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Ask a Harvard Business School Student

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Ask a Harvard Business School Student

Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:31 am
Want to talk to an HBS student about the HBS student experience? Ask here!

We're lucky to have three HBS representatives fielding your questions:

Please note that this isn't a discussion thread (or forum) for application advice. It's meant for talking about life inside the HBS program.

A big thanks to our HBS volunteers!

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:23 pm
Seed question for Katharine, Puja, and Zack:

What have you enjoyed most about your first year?

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katharine MBA Student
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Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:40 pm
Hello! Thanks for having me share my $0.02. I hope I can be helpful Very Happy

The first year has been great so far. My inner geek is pretty excited about all of the stuff we learn in business school. My classmates are probably the most interesting source of learning -- I just got back from a presentation where another first year student talked about a new approach to microfinance he's trying out in Indonesia. Extracurriculars are helpful, too. For example, tomorrow I get to talk to online advertising execs about industry trends because I'm coordinating a panel for a technology conference. And yes, we learn things in class as well.

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Katharine
MBA Student, HBS

Thanked by: rushabhgala

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:11 pm
Looks like you're keeping busy. Thanks Katharine for sharing!

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dmateer25 Community Manager
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Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:31 am
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?

umaa Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:33 pm
Hi katharine/Puja Ramani/Zack Zackrison,
I heard from people that Harvard is not accepting multiple attemp GMAT applications. Is it true? Please let us know.

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:06 pm
umaa wrote:
Hi katharine/Puja Ramani/Zack Zackrison,
I heard from people that Harvard is not accepting multiple attemp GMAT applications. Is it true? Please let us know.
Hi umaa,

Just wanted to give you a heads up that this forum does not focus on app-related questions, but rather discussion about student life. These HBS students are not representing the admissions office at all so won't have this info. You may want to pose this question tot he 'Ask an MBA Admissions Consultant' section, where the consultants are actively researching MBA admissions policy.

Thanks,

Eric

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MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

Thanked by: zzackrison
Hollie911 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Post Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:52 am
Really enjoying these posts! You may also wanna watch this video of HBS students' treasure hunt on their first day:

http://www.businessbecause.com/treasure-hunt/harvard-treasure-hunt

shadowsjc Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:03 pm
Hey guys,

What is your current dorming situation like? Are you living in the dorms? In one of the "apartments"? Or somewhere off campus? How did the dorming situation get settled? (when did you receive a lottery #, or when were you informed of your room selections?)

If given a choice, which do you recommend? (dorms or other)?

Sorry for the multiple questions but I felt they were all related... thanks!

_________________
my GMAT debrief: http://www.beatthegmat.com/came-through-in-the-clutch-770-48-q-51-v-t44327.html

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right, but it will not come near you.

- Psalm 91: 5-7

katharine MBA Student
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Post Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:44 pm
So, I'm going to have to give you the standard HBS "it depends" answer. I live in the dorms, and it's worked out well so far for me. I have a two-room single in McCulloch which has plenty of space and natural light and a shared bathroom that I don't have to clean, but not everyone is as lucky. Plenty of my classmates have tiny or medium-sized one-room singles.

The dorm and apartment selection process are separate, and I got a good dorm room before the apartment lottery took place. I took it because I didn't have time to find a roommate to share an apartment with (I was traveling during the apartment selection window). Other advantages of the dorms include: furniture is provided, there's no need to sublet over the summer, someone else cleans the bathroom and vacuums, the walk to class is under 5 minutes, and you can use the underground tunnels in the winter instead of walking through the snow to class, cafeteria, or gym. However, I sometimes miss cooking, having a roommate, and interacting with non-business school people on a regular basis.

I'll let Zack and Puja speak more to the apartment experience...

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Katharine
MBA Student, HBS

Thanked by: beatthegmat, zzackrison
pramani MBA Student
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Post Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:51 am
I live in an on campus apartment and really love it. You can't beat the convenience of it taking only 30 seconds to get to class in the morning. And trust me, its getting colder every day and I am even more glad that I am living on campus! And I personally like having a kitchen of my own since I like to cook quite often.

That said, if you are looking for an apartment with charm and character, off campus in Cambridge or Allston are a better bet, since the on campus ones are quite run of the mill...

Cheers,
Puja

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Puja
MBA Student, HBS

Thanked by: zzackrison, maverick_andy
zzackrison MBA Student
Joined
05 May 2007
Posted:
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GMAT Score:
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Post Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:57 pm
beatthegmat wrote:
Seed question for Katharine, Puja, and Zack:

What have you enjoyed most about your first year?
Hi Friends,

I've enjoyed so much, there is so much to do here it is nuts!! And that's great... if you like healthcare or cleantech, or innovation or entrepreneurship, there is always something going on on-campus to be a part of... except for Friday nights, which people just tend to relax and enjoy with friends.

But, honestly, the thing that I think I've enjoyed most this year has got to be all the great people you meet... I know it sounds silly, but it's really the people you have in your section that you essentially live with during your first year that make the experience amazing and bring the learning to life.

_________________
Zack
MBA Student, HBS

zzackrison MBA Student
Joined
05 May 2007
Posted:
7 messages
GMAT Score:
690
Post Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:06 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?
Great questions, I'll try to take them one at a time:
What has surprised you the most thus far at HBS?
I think the great people you meet... I don't consider myself a very "A-type" personality and I was really worried that my classes would be full of hyper-competitive bankers and cut-throat consultants, but seriously, everyone is so nice. The section really comes together like a family, and we work together to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in class discussions and learn. Sure we're all a bit competitive now and again, like when we were doing the "factory simulation" and we were all making crazy widgets to see who could make the most defect-free widgets, but it was all in good fun.

Internship hunt?
HBS actually does something really very valuable and smart to help ease you into recruiting your first year. First, they have a policy to keep recruiters AWAY FROM CAMPUS for the first two months. I've heard at some schools, as soon as you arrive you feel the heat from the recruiters, but HBS really wants you to spend some quality time figuring out what you want to do with your life and provides fantastic career coaches to help you along your way.

At the beginning of November, recruiting kicks off and the companies start coming on campus, and you all start to do the dance to see where you fit and who is interested in what you have to offer. But, no, we didn't have to start prepping right on day 1.

So, yeah, it is much better than I expected, especially considering the state of the economy... and we are really very grateful for all the hard work the Career Services office puts in to help us get ready and to bring the opportunities to campus.

_________________
Zack
MBA Student, HBS

zzackrison MBA Student
Joined
05 May 2007
Posted:
7 messages
GMAT Score:
690
Post Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:19 pm
shadowsjc wrote:
Hey guys,

What is your current dorming situation like? Are you living in the dorms? In one of the "apartments"? Or somewhere off campus? How did the dorming situation get settled? (when did you receive a lottery #, or when were you informed of your room selections?)

If given a choice, which do you recommend? (dorms or other)?

Sorry for the multiple questions but I felt they were all related... thanks!
Great questions, here's my take as a family guy with a wonderfully supportive wife and a fun 3-year-old son. LIVE ON CAMPUS!!! Whatever you do, especially if you have a family live on campus!! It is SOOO convenient and there are great people around all the time to hang out with and study with.

HBS has a great community for families and kids, so that was a big factor in our deciding to live on campus. I'm crazy busy, but I know my wife and son are nearly as busy with the Crimson Kids activities and the Partner Club events. Plus, since I live so close (unfortunately not tunnel close like Katharine) I can still manage to run home for lunch between classes and see my family or to change into my suit for a company presentation, rather than being dressed up all day.

Sure it costs more, it isn't a ton of space... but I figure it's just part of the experience.

I think the choice to go with the Dorm vs. the Apartments is a personal preference and could go either way. As far as process, once you are admitted, you can apply to the housing lottery, then you are given a Selection Window. There are two lists of apartments to choose from, the "Currently Available" which are units ready for immediate move-in and then the "Selection Window" units. They roll from Lottery 1, to Lottery 2, to Lottery 3... etc. to Lottery x. The housing is open to all Harvard affiliates, not just HBS students, and preference is given to families with children (meaning they are likely to get a selection window in round 1). NOTE: If you apply for admittance for the round 3 deadline in March, you will automatically get the final Housing lottery window, because the lottery assignments are given out at the end of april, and Round 3 decisions don't happen until May.

_________________
Zack
MBA Student, HBS

myohmy Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:36 pm
A more practical question -- how do you find financing an HBS education? What is HBS financial aid like? How do you make money while there (or do people live off savings)? Obviously, once you graduate you'll have a great start, but do you feel that if you need it, HBS offers adequate financial aid?

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