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The 2004 I Effect

Foundations was coming to an end and the most sophisticated theories about section composition were starting to circulate around the class of 2004. Some were based on high level statistics, more practical individuals discovered bugs in the University’s information systems… the truth was we were dying to find out who would be the 90 other people with whom we would share our sleepy mornings, cold calls and discussions for the next year… and alumni reunions for the rest of our lives. I wanted to meet the parents of the children I would hire in the future! Finally, we had the list in our hands… it looked familiar, let’s face it we had seen it before. We got to our classes and took possession of the assigned seats. We all looked around. There it was, Class of 2004 section I. So what’s next?

Monday morning got us started with the cases and the cold calls. And soon, old section I made us proud receivers of our I banner… but we were still just a bunch of strangers in the same classroom. So, how do we get from here to being a section? The truth is, it took a while. We were getting worried… would it be the 2004 effect? Nope. All real, important things in life take a while… like NI’s first article in the Harbus.

But as we come to the new semester, I could not deprive the rest of the class of 2004 – not even section B, my apologies- from a peak at what goes on in Aldrich 207…

The truth is, we have taken learning from one another to the next level. While other sections build on comments, Jack has taught us how to tangentially refine them… it takes practice, so try it at your own risk. Soo Chuen fits seven points and two matrices in a single class participation, and it doesn’t look crowded! Entrepreneurs – talk to Derek.

He built the most flexible company in history… it fits perfectly into every single HBS case. We also have magic from time to time… want to disappear from your seat? Talk to Ilan, although he doesn’t use the trick for cold calls. Want an accounting review session with knife juggling?

Talk to Dave. Or a Finance I with a baseball bat? No problem, just ask Andrew. Tips for staying young? We have Allie! How about some real classroom applications for option pricing on second semester seats? Anything can be learned in 207. I think that if a monkey stuck around for long enough, he would learn how to shoot.

Ok, so the classroom experience is great. Prospective students visiting are convinced after hearing James talk about life-work priorities at HBS.

In fact, it is so good that on Fridays, when all other sections can’t wait to go home, we have sky & garden deck awards. Because life is seen differently from different levels! But why is section I’s turnout at every social event so good… Corinne taught us how to dance Limbo and, well, that’s when Phil gives his uncontested social etiquette classes, which is more important than playing golf for a well to do HBS graduate.

While other sections may have tomorrow’s personalities in them, we actually have a head start… Woody Woodpecker, Tom Cruise, Pamela Anderson (right Hughey?) and Dmitry. But what really shows that we have become a close bunch is our ability to share emotions… Marny, we all share in your struggle.

So the truth is that, well, we may have taken a while, and we may not be perfect in every way–our apologies. But I don’t think any of us would trade our section experience.

January 21, 2003
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