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Neurotic November

November is not for the wimpy, reserved and chicken-hearted RC. November at HBS translates into notorious section retreats, increased absenteeism in class, more section loving (or lusting depending on which section you are in), over exposure to McKinsey/Bain/BCG and over ingestion of those spring rolls at Noir Bar.

November is a month of change-trees undress, winter creeps in and dorm tunnels morph into exciting meeting points. More importantly, the paramount RC concerns shift from CAPM to “how to outlive another evening at Charles Hotel?” and “how to tackle the clich‚d Black Monday?”

Last Wednesday, the hot topic of discussion was “did u like the free cordless mouse from Morgan Stanley better than the free guide to schmoozing from CSFB?” As post midterm FRC and TOM class discussions start sounding like LEAD, learning teams begin to disintegrate, RCs launch their hunt for new muses and some of us toy with the idea of launching a mass TDI (tunnel dig initiative) to connect the dorms to Charley Boy!

Numerous first impression studies suggest that a person with a nice smile on average earns 12 percent more than a person without (obviously we are talking about A LOT for HBS botox smiles). If a colgate smile can do that, can you imagine what a Theory/Armani suit can do?

No wonder my female friends are foraging for comfortable heels to endure those endless networking schmoozes while my male friends practice their opening pitches and flattering-angle-smile in front of the mirror!

With RCs scrambling to buy more business cards and HBS stationery from SA ventures than ever before, you wonder how long it will be before SA ventures finally decides to forego its not-for-profit policy!

Meanwhile, ECs complain that the RCs are hostile vultures who will ransack the recruiters to death! ECs moan that RCs are not only the first ones to grab the toasted flatbreads, bacon gruyere rolls, but also most likely to pin the unsuspecting Goldman Sachs representative against the wall.

Now, do not you wonder what the employers think of us HBS RCs?

The Managing Director of PWM Lehman (London) at the latest RC event was amazed by how cloned we HBS RCs can be-he feels that we wear the same suits, have the same resume format, ask the same questions, choose to consume the same alcohol, and cross our arms and nod intelligently in an almost spookily identical fashion. Apparently, we are also the top contenders for “the quickest cycle time for distributing business cards” award! In short, he felt we were too overpowering and a bit terrifying for a milder relaxed Europe!

So, should we jump at the sushi with less zest? Should we relax a little and go to the Brown Sugar party instead? Should we return our focus to those Finance quizzes and section norm meetings? Should we re-channel our energies on covering up the Section Retreat rumors instead? But can the racy HBS RC DNA calm down at all?

As the business world launches a “20 company presentations per day attack” on HBS terra firma, RCs unite to resolve to survive this unruly, pretentious and nervy November. Hang in there folks-look at the bright side-no exams for another three weeks, no interviews for another 7 weeks and we get four days off for Thanksgiving. Whoever said November sucks?!

November 20, 2006
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