Ahead of the Curve?

September 20th, 2008

I originally planned to write this post about “Ahead of the Curve”, the new “Sensational” book about HBS. But considering the last week’s events, it felt more appropriate to start with that. More than anything, I think this week meant a lot of confusion and insecurity among HBS students. HBS administration did send us an email saying that recruiters (including in finance) are still recruiting MBA graduates and do not plan to decrease recruiting levels (or at least not at HBS) – not sure how much it helped to reduce stress levels. Networking events on campus this week held an impressive number of companies from all sectors – though I don’t know how this number compared to last year.

Many students at HBS are stressed and waiting to see how things unfold. I think that in our narrow world of MBAs, we still need to wait and see, but no doubt everyone acknowledges that this crisis will have a profound impact on Wall Street in particular and the US economy in general. In this context, the title of the book – and the post – seems quite ironic now.

But anyway, to the book…

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Back to School

September 6th, 2008

Good things about going back to school:

  • Seeing everyone again and hearing about their summer.
  • Choosing my courses! My courses so far look really good – will write a separate post about it a bit later. But so far even studying from 8:30 to 13:00 with almost no break isn’t that bad because I have some really good professors.
  • Being in my apartment again. Seattle was awesome, but my Boston apartment just rocks. Not to mention two of my best friends here just moved to my building on campus.

Bad things about going back to school:

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Getting Ready for Second Year

August 18th, 2008

Yes, I know, I disappeared for a while. By now my internship is almost over (this week is my last one) – I still need to do my final presentation to the SVP but that’s about it. The summer has been great – I became friends with some of the other interns (even though they weren’t all from HBS :)) and we went on trips exploring Seattle and the area, as well as Seattle’s restaurants and bars (with a strong preference to sushi). Work was good, too.

What they say about Seattle is true – in the summer, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived in. The weather is a perfect sunny 25 degrees almost every day, and within less than 100km from downtown there are lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and mountains (and good sushi restaurants). Too bad it’s like that only for the summer… You can skip to the end of the post to see some pictures.

We start second year at HBS after labor day weekend (first week of September). I’m excited about the second year, it’s supposed to be much better – at least easier – than the first one. Here are some of the differences between them:

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Blame Canada

July 13th, 2008

Appropriately, I celebrated 4th of July (aka USA’s Independence Day) in Vancouver, Canada. It’s only 2.5 hours drive (not including waiting at the border) and it’s a really nice place, so it was a good way to spend the long weekend (the only long weekend I’ll have in Seattle this summer).

Since it was my first time in Canada, here are my impressions:

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Alive & Kicking

July 1st, 2008

My photo gallery is alive again. It suddenly stopped working, and after seeking help in the support forums and regressing to my programming and debugging days, I managed to bring it back to life.

So with that, here’s what I’ve been doing in the last week:

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For some reason every state, city and public bathroom in the US has a nickname. So the “Emerald City” is, apparently, Seattle – the nickname is a result of a contest (!) held in the 80s and refers to the “lush evergreen trees in the surrounding area” (thanks to Wikipedia for that incredibly useful information).

At any rate, this is where I’m going to be for the summer. Landed two days ago (still ridiculously jetlagged) and going to be here till the end of August for my summer internship in a large technology company that sells stuff online.

The same technology company was also nice enough to set me (and the other interns) up in a great apartment complex right in downtown Seattle: Harbor Steps. I think the location couldn’t have been better – 2 minutes walk from Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum across the street, 5 minutes walk from the shopping district and tons of restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and whatnot literally downstairs. Not to mention the waterfront being 2 minutes away (that’s why it’s called Harbor Steps…). I can almost say it’s better than where I used to live in Tel Aviv…

The apartment I have is a fully-furnished one bedroom, which means that when I got here on Saturday this is what welcomed me:

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Live in Beit Shemesh*

June 8th, 2008

I came back to Israel right after the semester ended, and a week later started the HBS Israel Trek (aka The Most Amazing Thing You Can Do While at HBS :)).

HBS Israel Trek
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I Love I

May 17th, 2008

Hard to believe but it’s OVER. Today was the last day of classes and while we still have three finals next week, I’ll be doing them online in a warmer, better place (aka Israel).

I’m flying tomorrow with some mixed emotions – but mostly happy. It’s been a great year, I had lots of fun, but it wasn’t always the easiest. I’m looking forward to almost a month in Israel with my family, friends, and some HBS friends (more about that in the next post), and to the rest of my summer in Seattle.

But I want to dedicate this post to something else…

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After a year of blogging (woohoo!), here’s some funny and interesting statistics about the blog, courtesy of Google Analytics:

Number of visits: 12,441

Absolute unique visitors: 6,819 people, coming from 107 countries.

Number of page views: 35,606

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Greg Brenneman

May 2nd, 2008

This week I went to hear Greg Brenneman, HBS Class of ’86, who came to speak at HBS. Since I took digital notes anyway, I thought I’d just post them (so it’s not that I’m sitting here writing posts a day before my finance final exam…).

Some background – Mr. Brenneman is currently CEO of TurnWorks, a private equity firm specialized in turning around troubled firms, and president and CEO of Quiznos Sub (sister – this one’s for you :)). He’s also on the board of Home Depot. You could say he specializes in turning around distressed companies – he was the CEO of PwC Consulting, CEO of Burger King and President & COO of Continental Airlines and helped “reviving” them.
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