February 25th, 2009

These are very turbulent times we’re living in – one of the world’s deepest recessions, elections in Israel, etc. But this time, I want to write about something much more important.

The second term at HBS usually contains a lot of long weekends, including a few 4-day ones. They are supposed to provide students with free time for job searching – going away for interviews, company visits, and networking. I think this year we may have even more long weekends then usual, “thanks” to the financial crisis and the fact that, unsurprisingly, less students have already secured a job compared to last year.

However, in reality, this is what the past two 4-day weekends have looked like for the typical HBS student: (note: not me. My last couple of weekends to follow)

Long weekend #1: Vail


2:30pm: running out of class, rushing to my dorm room to pack for my 4pm flight to Vail, Colorado. I signed up to this ski trip back in October, when I still had my amazing offer from Lehman. So much for that, but after paying $1300 for this ski weekend, there’s no way I’m giving up on it. So what if it’s already sunk cost (I don’t buy this concept anyway). I’ll find a job next weekend. Oh, but that’s when I’m going to… so maybe the weekend after that.

4pm: got to the airport just on time, but flight is delayed. I’m actually not flying direct to Vail, because all the flights going from Boston to anywhere normal are ridiculously expensive (even for HBS-former Investment Banking standards). So today I’m flying through Utah, but hey, I saved $175.

2am: finally in Vail. At least there was a McDonalds at the Utah airport.

4am: I’m sharing a room with 5 other HBS guys, and one of them is snoring really loudly.


8am: I make a strategic decision to skip breakfast today.

11am: another strategic decision to hit the slopes a bit later. Wow, the strategy course is really paying off.

3pm: after lunch, time to show them what I got. I almost break a leg, but I think this girl from Section D really likes my moves.

4pm: getting dark already… time for the Après Ski action!

5pm-?: got drunk. Don’t remember the rest of the night.


10am: got an early start, gonna hit the slopes baby!

10:30am: it’s -5 degrees outside (-39 with wind factor), but I paid 1300 bucks for this, and nothing gonna stop me.

12pm: my nose is about to fall off. I call it a day.

1pm: lunchtime. The girl from Section D is giving me weird looks.

2pm: it’s never too early for Après Ski!

3pm: the girl from Section D keeps avoiding me.

6:20pm: apparently last night I threw up on her.

7pm: going quietly to bed.


6am: how much can a man sleep?

8am: damn it, it’s too cold for skiing.

9am: decide to go to the Spa instead.

12pm: wow what a great massage. $300. I should really get a job… next weekend. No, the one after. For sure.

12:30pm: update Facebook status: “hitting the slopes in Vail baby!”

4pm: everyone’s playing cards at the house of the girls from Section D. I’m not invited. Going to read cases instead.

8pm: why did I pay $1300 to sit in my room and read cases?

8:05pm: you’re having fun. you’re having fun. you’re having fun. you’re having fun.

8:10pm: why the heck did I pay $1300 to sit in my room and read cases???


4am: the cheap flight back to Boston leaves early, so I get an early start for the day. That’s awesome, I’ve always wanted to become a morning person.

7am: flight to Cincinnati is delayed for 3 hours. Weather. Damn this snow.

3pm: flight to Boston is delayed for 4 hours.

10pm: fell asleep on the plane instead of reading the rest of my cases.

2am: finally back to my room in McCulloch. The shared bathroom suck, but at least nobody’s snoring.


8:41am: cold call in FIN2. I mumble something about aligning incentives just to find out I’m talking about the LCA case.

10am: break, finally.

10:05: trying to come up with more synonyms to “amazing”, “awesome”, “unbelievable”, “the best” when asked how was my weekend.

Weekend #2: Brazil


7pm: at the airport, flight is delayed. Damn East Coast winter. So glad to be out of here, have to get out after 4 whole days in Boston one really needs a vacation. HBS is a really tough school.

8pm: pondering the interview I had to postpone. The interviewer sounded kinda skeptic when I told him my aunt’s cat died. Well, his bank will probably go bankrupt soon anyways. And with the $3700 I paid for this weekend back in September, there’s no way I was to cancel. Got to have your priorities straight in life. After all, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

9pm: Really excited about this trip! What can be better than the Carnival in Rio and then 4.2 star resort on the beach?

2am: flight from Miami is delayed.

6am: in Brazil! Hola! I knew my Spanish would pay off one day!

8am: the hotel staff isn’t impressed with my Spanish. Perhaps because they all speak Portuguese. HBS exposes me to such profound cultural experiences.

6pm: wake up. Well, the parties only begin at night anyway right?

7pm: update Facebook status: “in the Carnival in Rioooooooo!!!! Gonna drink some Sangrio!”

8pm: get robbed.

8:30pm: go back to the hotel room and read my cases. I’ll definitely have some “comments” for next week’s BGIE case about Brazil.


8am: getting an early start, today is a whole new day!

10am: a Brazilian girl, really similar to the girl from Section D, smiles at me.

10:02am: she walks away when she realizes I was already robbed yesterday.

12pm: go to this club and get drunk with my HBS buddies, just like Tommy Doyle but earlier.

?: don’t remember the rest of the day.


5am: getting up early to catch the internal flight to the beach with the long name. Cocktails with a small umbrella here I come!

8am: flight is delayed. Damn East Coast Wint… hey, wait a second!

4pm: finally in the resort. I’m in a room with 7 other guys from HBS and there are two cockroaches under my bed.

4:02pm: however free alcohol is indeed included in our premium all-inclusive resort. I love this place already.

5pm: get drunk with the HBS guys, play Beer Pong. Kinda like One Western Common Room.


10am: go to the beach. Fall asleep.

3pm: wake up, completely burnt, except for a heart shape one of the guys drew on my chest with sunscreen. Or was it the girl from Section D?

5pm: ouch it hurts, and I look like a tomato. Going back to the room to read my cases, but can only do it standing up because sitting or lying down hurts too much.


5am: starting the journey back… only 5 flights to Boston!

7am: flight is delayed.

12pm: second flight is delayed.

5pm: third flight is delayed.

10pm: fourth flight is delayed.

4am: fifth flight is delayed.

8:40am: my FIN2 class starts without me. Damn, why aren’t “flight delays” excused absences? HBS is really tough.

10am: landed in Boston. Catching a cab to campus.

10:20am: my BGIE class about Brazil starts without me. I wonder if they talk about airlines in Brazil.

11am: reached campus. There was construction work on Storrow Drive. Cab cost $60.

11:40am: heading to Spangler cafeteria to grab some lunch before I go to LCA.

11:41am: it’s Brazilian Cuisine day. I strategically decide to skip lunch.

11:45am: use LCA’s 3 lenses framework to decide I’m going to sleep.

8pm: wake up. Going to read cases for tomorrow. At least it doesn’t cost me anything.


8:30am: “The weekend was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Brazil is an awesome country, so culturally diverse. I feel so fortunate HBS has given me so many opportunities to explore different countries with my best friends. It is truly a Transformational Experience.    What am I doing next weekend? Oh, I have a couple of interviews in New York…”

8:33am: “Panama next weekend? $5000? That sounds amazing!!! any spots left?”

My last couple of weekends

First weekend – San Francisco: Michael Mina, Ozumo, Boudin Bakery, Filoli, Cafe Del Doge, SF MOMA, SF Mechanical Museum, Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Second weekend – Boston: Dinner and Gran Torino with a friend, gym with another friend, sleeping 9+ hours every day, dinner with a friend and then Oscars with few HBS friends (still sooooo boring!), dinner at Oleana with another friend, The Reader (she only got the Oscar for being naked and looking old), studying at a coffee shop and running into another friend, brunch in Beacon Hill with an MIT friend, Boston Common, a nap, talking to my family, getting things done, writing this post!

Cafe Del Doge, University Avenue, Palo Alto. Almost as good as the coffee in Tel Aviv.

San Francisco from the 47th floor.

Filoli (Fight-Love-Live)

15 Responses to ““Travel””

  1. Andy Says:

    Hello CS, First I really have to say this was a very scary post. The two examples you provided of toally unmotivated,non-passionate slackers…If they are truely and example of what HBS is turning out these days, We are in serious trouble. I wouldn’t hire either of them to clean the trash bins. They should have been absolutely embarresed to put their accounts in print.

    If todays economy isn’t a wake up call, for new and old grads alike to start, walking the pavement, knocking on doors of prespective employers than, they will never wake up. There time could have been much better spent doing some simple research…for example congress just passed a bill that will “forgive student loans” provided that the grad commit to a teaching career. Okay so it’s not a hedge fund manager, but it is a career that is in demand. Simple Marketing, sometimes you need to look where the voids are, yes even in this economy there are voids that need to be filled.

    Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against taking some mental breaks…getaways, vacations certainly have their place. I look at you as an example, you used your long weekend as a getaway BUT HELLO!!! YOU HAVE A JOB IN HAND. Those others need to wake up, they have more time right now to be looking “actively” (not letting some counselor search for them, or reading post on a board) They are not going to be able to get this time back.

    I’m sorry for ranting but, I think of the cost involved in their education, most likey from a parent fronting some of it..and I have little tolerance for wasted time and drinking parties..if this economy isn’t the most sobering experience of their life, well perhaps they will end up where they belong..at McDonalds asking people if they would like fries with that?

  2. Yael Says:

    Loved your post! Reminded me of my MBA time – people flying to Iceland for a long weekend, which is basically a normal weekend with one day one. I guess it has a lot to do with one’s definition of a vacation..
    Before joining the workforce in the US I didn’t realize how important it is to make good usage of these “vacation”, e.g. long-weekend, it’s because there aren’t that many vacation day in the real-life..
    Keep writing and enjoy your last semester! what are your plans for post graduation ?

  3. Eugene Says:

    Don’t listen to Andy. Instead of crying here he could have worked in McDonalds for an hour and send that wage to the Red Cross. Instead he browses Internet and talks about the responsibility. Lamo.

  4. Andy Says:

    Gino, First let me say, and btw CS already knows this, my post was not being critical of CS. Rather it was an indictment on the “Accept no responsibility and keep your hands out” attitude many present day CEO’s, and Financial managers. They and their attitudes are a major contributing factor to todays economic conditions.

    Secondly, I’m very confident that I have contributed more to humanity in my career then you will dream of doing in a lifetime.

    Finally, By shear default you bring up an excellent point..lets look at Ray Kroc,a little guy who did pretty damm good for himself at McDonalds…and guess what?? He did it with “Hard Work and Initiative” and it just so happens that CS has both those assets in abundance. I rest my case. Andy

  5. IH Says:

    Fantastic post! …and so true.

  6. Eugene Says:

    Don’t feel offended, Andy. The least I wanted is to offend anybody. I just felt bad that you were so negative. I apologize if you felt bad.

  7. Andy Says:

    No Problem Eugene, I’m all for difference of opinions and open discussions, there is nothing healhier. I was just a bit taken back by the personal reference. Although my comments came across as negative, my hope was that they would stimulate some thought as to seriousness of todays economic condition. There is no doubt that Harvard MBA students are positioned better than most to make some much needed and drastic changes.

    When I see someone wasting the advantage of an education that most students would sell their soul for, well I try to sound a wake up call. While it came off negative I was truely intending for positive thought provoking results.

    I won’t accept your apology simply because there was none needed, but thank you for extending it. If nothing else we seem to have set a record on the CS blog for most comments =) best regards…Andy

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  10. monkey Says:

    soooo funny!

  11. cs@hbs Says:

    monkeys always have great sense of humor. ;)

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  13. Ivyish Says:

    As the economy tanks and companies (which were HBS feeders) continue to dissapear, HBS students continue to party! Makes me wonder…? Havent people realized the world has changed and employers are questioning the value of an MBA

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