News

Useful E-mail Forwards Save the Day During RC Finals

HBS experienced an RC final exam period like none other this winter, with all first-year students emerging from exams with a look of sheer jubilation on their bright, triumphant little faces. “Ding, dong! The three is dead!” sang the happy students as they skipped out of Aldrich, certain that the administration would have to abolish the forced curve in the face of such uniformly flawless exam responses.

This joy can be directly attributed to some useful “top-secret hint” e-mails that fully prepared each student for the exams. Each “hint” came with the caveat that “THIS IS FOR YOUR EYES ONLY: DO NOT SHOW TO ANYONE ELSE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!” – a caveat that was very carefully read and considered before the “Forward immediately to every RC student” button was pressed.

It turns out that the origins of these tips were the professors themselves.

Some professors, obviously desperate to be well-liked by a handful of little snots they will never see again, intentionally dropped a few hints to certain students to make studying easier. “As an HBS professor, if there’s one thing I have a lot of, it’s tons of free time,” said one assistant TOM prof, “So it was no problem at all to spend a few weeks researching and writing a ‘practice’ Mt. Auburn Hospital case, as well as a confidential American Connector Plan of Action – for distribution in my section only – to help thoroughly prepare the students for the exam. Also, I didn’t mind at all telling them to memorize every nuance of the Donner case, for the final exam was an identical Mt. Auburn/American Connector/Donner replica. Sure, I jeopardized some trivial things like tenure in order to give out these hints, but it’s worth it to know that my students clearly knew exactly what to do during the TOM final.”

Professors weren’t the only source of valuable information, however. Students themselves selflessly jumped in to assist others in need, readily sharing hints and advantageous rumors. Witness the following e-mail dialogue that was sent around regarding the FIN1 final:

–Original Message–
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:31 PM
To: mba2005@listserv.hbs.edu
Subject: Tip for tomorrow’s finance exam
One of my housemates is in the course head’s section, and the big tip for tomorrow is that the best case to study is…Ocean Carriers.

Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 4:04 PM
To: mba2005@listserv.hbs.edu
Subject: RE: Tip for tomorrow’s finance exam

My professor was one of the 3 writers of the exam and she concurs.

Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 4:37 PM
To: mba2005@listserv.hbs.edu
Subject: RE: Tip for tomorrow’s finance exam

Well guys: in case anyone needs the Ocean Carriers spreadsheet to help with tomorrow, try mine (attached). It’s full of misleading mistakes and ignores many of the assumptions that were plainly spelled out in the case, but I hope it helps. No need to thank me.

Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 4:54 PM
To: mba2005@listserv.hbs.edu
Subject: RE: Tip for tomorrow’s finance exam

Ocean Carriers? Are you kidding? I was just getting into a taxi and saw a FIN1 Prof get out of it and he was on his cell phone and was talking about how he hopes the classes study Netflix and A-Rod because the final will involve a subscriber model, multivariate regression, and the derivation of that Black-Scholes formula from FRC. Does anyone have good writeups for these cases?!?!!? PLEASE HELP!!!

Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 5:03 PM
To: mba2005@listserv.hbs.edu
Subject: RE: Tip for tomorrow’s finance exam

URGENT: Are we allowed to use other people’s spreadsheets on the exam, or our laptops? My roommate’s cousin’s manicurist used to sleep with a FIN graduate student, and he just heard that all we’re allowed to use for calculating R-squared tomorrow is an astrolabe. Does anyone have an extra one I could borrow for tomorrow? Thanks in advance…

Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 5:11 PM
To: mba2005@listserv.hbs.edu
Subject: RE: Tip for tomorrow’s finance exam

I JUST HEARD THE EXAM IS WRITTEN IN HINDI!!!!!! DO YOU HAVE A DICTIONARY I COULD BORROW!!!!!! THANKS!!!!!!

Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 5:12 PM
To: mba2005@listserv.hbs.edu
Subject: RE: Tip for tomorrow’s finance exam

HELP! DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY EXTRA SCUBA GEAR? I HEARD THAT THEY EXPECT US TO INSPECT THE OCEAN CARRIERS OURSELVES TO VISUALLY ESTIMATE DEPRECIATION BASED ON THE (RUST+BARNACLES) FORMULA. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FOLLOW CLASS DISCUSSIONS AND CAN HOLD MY BREATH PRETTY WELL BUT I STILL NEED SOME EXTRA LAST-MINUTE HELP. THNX!

These tidbits of wisdom paid off in a major way when RC students opened the FIN1 exam to find to their delight that it was entitled “Sea Vehicles that Transport Stuff” and, with the exception of a $3,900 being cleverly replaced with $9,300, was identical in every way to the Ocean Carriers case. Thus, another exam was easily completed with not a single mistake in sight.

Various other hints were also sent out, including Venn diagrams, matrices, and pretty little triangles that were indispensable for LEAD, a clearly-explained “How to Account for Swapping Soccer Stadiums in Spain, Duh!” FRC tutorial, and a thorough introduction to 1970’s industrial-glue dispensing products for MKT. Obviously, the last one of these was completely unnecessary, as only a total dummy-head would even think of enrolling at HBS without significant prior knowledge of the fascinating and extremely easy-to-market world of industrial adhesives. And HBS never enrolls glue-losers like that anyway! So everyone knew precisely what to do, and a happy exam ending was had by all. Thank you, helpful e-mail forwards!

January 12, 2004
Want to Sponsor The Harbus?

You can sponsor the Harbus website to reach the Harvard Community. Learn more.

RECENT COMMENTS
FlICKR GALLERY
THEMEVAN

We are addicted to WordPress development and provide Easy to using & Shine Looking themes selling on ThemeForest.

Tel : (000) 456-7890
Email : mail@CompanyName.com
Address : NO 86 XX ROAD, XCITY, XCOUNTRY.