The Better Half: A Partner's Perspective

We are the breadwinners. We are the chauffers. We are the cooks. But most of all, we are the listeners after you lose a squash match, get cold called and are dinged yet again. Within the words of this bi-weekly musing, I hope to offer a glimpse into our world as HBS partners, or as some may call us – “the better half.”

About a year ago, when many of you were celebrating acceptance into HBS with magnums of Veuve Clicquot, many of us were faced with a complicated decision: Should we leave our home and friends and jobs to move to Boston? (Also translated into: Are we crazy enough to leave New York City for that tiny town?)

Months (and many discussions) later, we found ourselves thrown into the HBS ocean without a week of orientation to get our feet wet. Yes, we were there at orientation activities and shook hands with dozens of future bankers and CEOs. But the end-of-summer party did anything but orient us to the upcoming year as an HBS partner.

Early into the first semester, we learned on our own what it really meant to be a partner. While our “partners” fought for airtime in class, we fought for email time at home. While they complained about reading cases, we complained about having to step over the cases strewn all over the floor. While they went out for mid-week drinks, study group dinners, and section events, we looked for jobs or adjusted to new ones, tried to make friends and went to sleep exhausted and alone.

Now, halfway into the second semester (yes, our calendar is their Calendar), my partner friends and I are settled into our new lives. Our jobs carry the ease of familiarity, we know how to finagle our way onto the computer and we no longer have to rely on significant others to fill our social calendars. Drinking, yoga, movies, dinners, coffee, painting pottery – we do it all on our own. We have managed not only to stay afloat in the HBS ocean, but also freely explore its depths.

And, the cases … well, the cases continue to pile up but somehow, they seem to blend into the carpet more these days.

March 11, 2002
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