February 25th, 2009
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.