January 28th, 2009
First semester ended and we had our winter break. I went to NYC for a week:
Then I came home to Israel for the rest of the break. Spent some quality time in Eilat with my family, some time with friends in Tel Aviv (though as always, I left feeling I didn’t do that enough) and also tagged along with the HBS Israel Immersion.
The immersion was awesome – a group of ~40 HBS students, led by Prof. Dan Isenberg, came to Israel for a week titled “The Israeli Entrepreneurship Miracle and High Tech Industry” (or something like that). They visited Israeli start ups, met successful entrepreneurs, VCs, multinationals like Google and Microsoft and of course did the required touristy things – Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea. You can read about the immersion in this beautiful Harbus article.
The immersion took place at the same time of the mess in Gaza strip. I’m so happy the school decided not to cancel it, and only 5 (out of 49) students canceled their participation. Since the immersion took place around Tel Aviv, participants had a safe experience and I’m so glad they got to see the Real Israel firsthand.
Some photos from Eilat are here.
Right before the break I have decided to sign up with my summer employer, the company that sells things online. So I’ll be going back to Seattle, WA after school. I’m very excited about it! I love the company that sells things online and Seattle’s pretty cool too. Kind of far from Israel, but still cool.
I’m also very happy I won’t have to deal with recruiting and have my last semester free to have fun (and study, of course). As you may guess, recruiting isn’t a pretty sight right now. Postings in the HBS Job Bank are significantly down compared to last year, and many people are still struggling to find jobs. First year students, who have their interview week coming up next week, barely got interviews. Many companies that came to campus last year aren’t coming this year – finance, obviously, but also tech (Google is one example). The atmosphere isn’t particularly pleasant here, and I can only imagine what it’s like in other schools.
On the other hand, I don’t want to stir unnecessary panic. I also think many good things can come out of this. For one, the HBS Entrepreneurship Conference that took place on Sunday had a record number of attendees, so maybe the next big startup will be founded this summer by two HBS students who couldn’t find a consulting job. :)
btw, the conference featured two excellent keynotes by the CEO of Pandora and the founders of Kiva.org, which you should definitely visit if you haven’t already.
Came back to campus to find it covered with snow. The Charles River was pretty much frozen. This winter is much worse than last year’s – I just looked at my photos from last winter and the river was only a bit frozen. Today, on the other hand, I saw people *walking* on the river (and they weren’t Jesus).
* -12 (Celsius) is the temperature we experienced on Friday and Saturday – record low. We were actually lucky, the forecast was -17. But believe me, -12 is bad enough. Not unbearable, but painful to walk outside.
Earlier this week, we received the following reassuring letter from HBS:
A weather advisory has been issued for this area beginning on Thursday, January 15, 2009 through the weekend. During this time, expect to see the coldest temperatures in several years, with a forecast of highs in the upper single digits and lows bottoming out at negative 3 degress Fahrenheit. When you factor in the wind chill it will feel significantly colder. Friday, January 16, looks to be the coldest day. Residents are asked to take special precautions to ensure their safety and comfort in doors and out during this time.
MOVE ITEMS AWAY FROM HEAT SOURCE. Keep radiators and baseboards free of items and do not block heat sources with furniture. This will allow heat to enter the room and circulate.
SECURE ALL WINDOWS AND DOORS. Please contact the Management Office if your A/C unit is drafty and needs insulation. Make sure to shut all blinds/shades at night to keep warm air in and to keep the cold from radiating off the glass.
SET HEAT TO ITS HIGHEST SETTING. Make sure your heat knob is turned all the way to the left and that your radiator feels warm. In One Western Avenue, make sure fans are set on HIGH. Additionally, do not lower the heat when leaving your home and never turn your heat off.
ALLOW A SLOW DRIP ON SUSCEPTIBLE FAUCETS. If your bathroom or kitchen is located on an outside wall, the best prevention for freezing is to maintain a steady drip from your faucet.
DRESS IN LAYERS. Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven. Wear a hat, mittens (rather than gloves) and sturdy boots, protecting your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf as needed.
Please keep in mind that this is severe weather and that you must dress accordingly, even in doors.
That was kind of scary… but an overkill. I slept with the heating on on Friday night (for the first time this year) and woke up in the middle of the night since it was just unbearably hot.
Today is already *much* better – it snowed and the temparture is “only” -1. The snow was beautiful:
See more photos here.
Though I think my photos from last year were prettier – perhaps it was first year excitement (or using my more professional camera). They’re here.
Till next time… I’ll try to write my next post faster than this one.
And to everyone who was admitted to HBS on Round 1 this week, congrats! You’re in for an amazing experience. Drop me a line and introduce yourselves.