Auntie Sam

Dear Auntie Sam,
As the end of my two year hard graft here at HBS is coming to an end, I’ve been getting increasingly concerned about leaving. I’m not particularly upset about having to go back to work for the Big Consulting Firm I thought I had left behind when I got in here-hey, it’s a tough job market. I’m not even that upset about leaving all these new friends behind-after all, as the Dean told us on the first day, they will be coming to our weddings in future, and we’ll be able to see them for lunch in NY. And leaving the quaint little things about HBS, like the Spangler food, the interminable post office lines and strange people who guard your packages in their subterranean lair, will be a shock, but I’ll recover. What I’m most concerned about is having to Think for Myself. It’s been almost two years since I had to worry about anything more than reading two or three cases for the next day, and then going down the Hong Kong. Do you think I’ll be able to do it?

Not Sure of How to Adjust to Reality, OE

Dear Not sure of How to Adjust to Reality,
Yours is a dilemma faced by many big fish in little ponds. Happily gliding round this gilded fish tank we often lose perspective on a wider world, and find ourselves gazing approvingly at our reflection in the curved glass walls. WAKE UP! This is not the attitude that 500 cold-call threats should have instilled. You should be like a loaded spring, ready to explode with pent-up tensile energy on an unsuspecting world. You should give no thought to your ability to think for yourself-you are an HBS grad-you will not need to. You will communicate in code indiscernible to the common man and issue dictates, not Socratic questions. Fear not, this momentary lapse of confidence will dissipate when you are working among normal people.

Go forth and create, and remember to respond to the HBS fund raising requests in a timely manner.

Auntie Sam

April 23, 2001
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