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An Open Letter to the RC from the EC

The SEC recently enacted Regulation FD, mandating full disclosure in the financial markets. In light of recent events underscoring the importance of this rule, I’ve decided to provide full disclosure to the RC on the various unknowns in the HBS experience.

The following are some points of advice for the RC class:

1) Admissions Mistakes. There’s a lot of talk at the beginning of the RC year about “Admissions Mistakes.” The administration wants you to believe that there are no admissions mistakes and that you all deserve to be here. Let’s be truthful though: there are thousands of applicants, interviews, essays and recommendations going through the admissions office. They’re only human. Applications get put into piles, the office gets messy, the janitor knocks over said piles, papers get shuffled and BINGO. “Congratulations! You’ve been admitted!” Last year they printed out the laminated name cards of every “Admissions Mistake” with the student’s name in all caps. I’m not sure if they are still using the same convention, but keep your eyes open for these stragglers.

2) RC Gatherings. At the beginning of the year, W. Carl Kester, or “Uncle Kester,” as he likes to be called, should have mentioned that the full class only meets five times during the HBS experience. But don’t be sad: Uncle Kester actually left out several of these cohort-wide meetings. There will be numerous Friday evenings when you’ll see all your classmates in line at Embassy or Aria. On nights before a two-class day (of which one of the classes is not TOM), the whole RC will be at Red Line. During spring break, you’ll all see each other in Costa Rica. In addition, there’s the Burden meeting where the CEO of BP-Amoco comes and lets you know how great his company is, and another one where-as part of the Social Enterprise class-some guy comes and explains how rich he has become even though he’s a really nice guy. Finally, now that the Shad Caf‚ is closed, there is the food line at Spangler, where you’ll be spending lots of quality time with each other every day.

3) Study Groups. Study groups are an informal part of the HBS experience. If you’re not in one by now, you’re screwed. For the single folks, study groups are a great way to have your study groups friends introduce you to the attractive single guys and gals in their sections. For the married folks, study group are a great way to relive a thriving social life because, by November, the first 30 minutes of each study group meeting is comprised of discussing the single folks’ from the prior evening exploits. During the first few weeks, study groups will entail lengthy write-ups, which will shortly thereafter be trimmed to one-page cold call “defense strategies.” By December, write-ups will consist of the case title and whether or not the protagonist went to HBS. Also, I believe the current rule is that if you are still in a study group by December, you are automatically designated a Baker Scholar.

4) CitiAssist. CitiAssist is a beautiful thing. Take out the full amount! Between booze, balls, breaks and The Wine and Cuisine Society, you will be flat-broke in no time. It’s also a great way to borrow money at 4.75% and use it as a down-payment on a post-HBS house that will carry a 6.75% mortgage. In Finance II you’ll learn that that’s called “free money,” or for the Baker Scholar crowd, “arbitrage opportunity.”

5) Reading Cases. HBS cases can be interesting and enlightening. If you read them, you can go to class, raise your hand, and make some relevant comments. Good for you, smarty-pants. If you want to be remembered by your section, skip the reading. The most memorable comments are those in which the student clearly didn’t read the case and squirmed through thirty minutes of class. Face it, 25 years from now when you call your classmates for an internship for your son, they’ll remember you better if you say, “Hey, remember me, I’m the guy who tried to explain that the issue in the Beech-Nut case is that they’re not selling enough nuts at the beach?” Your son is guaranteed a job.
Well, that’s all for now. I hope this has been a great help in preparing you for your first year. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call.
Regards,
Mike

September 23, 2002
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