Monday, March 29, 2010

My first cold call!

Five courses per semester. Approximately 30 cases per course. 150 cases in the first semester and not a single cold call. Now, half way through the second semester, after a total of about 225 HBS cases I finally got my first cold call! Statistically, everybody in my section has already been cold called an average of 2.4 times before I finally got mine.

My class participation grades is pretty strong across the board, which is the only reason I can think of to explain these statistics. Nonetheless, I thought it was pretty funny. I really enjoyed the opportunity to anchor the case discussion for the class period, and in the back of my head was thinking "Seriously? Are you really calling on me?" An HBS milestone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring update

I take off tomorrow for a week of backpacking in Brazil, so I wanted to make sure to provide a spring update before I take off. I have been undertaking a lot of different projects lately and have kept rather busy, though all by choice.

Despite reaching what I feel is near 100% time efficiency, I've had to accept that I simply cannot do everything. Time management, project management, and prioritization have been very important over the past few weeks. Here are some of the things I've been up to:

  • I've secured my summer internship positions. I was very fortunate and received several great offers through on-campus recruitment as well as great leads through personal networking. I'll spend most of my time with Goldman Sachs Investment Management and will also do a mini-internship with BCG at the end of the summer. This will give me great exposure to the financial industry as well as a taste of consulting. Having very little business experience I really wanted to maximize my summer and get exposed to some of the bigger firms. The larger firms can afford to spend more time training their summer associates, and I am really looking forward to exploring what they have to offer in terms of a career. Although I've gravitated more and more toward pursuing something entrepreneurial after HBS, I wanted to give a fair shot to the larger firms for the summer given my lack of business background. There are many pros and cons to this, but that is the subject of a much longer discussion.
  • I spent a lot of time networking and doing informational interviews learning about a very wide variety of industries. I traveled for several weekends to meet with different firms and worked towards keeping my future options open. A pro-active student at HBS can really generate a tremendous amount of opportunities just by the HBS name... at least to get the foot in the door. The rest is up to you.
  • I'm also in the HBS business plan competition and have been developing my business idea throughout the year. It's definitely something I will continue to research over the next year as a viable post-HBS plan.
  • I've become very politically involved, most recently taking a national level leadership position within the RNC. My job is to help build a coalition of young professional veterans who seek to help shape the future of the Republican Party. There is wide recognition that our generation of veterans have the potential for a very positive influence on the Republican Party, and I am very honored to play a central role in this effort. I see political activities as a way to continue to serve our country despite no longer wearing the uniform everyday.
  • I'm planning several section trips... I've rented out a New Hampshire shooting range and taking 20 of my classmates shooting in a few weeks. I'm also organizing a backpacking trip for my section in early April.
  • I'm still serving in the National Guard. I'm fairly certain that I'm the only HBS student on airborne status... I did a jump this past weekend.
  • Organizing small group dinners with CEOs and former military leaders and bringing in speakers for campus talks.
  • I'm still squeezing in trips to the gym, though I have to admit that my time with the Rugby team has significantly dropped off this semester. I'm looking forward to being fully engaged with the team again in the Fall.
  • I've also been one of the planners for an overseas trek for the first week of the summer that will probably have about 50 first year student in attendance. I'll then have about 4 days "off" before my summer internship starts.
So those are some of the major highlights of the past few weeks. There is more, but I think I've talked about myself too much already.

I guess the takeaway I would like to impart with this entry is that opportunities are nearly limitless here. One just needs to set his objectives, prioritize projects, and execute them. The hardest thing for me is how to not get stretched too thin and knowing when to say no.