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Ask a Harvard Business School Student

This topic has 5 expert replies and 22 member replies
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katharine MBA Student
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Post Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm
Most students finance through a combination of savings and student loans. Student loans are not too hard to come by. I wouldn't count on holding down a job outside of class! If you're resourceful, you can probably find some scholarships if you get started early enough.

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Katharine
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katharine MBA Student
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Post Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:34 pm
dmateer25 wrote:
Hi Katharine, Puja, & Zack!

It's great to have you all answering questions on the forum.

I have a few questions.

What has surprised you the most thus far at HBS?
How is the internship hunt going? Is it better than you expected? Did you start preparing yourself for interviews as soon as you arrived on campus?

What has surprised you the most thus far at HBS?


I'd heard rumors that business school in general wasn't very academically intense. My inner school nerd was worried that I'd be the only one studying while everyone else was "networking" over beer pong. I won't say people don't have a lot of fun, but most people actually do care quite a bit about learning the material and making intelligent contributions to class discussions.

How is the internship hunt going? Is it better than you expected? Did you start preparing yourself for interviews as soon as you arrived on campus?

I'm doing a networked job search, and I have found other students and alums very responsive and helpful when I reach out with questions. That said, I don't expect to have an internship lined up until March or so. As for interview preparation, I think it never hurts to start thinking about what you want to do and how you'd get someone to hire you to do it. However, there is no formal recruiting until November.

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Katharine
MBA Student, HBS

gkumar 2009 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Winner
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Post Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:48 pm
Thanks for all the great discussions. Where does one go to look for scholarships online and early?

zzackrison MBA Student
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Post Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:42 pm
gkumar wrote:
Thanks for all the great discussions. Where does one go to look for scholarships online and early?
Great question! If you find out, let me know!! Smile

On the topic of financing, it isn't easy. But so far, I haven't had any trouble getting the loan money that we have needed. As many people point out, going to business school for most people is not a sound financial decision. You give up salary, you take on massive amounts of debt, and when you get out, you are not guaranteed to make more than you did before (though hopefully you will).

It is really a personal decision that you make for a variety of reasons... not a get rich quick scheme! Smile

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Zack
MBA Student, HBS

Post Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:10 am
hey Zack/puja/ Katherine,
What is that one class and one professor that you would not like to miss?

holla MBA Student Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:43 pm
zzackrison wrote:
gkumar wrote:
Thanks for all the great discussions. Where does one go to look for scholarships online and early?
Great question! If you find out, let me know!! Smile

On the topic of financing, it isn't easy. But so far, I haven't had any trouble getting the loan money that we have needed. As many people point out, going to business school for most people is not a sound financial decision. You give up salary, you take on massive amounts of debt, and when you get out, you are not guaranteed to make more than you did before (though hopefully you will).

It is really a personal decision that you make for a variety of reasons... not a get rich quick scheme! Smile
On the topic of financing an MBA. Most people use student loans however there are some scholarship programs out there most people overlook. For example anyone who is of Hispanic descent can apply for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs scholarships awarded to many people pursuing MBAs. The 2010 application just opened. There is also the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Those are two organizations who I am affiliated with that helped me graduate with an MBA debt free. Many minority students have these same options. Just thought I would share.

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Brandon
Texas Tech

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Yes.WeCan Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:55 pm
I have some questions aswell:

This is mostly towards international students: "How do people match up?" Do they mainly gang up with their "study group", or are people of different backgrounds clustering together? I.e. Internations with internationals, US east with US east, etc.

Also, how is the recruiting towards international students? I've heard bad rumours about them being looked at as "second tier" (mainly talking about top recruiters, like M/B/B for consulting, BB banks for IB).

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money9111 Legendary Member
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Post Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:07 pm
You obviously get really close with the people in your study group... and your section... but what about the other 820 students? To me it seems like you'd be really close with the 80 or so, but not so much with the rest. Is this true?

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gkumar 2009 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Winner
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Post Wed May 19, 2010 11:17 pm
Hello, I am interested in learning more about Harvard. I have several questions:

1) What attracted you to Harvard first over other top-tier schools?
2) Does Harvard have any industry mentoring program to get real world exposure to various careers within your academic specializations?
3) What strategy and financial consulting initiatives exist where you can get hands-on experience?
4) What's your favorite class so far and why?
5) For those interested in a career in finance or even Wall Street, how do you deal with recruiting at a distance from Chicago or New York, the typical major financial hubs?
6) When is the best time to visit campus? Is the summer time before Round 1 applications a good time?

Thanks in advance!

zzackrison MBA Student
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Post Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:57 pm
fibbonnaci wrote:
hey Zack/puja/ Katherine,
What is that one class and one professor that you would not like to miss?
So the second year has started and things are going well. I really like the system at Harvard where in your first year you take the required curriculum and in the second year you have a ton of choices to pick great classes.

I am hoping I can get into Professor Clayton Christensen's Building and Sustaining Successful Enterprises course. It has consistently received the highest reviews by students. Friends of mine who took the class last year feel very much like it fundamentally improved their ability to analyze situations and come to better conclusions.

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Zack
MBA Student, HBS

zzackrison MBA Student
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Post Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:01 pm
money9111 wrote:
You obviously get really close with the people in your study group... and your section... but what about the other 820 students? To me it seems like you'd be really close with the 80 or so, but not so much with the rest. Is this true?
You are right, it is really hard to get to know EVERYONE on campus! But there are great opportunities to build really lasting and meaningful relationships with lots of people. Aside from the Learning Team and Section, you have the chance to get to meet new friends through student clubs and other social events. Also, in the second year, since you pick your own elective classes, you end up seeing a lot of new people who become quite familiar to you. Through the clubs and elective classes I think you are more likely to meet people who share relevant professional interests.

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Zack
MBA Student, HBS

zzackrison MBA Student
Joined
05 May 2007
Posted:
7 messages
GMAT Score:
690
Post Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:12 pm
Thanks for the questions! I'll try to share my point of view quickly here below:

gkumar wrote:
Hello, I am interested in learning more about Harvard. I have several questions:

1) What attracted you to Harvard first over other top-tier schools? - I wanted to have an east coast experience and I loved the idea of the Case Study method. I've been extremely happy with both.

2) Does Harvard have any industry mentoring program to get real world exposure to various careers within your academic specializations? - I don't think there are any formal mentoring programs, but there is no shortage of ways to get insight into career options. You have access to thousands of Alumni and during your second year can take your own path and pursue an Independent Study project of your choice with a faculty adviser. The Career Services center also has excellent resources for getting insight into different industries, with panel discussions, visiting business leaders, Q&A sessions, etc.

3) What strategy and financial consulting initiatives exist where you can get hands-on experience? - There are several programs and opportunities. A few that come to mind are: 1.) Volunteer Consulting. You provide your strategy consulting services for free to a local non-profit organization. 2.) The New Orleans IXP. This is similar to the volunteer consulting, but you work with faculty and students to partner up with companies in New Orleans still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. 3.) Independent Student Research projects where you often develop a relationship with a company and help them with a strategic decision.

4) What's your favorite class so far and why? - It is hard to pick one, each has so much to offer!!

5) For those interested in a career in finance or even Wall Street, how do you deal with recruiting at a distance from Chicago or New York, the typical major financial hubs? - I'm not interested in that kind of career, but I know people are traveling ALL THE TIME, not just to NY and Chicago, but all over the country.

6) When is the best time to visit campus? Is the summer time before Round 1 applications a good time? - NOW! I think the fall is best but I would certainly recommend anytime when there are classes in session that you can visit. If you come soon, you might make it before the winter comes and freezes everything! Smile

Thanks in advance!

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Zack
MBA Student, HBS

charcbb Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:23 pm
I have two questions that come to my mind:

1- What are the people in your class like? I know they try and make classes as diverse as possible, but if you had to sum up the general trend or the things in common 90% of the people have, what would it be?

2- What's the extracurricular/networking activities like? I think graduate school must be so much about relationships and broadening horizons that this aspect is rather crucial to me and can only be done with an environment of challenge and exchange.

Thanks!

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