May 10th, 2009
Last Tuesday I uploaded my last exam (yes, we’re very high tech at HBS) and thus concluded my two years of HBS MBA. My exams still need to be checked and graduation is still a month from now, but for all intents and purposes I’m done.
A couple of administrative announcements –
As my MBA is drawing to a close, I’ve been thinking of what to do with the blog. As amazing as it may be, I don’t think I’ll continue writing here in the current format. I won’t be closing down or deleting the blog or anything drastic like that, and there might be a new MBA / HBS post once in a while. After all, I love this domain too much (and so does google, so it’s hard to let go). But I also believe it’s best to quit while you’re ahead – and what’s a better time than winning Clear Admit’s Best of MBA Blogging Top 10 (the MBA is nice and all, but this is my real achievement). But after all, this chapter in my life is over and I’m moving on to a new chapter, in a different place, doing different things, that are mostly unrelated to HBS or my MBA.
So bottom line, expect less updates here. If I ever start another blog I promise to post a link here, and in the meanwhile, if you just can’t get enough of me, you can follow me on Twitter, my latest addiction – like a blog but minimal effort and I don’t need to pretend you know how to write.
My plans for this summer mainly include flights. In between flights there are stops in SF, Boston, Texas, Canada, Israel, Brazil and Seattle.
And a few deep thoughts –
Not mine, of course. So I wanted to eloquently summarize my HBS experience. To write about the transformational experience or the lifelong friends or the unemployment rates. But seriously, I think I need some time and perspective to be able to write something meaningful about such a profound experience. Fortunately, my dear friend and blog reader Andy wrote such a beautiful, thoughtful comment after my last post that I realized it would serve as a perfect summary to this part of the blog. I completely agree with Andy’s thoughts here. So here you go, and thank you, Andy for all of your support for the past, wow, 10 years:
I just wanted to take a few minutes to wish CS, and all her fellow graduates, my congratulations for a job well done!! Over the years I’ve been to many commencement speeches and over the years they all have pretty much the same message. Usually the message is how you, the new grads are our future and, how you’ll soon see the reality of the outside world, and so on and so on. I believe the class of 2009 is in such a rare moment. A moment full of difficult challenges that few classes before them have faced. This economy, this moment in time has finally made the commencement speeches of the past finally have more meaning then every before.
Your class will be faced with new challenges such as finding new ways to do business. Many of the old ways are outdated and just don’t seem to work anymore. Your class will have to work harder than any class before you. Much of today’s economy is the result of business people with little vision just being content to live in a business as usual world, that world has dried up.
There was a day when you graduated Harvard with an MBA and you walked right into a job…well as many of you have discovered it just isn’t that easy this year. You will have to be more resourceful then those who came before and perhaps create your own jobs. You will be expected to conduct business and be held to higher morals and ethics then ever before. Just remember to use “common sense” something that isn’t so common in the thinking of many of today’s CEO’s.
I believe in our young people, if anyone can solve the many problems that face us today it is you, the young graduates of 2009. Your challenges are many, I believe you’re up for them, and the result will be a better world for all. Good luck !! And my deepest congratulations!
Finally I would like to share a poem with you, I shared this with CS many years ago. It is a poem that I had on the wall of my office throughout my working life. I turned to it almost everyday, and each time I recited it, it had new and deeper meaning than the day before. I hope you will find something in it as well. The only outdated part of the poem is the gender reference at the end…kindly disregard Mr. Kiplings short sightedness =) The poem is called “IF” by Rudyard Kipling
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
And have to conclude with a few photos from Spring in Cambridge. Optimistic!