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H-BS

Vending Machine Dispenses Soda, Lessons in Workforce Diversity

The mission of the humble vending machine has taken a noble turn in the basement of Aldrich, according to anonymous sources. There, above the coin-slot, the buttons, and the Crimson Cash swiper, a picture of diverse professional colleagues can be seen: laughing, leading, and succeeding with Diet Coke.

“We really wanted to have our vending machines stand for more than just unsurpassed refreshment,” said an unidentified Coca-Cola representative.

“We also want to show the realities of today’s diverse workforce: nay,not just show diversity, but celebrate it! Today, women and African-Americans all work in Fortune 500 companies, and when they do, you can be sure that they’re doing so while enjoying both each others’ company, and an ice-cold Diet Coke rTM. And just look at how we’ve reflected that diversity here! One of the women is wearing a suit jacket, the other a pink thing. One is wearing silver jewelry, while the other is wearing gold or possibly gold-toned stainless steel. One of the women may even be Hispanic, or perhaps Hungarian. They are confident, poised, and caffeinated. Can you be a success when you’re thirsty? Or asleep? No! The skies outside may be grey, and their stern yet lovable boss, old Mr. McGillicutty, might have given them yet another crazy deadline, but with multiple cans and bottles of Diet Coke by their side, they can tackle any challenge with a collegial chuckle.”

“Diet Coke: breaking the glass ceiling, one aspartame-flavored drink at a time.”

Winter Term Course Offerings Receive Mixed Reviews

With EC students beginning the process of finalizing their winter-term classes, the selection of course offerings is getting mixed reviews. “The whole reason I came to HBS was to try and switch into the Real Estate industry,” said one exasperated student, “Last semester, I punched two classmates to try and get into that class. One of them in the eye. I did get a seat, but I also got a misdemeanor charge. Now, I realize that all of the bribes to the registrar and offerings to Baal were for naught: they’ve put another Real Property course in the winter term! This means that any slacker that was too risk-averse to rank the course high, or too lazy to cross the river to attend class at KSG, can just saunter in to a class that I sold my soul for! Whither justice?”

Not satisfied with merely beating the odds needed to get into HBS in the first place, one particularly achievement-oriented member of the EC class was giddy at the prospect at elitism within elitism: “Oh my God, there’s the application-only Porter class, the 900% over-subscribed Rivkin class, plus some other new class that I have no idea what the hell is being taught in it but enrollment is limited to 24 students so it must be mine. I can’t wait to take them all and then get ones in all of them. Maybe they’ll make me a Double Baker Scholar!”

Another student stated: “Throughout my entire life, I’ve always gotten a great deal of masochistic enjoyment out of complaining about how much more work I have than everyone else – so you can imagine how disappointing the RC year was for me. But this year? Boy oh boy, in the fall, I enrolled in Legal Aspects of Management, Tax Factors, Investment Management, Entrepreneurial Marketing, Dynamic Markets, and daily Chinese and Quechua classes at the College just for good measure. It has been a glorious semester, one where I can garner sympathy for having more work than everyone else and actually deserve it! And next semester? Well, when I saw that there are some classes that have 30 sessions plus a paper, I almost wept with joy and exhaustion.”

Other students, traumatized by just how much work there actually was during what is supposed to be their “coasting” EC year, are protesting that the winter term has such limited offerings. They feel that the EC course list is clearly sub-par, and insist that the entire HBS experience will be a waste unless the courses “Management in Perspective 1”, “”Management in Perspective 2”, “Managing: A Perspective”, “Perspectives on Management”, and “Perspectivas sobre Management-o” are offered.

New Tool Developed for Measuring Risk-Tolerance

One of the biggest challenges in determining an individual’s optimal investment portfolio allocation is accurately measuring that individual’s tolerance for risk. This has often been a challenge, as self-reported risk aversion tends to be inaccurate. As such, any instrument to help truly gauge such a metric would be invaluable to the financial planning community. Harvard Business School has recently developed a ground-breaking tool to measure one’s risk-tolerance level, and that tool is the creepy elevators in SFP that sound like they’re going to fall apart at any minute and make you plumet to your death.

“Often-times, when asked about their risk-tolerance level, people will often make themselves sound braver than they really are. For example, they’ll say that they’re OK with wild fluctuations in their stock returns, but then in real-life, they’ll wimp-out at the first sign of market weakness,” said an anonymous Finance professor, “Our new terrifying elevator that makes all kinds of suspicious noises is the perfect solution: when a subject boards the elevator, we control the amount of screeching and thumping they hear, in different combinations. We then observe various levels of risk-tolerance directly, in reactions ranging from confused glances, to panic-stricken glances, to falling on one’s knees and begging one’s deity for mercy, to falling to one’s knees and begging someone else’s deity for mercy. In addition, this new tool also allows researchers to accurately gauge a subject’s ‘weird urine-like smell tolerance’ on Sunday mornings.”
Finance community: rejoice!

December 13, 2004
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