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50 Things I learnt during Hell Week

1. The fact that only 30-50% of people get a job during hell week is a great excuse to spend it on a beach in Miami.
2. Flights to Miami get very expensive if you don’t get around to booking until the last minute.
3. You can’t cancel interviews that you randomly signed up to on the lottery less than 3 days in advance.
4. Miami in February is probably overrated anyway.
5. Whatever you prepare for an interview, you will be asked something totally different.
6. Whatever you say in an interview, you will think of something ten times smarter the moment you step out of the interview room.
7. Rushing back into the interview room saying “I want to change my answer” does not impress the recruiters.
8. For every activity (e.g. job applications) there is an equal and opposite displacement activity (e.g. looking up obscure movie quotes on the internet).
9. Displacement activities expand to fill all available time.
10. The yoga classes at Shad are really good.
11. Doing three yoga classes in the same day counts as a displacement activity.
12. The vending machines in the tunnels sell mini-boxes of Tide.
13. Even boring things like laundry count as displacement activities if you still haven’t finished the job applications.
14. Putting something on your to-do list decreases the likelihood of you doing it by approximately 50%, but scheduling something in Outlook 100% guarantees you will not do it.
15. Going out for dinner with the recruiting team of the company sponsoring you is a great way to get free drinks.
16. There are at least four bars in Harvard Square that mix really good martinis.
17. It is possible for the bar at Tommy Doyle’s to run out of Sambuca.
18. Doing karaoke to Eminem is very difficult.
19. Saying “Eminem” is very difficult after five shots of Sambuca.
20. The ice on the Charles at 2am is thick enough to support the weight of a drunken Englishman.
21. The number for emergency services in the U.S. is 911.
22. The vending machines in the tunnels sell both Tylenol and Alka-seltzer.
23. Chewing gum does not disguise the smell of alcohol on your breath.
24. Mouthwash does disguise the smell of alcohol on your breath.
25. Swallowing mouthwash when you are hung over will make you feel very ill indeed.
26. Orange, blue and yellow Gatorade all taste the same, really terrible.
27. Gatorade really does get rid of hangovers.
28. Good friends can tell from 10 feet away that you’re hung over, but recruiters can’t.
29. Really good friends will tell you that you still look hung over after the interview.
30. It is possible to survive an interview even when you are so hung over you can’t see.
31. It is also possible that the interviewer was humoring you.
32. A manicure in a cozy little nail salon is a great way to cheer yourself up after a disastrous interview.
33. It is almost impossible to put on a pair of gloves when you have just had a manicure.
34. It’s faster to do a manicure yourself.
35. It is currently cold enough for the earphone wires on an iPod to solidify during the walk between Harvard Square and campus.
36. There is a phantom scrunchie-eating monster living in my dorm room.
37. The vending machines in the tunnels sell ice-cream sandwiches.
38. It takes an unexpected level of effort to make the entire student body aware of a Valentine’s party.
39. However, go out for one quiet dinner with an attractive classmate of the opposite sex and complete strangers know about it within 24 hours.
40. It is possible to get an interview with a major internet company even if you write your cover letter at 3am after a night out.
41. No-one wants to go out and get drunk with you the day before their interviews.
42. Lots of people want to go out and celebrate getting second round interviews at the end of Hell Week.
43. Even ECs who didn’t have interviews will come out and celebrate with you if you ask nicely.
44. Tertile is a real word (think statistical, not amphibian).
45. Not all Tibetan food involves yak butter, but a large proportion does.
46. All Germans drink Jagermeister, wherever in the world they are.
47. Three shots of Jagermeister is at least two and a half too many.
48. It is possible to walk all the way back to campus from Central Square after three shots of Jagermeister and not feel the cold at all.
49. The vending machines in the tunnels do not sell condoms.
50. The mere existence of Hell Week does not negate the need to prepare your cases for the next week. Unfortunately.

February 20, 2007
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