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Harbus Intraview – With Hildegunn Naas, OI and Brian Tockman, ND

Her Story

What do you do when your best friend turns you in to the Harbus for an Intraview and calls you a chicken if you don’t accept…
In the end, you accept.

On Friday afternoon, I get a phone call from Brian to arrange our Intraview. Uncle Jordy had told me that our date would be sometime over the weekend, and Brian suggests Sunday brunch. I was hoping for a Saturday night dinner, oh well…

Good thing this is in the US, at least I don’t have to worry about calling him or planning where we should go. Normally, I would make fun of this old-fashioned role pattern, but this time I am nothing but grateful. So, I check out his website to see what his interests are-hm, looks interesting! Oh no!!! What does my own website look like? Half terrified I click on to my own site, only to find that I have not taken down the photos of myself pretending to be a Sumo wrestler. He must think I am huge…

It’s Sunday morning, and dressed for a polar expedition, as it is so cold here in Boston, I meet Brian outside of my dorm. Wasn’t it nice of him to pick me up? A Norwegian guy would have asked me to meet him at the T or somewhere convenient in-between for both of us. This is definitely promising! The introductions are easy-we discover that we have played soccer against each other in intramurals. I hope he doesn’t remember how I almost took out their goalie, but I swear it wasn’t on purpose.

Brian has picked a very nice restaurant in the South End called Aquitaine. Over a half dozen eggs, we chat about both HBS and non-HBS topics. No talking about love or relationships though…maybe we both feel that this is not meant to be. That, and he doesn’t drink coffee. But I truly hope I have gotten a new friend. If there are any other HBS girls out there looking for an ex-I-banker with emotional intelligence who enjoys the outdoors and wants to have a life along with his career: Check out Brian Tockman! For your convenience, the consultant in me took the liberty of analyzing Brian along the 8 dimensions of my personal love scorecard. Yes, now you know why I am single…

His Story

February isn’t such a tough month if you have my luck. From out of the blue arrived an email from Uncle Jordy saying, “Congratulations, you’ve been nominated for a Harbus Intraview.” I rationally stopped to consider my BATNA, quickly determined that it was No Date, and cordially accepted the offer.

A few days later I got my pairing. We had met briefly before, in a hotly contested IM soccer match. Hildegunn was the star midfielder while I played left bench. So my Intraviewer was a sporty second year that had me 5 to 1 in languages spoken and an inch or two in height. And that’s when it hit me. This was more than just an Intraview, I was doing this for all the guys out there who had the Dream. The Dream that we too could go out with those elegant European women we’d seen walking around Spring Street in New York and the basement mailboxes in Aldrich. There was a lot on the line.

Not sure enough in my suaveness to suggest a Pravda-esque encounter, I instead proposed Sunday brunch. Everyone likes breakfast foods-how could I go wrong? I flipped to the back of the Zagat’s and the first entrant under the brunch category, Aquitaine, sounded perfect. And so, with me in my cords and Hildegunn in her cap, on a crisp Sunday morning, we headed out to the South End.

We talked about all sorts of things: section dynamics, the importance of vacations and taking time to experience life, family, and the countries we had visited. We talked about what we hoped to get out of our next careers and laughed a lot. Ask Hildegunn what happened to her favorite coffee mug if you get a chance. The restaurant was very nice, the crowd a peaceful change from the John Harvard’s milieu, and I was dining with one of Norway’s national treasures. If second years are so much fun, why does the administration hide them away in the Aldrich dungeon?

But perhaps it was not to be. Her upcoming travels were to take her to Cuba, China, and Branson, MO, while I was destined for Cabo and Minneapolis. Could our hearts stand such distances? And so it seemed our relationship would consist of this solitary February morning. But to those out there who have also shared the Dream, do not despair. The next time you think of approaching those sophisticated and classy members of the opposite sex, go for it. You may find that she’ll be as charming as my Intraviewer.

February 26, 2001
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