Tag Archives: FIELD

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

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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!

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Rating the HBS MBA student – survival of the whole herd


The real HBS exam - getting in!

Getting in – The real HBS exam

Exams and schools seem to be fully interlinked, and HBS is no exception to that. At the end of each semester, students are to complete a set of tests to determine their grades. Most exams are based on a HBS case study for which students receive 4 to 5 hours to read, analyse and write an answer to the case. Some professors at HBS do not organize exams but require students to write a paper related to the class topic. Exams or papers alike, the students’ performance on these tests along with the quality of their class participation during the semester will determine their final grades. Continue reading

The offline MBA – survival through differentiation?


The HBS campus of the future?

The HBS campus of the future?

As I am sipping on a coffee in one of a major coffeeshop’s chain stores, I realize that an internal meeting of that coffee shop is going on next to me. As a business school student, I was too curious not to try and pick up part of the activity and the conversations. It seemed that four persons were receiving training. I was impressed by the format and the professionalism of the meeting. The person I identified to be the instructor was sharing Starb…  the coffee shop’s values and priorities, and its key focus on customer happiness. As they discuss these topics, they get interrupted occasionally by another employee, bringing them all kinds of cakes and snacks. As the trainees try the snacks sitting in front of them, they discuss their taste, their content of the cake and their texture. They even discuss what drink some of these snacks would fit best with. And the discussion is quite lively I have to say. I am really impressed when the instructor asks each of them what an ideal snack would look/taste like to them. Now everybody gets really exited and launches ideas back and forth. The employees seem really involved.

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The art of doing business – Only in the US?


20130220-003733.jpgI have been amazed with the American art of doing buiness again in the last couple of days. Even blizzard Nemo, who covered the whole Boston area with 2 feet of snow overnight, created immediate opportunities for making money. The day after the storm, when most streets were still covered in snow, I noticed a ‘Dig me out! 50$’ (with a phone number to call if you wanted the job) sign on top of a pile a snow, most likely covering a car of sorts. As I was taking a picture of it, a guy came up to me asking jokingly: “You’re not going to send that picture to the IRS, are you?” After I assured him that I wasn’t going to cost him any money, I asked him if volunteers had shown up for the job. “I just got hired to get it done,” he replied. I smiled. “Good luck!” I said, before continuing on my walk. The forces of nature had led to creative job creation within hours. Only in the US? Continue reading

FIELD 2 in Ghana: in the name of the rose!


GhanaEven terminal 5 in London Heathrow has only so much entertainment to offer during a 4,5 hour layover, so I’m going to use this time wisely to reflect on my time in Accra, Ghana, which I left just a couple of hours ago. I spent 10 days in Africa as part of the FIELD 2 course at HBS – a course aimed at immersing first-year MBA students in doing business in a developing country. Continue reading

Measuring the HBS academic experience: to case or not to case?


2012_12 - inside case methodI just started the final exams of my first semester here at HBS – a clear sign that the semester is reaching its end. Time to reflect on the HBS experience so far. It’s difficult to give an objective opinion on the HBS MBA program. One cannot measure the ‘future career prospects’ or the ‘dynamism of the student life’ and the networks that it forms. I did however find a way to quantify one of the HBS MBA promisses: the HBS academic experience.  Here’s how HBS describes it on their website: “Through case method courses, FIELD projects, multimedia simulations, and more, you’ll exercise the leadership skills you will practice in business and beyond.” So here’s how I tried to measure this by looking at my outlook calendar. Continue reading