What I Did This Summer

Dear Section OG –

Just thought you guys would like to know what I’ve been up to over the summer. I remember that I saw many of you at the Newport Ball. Since I had substantive and lucid conversations with all of you at the ball, I’m sure that you’ll remember that I was working for an operating company over in Prague this summer. Let me update you on what I’ve been doing since then. To put you in the HBS spirit, I’m going to use a lot of the new words I learned at HBS this year. So that you don’t forget the HBS lingo over the summer, make sure to write down the words written in “quotations” so that you can reintroduce them into your class comments upon returning to campus in the fall.

Right after finishing school in May, I headed down to Georgetown for my 5th year reunion. Shortly after arriving, I realized the “network effects” of attending a school like HBS. I ran into classmates Katherine Liu, Sara Wiegman, Sherrese Clarke, and Bryan Sanchez as well as lots of old friends. The weekend was a “compelling” reminder that “smart money” invested in a high “value added” activity based around a “critical mass” of people can be a lot of fun.

After the reunion, I flew to Prague and started work. It was great to once again see “recurring revenues” piling up and again have my “skin in the game.” Work was “opaque” at first, but as an aspiring “general manager” I “led” the creation of policies that would increase both “marginal returns” and promote “economies of scale” and “economies of scope” by instituting a “Balanced Scorecard” integrating both “key performance indicators” and the “7S Model.” It wasn’t always easy; early on, I successfully avoided an “Erik Peterson” situation by “managing upwards” and “leading change,” thus “leading” myself to a “Jan Carlson-Donna Dubinsky” outcome. Luckily, I “led” several “diverse teams” whose work, in turn, “led” to a new “initiative” to “own the customer” and drive “customer loyalty” by increasing “switching costs.”

Outside of work, I was able to get to know the city and delve into the social scene. I was surprised to learn that an “obligation to disclose” the “H-Bomb” in social situations helped to “align incentives” and “incent” women to “step-up” “due diligence.” This was a favorable situation relative to the “conditions precedent” I had observed in the “saturated” Cambridge market where the HBS “brand equity” is sometimes accompanied by “negative externalities” and leads to “non-binding” outcomes. Upon “peeling back the onion skin,” however, I was alarmed to learn that some of the locals on the social scene were simply following the “Willie Sutton Rule,” thus creating “moral hazard” and suggesting that some potential “alliances” could result in “decreasing marginal returns” and high “maintenance Capex” if “mismanaged.” I found that by carefully defining a “ZOPA” and “expanding” rather than “dividing” the pie, I could craft “mutually advantageous” social outcomes.

Well that’s about it for me. Hope you are doing well and hope to see you
in the fall.

PS – By the way…remember that case about Poland’s accession to the EU that we read for the BGIE final last semester? It turns out that the Czech Republic is facing a very similar decision this summer. I am very confused, however, since the country has spent the last several months involved in intense debate regarding the wisdom of such a move. It seems kind of excessive. After all, at HBS we would have cracked that case in 100 minutes, right?

September 15, 2003
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