the 2 most enriching years of my life.

Loyal to my quirky style, I bundled my stories in a must-read book for prospective students, alumni or those interested in knowing more about life at the School.

Get your own copy on Amazon today!

Amazon US: HERE
Amazon UK: HERE

Find out more on GoodReads: HERE

Accepted! - Getting in and fitting in at Harvard Business School. An International Student Reporting on Life at HBSAccepted! – Getting in and fitting in at Harvard Business School. An International Student Reporting on Life at HBS by Frederic D Mahieu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Interesting read! 🙂

View all my reviews



HBS relics from a HBS relic

A HBS relic I wasn't able to take with me...

A HBS relic I wasn’t able to take with me…

Some people throw it all out – I like to keep stuff. Served by the rather large basement at my old folks’ place, I have been holding on to the most random stuff I put my hands on. And while I am far from being a compulsive hoarder, I did collect quite a range of ‘random relics’ over the years. As I am ‘home’ at my parents’ place for the holidays, I took the opportunity to go dig into my favorite basement in the whole world. Find some of the HBS relics I found below. Continue reading

HBS commencement – a jump into a new life… and into the river Charles

The footbridge in Cambridge over the river Charles - higher than one thinks...

The footbridge in Cambridge over the river Charles – higher than one thinks…

Graduating at the Harvard Business School is all about putting on a toga, listening to speeches and jumping into a new part of life… as well as jumping into the river Charles. It is a tradition for students graduating at one of the Harvard schools to jump into this river in  Cambridge. Only when I was standing on top of the footbridge in the middle of the night did I realize how high this bridge is, and how scary it is to take this big jump. But I did it. And there is probably not a more symbolic jump to take than this one. Continue reading

Second year at HBS – last but not least?

The old versus the new   -   EC versus RC students

The new (life at HBS in the first year) versus the old (HBS in second year) – but which one is the best!?!

I have survived both RC (Required Curriculum – the first year at HBS) and EC year (Elective Curriculum – the second year at HBS). I am about to finish my HBS MBA and am thus (choose for yourself) – old / graduated / spoiled for life / happy / super excited to go back to work / broke. But most of all, I have become a real specialist that can shed a light on all aspects of the HBS MBA program. And today,  I will be comparing the two years at HBS – RC and EC year!

Continue reading

HBS talents – more than just brainpower!?!

HBS Show 2014 at Burden Auditorium

You just missed it this year, but there’s always next year!

What does it take to be famous among the HBS student body? Well, being a star professor at HBS sure helps – think Dean Nohria, Youngme Moon and Clay Christensen. But it turns out that one doesn’t have to be a professor to be notorious among the HBS student body. Tim Butler is one of these non-academics that is a well-known person at HBS. According to his bio, Tim Butler is the Director of Career Development Programs. In practice, he chairs a couple of sessions during RC-year (Required Curriculum – the first year at HBS) during which he invites students to think about their career choices. He advises all students to ‘follow their heart’ when making professional choices. His fame has reached such a level that he has joined the star professors in being caricatured during the yearly HBS show. Indeed, once a year, HBS students present a show that is a great parody on life at HBS – and this year wasn’t any different. And if you ask me, Tim Butler (or at least the student that played his role) was the star of this year’s show!

Continue reading

Social Media at HBS – Facebook stalkers rule!

Do you know who is watching you on facebook?

Do you know who is watching you on Facebook?

One of my courses at HBS this year is called Competing with Social Networks. I took this course because I frankly don’t know all that much about social media. I check my Facebook account once a month, I have an occasional look on Yelp before booking a restaurant and while I have heard about the newer tools such as Instagram and Vine I have never used them. I realize that my limited use of social media is not quite the norm at HBS. But with businesses from all over the world making tons of money through the use of social media, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get some understanding of what social media are really all about. Hence my decision to enroll in this class. I meanwhile learned some interesting stuff, for example that much of Facebook’s initial success could be allocated to the fact that it allows for people to secretively stalk on one another. Crazy no? Continue reading

Key lessons from MBA – Sell Tesla stock!?!

The stuff that HBS loaded into my brain matrix-style...

The stuff that HBS loaded into my brain matrix-style…

I am now 60 days away from graduation. Time has come to look at what I have actually learned during the hundreds of class sessions I had over the last 2 years. Below summary does not intend to be an exhaustive overview of what is being taught at HBS – rather it is a listing of some stuff that got stuck with me. Find your free 2-year HBS MBA program summarized in a 5 minute read below. Enjoy! Continue reading

HBS clothing – Dress to impress

This is what students at HBS used to wear in class - the ties are definitely gone today. (

This is what students at HBS used to wear in class – the ties are definitely gone today. (

On my first day at HBS, now more than a year ago, our HBS section coordinator gave a typical start-of-the-year speech. His introductory talk to our HBS experience was followed by a Q&A session, during which one of my brave section mates asked if there was a dress-code for HBS classes. The HBS coordinator, a tenured professor at HBS, dressed himself in an impeccable tailor-made suit, replied that while he was very much so in favor of a dress-code for HBS students (preferably enforcing suits and ties in the process), unfortunately most of the HBS faculty did not share his point of view. There was no formal dress-code at HBS, though he politely asked us to show up for class being dressed in a decent way. Continue reading

HBS Donations – philanthropy and/or personal marketing?!?

Your 100 dollar bill for the next Baker Library?

A 100 dollar bill for the next Baker Library?

I didn’t realize how close to the end of my HBS experience I have come before receiving an email from the “2014 HBS Class Gift Committee”. The subject of the email read “In 100 days…”, with the first part of the mail pointing out that I am only 100 days away from graduation. The rest of the email would relate closer to the name of the sender than to the subject, as it informed us on a HBS tradition that was started by the class of 2002. The Class Gift Committee gives graduating students the possibility to contribute financially to HBS. Students can even choose what they want to direct their gifts to – the options include Financial Aid, Educational Innovation, Path-breaking Research or contributing to a global HBS Fund. Continue reading

IT tools in support of HBS students – check!

The gatekeeper to so much information

The gatekeeper to so much information

Walking to the HBS campus can be a little bit hazardous. I requires carefully gliding over footpaths covered with ice and snow and trying to avoid other students walking on the same narrow footpaths who are not paying any attention to where they are going as they are continuously looking at their phones. And I admit that I have also become one of these distracted students, as I often check course information on my phone on my daily walk to campus. An overview of HBS technology: Continue reading