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50 Things You're Unlikely to Ever do Again Once You Leave HBS

1. Sit in a room with the CEO of a company and tell them to their face that their strategy is stupid and will never work – with no repercussions.
2. Go away for a weekend with 90 people you only met a month ago, to a cottage in Vermont with only 60 beds.
3. Get up at 7am instead of 8am in order to pre-discuss stuff you’re going to spend all day discussing.
4. Worry that you don’t understand a description of changes in cranberry harvesting techniques.
5. Spend an hour earnestly arguing over the relative merits of a box of matches, a bottle of vodka and a compass.
6. Disagree with an ex-Navy Seal about whether you can survive on snow as your only source of water.
7. Acquire enough free management-related books to require a new bookshelf.
8. Not care about losing your keys because they security guard is always around on Campus anyway.
9. Live in an M&M world (RCs, wait for FIN2 if you don’t get this one)
10. Go to a party organized by Australians at which everyone is dressed as a girl. And enjoy it.
11. Look up directly into the face of your professor and realize that you have no idea what you have just been asked, let alone what the class discussion is about, because you were too busy flirting with the cute guy sitting next to you.
12. Try and form an effective team composed of twelve people who have all self-identified as leaders.
13. Have an argument with someone about how fast you can strip (wires).
14. See one of your Professors wearing a hard hat.
15. Feel proud that your learning team can put LEDs on a board faster that the team you are paired with.
16. Use tunnels as your primary mode of travel for three whole months.
17. See every gap in your schedule of more than 30 minutes as a napping opportunity.
18. Try and come up with a ‘strategy’ for winning at cornhole.
19. Chase a turkey around an auditorium named after someone you’ve never heard of.
20. Watch 90 people giving your mom a standing ovation for nothing more than showing up.
21. Eat freshly made sushi every day for less than the price of a sandwich, and complain because you have to wait in line.
22. Feel comfortable going up to people you don’t know at parties, safe in the knowledge that at least you’ll be able to discuss cases to break the ice.
23. Completely embarrass yourself when the person you approach at a party turns out to just be visiting, and when they mention they actually do something interesting for a living be at a loss for any conversation other than ‘Which section is your friend from HBS in’?
24. Spend 2 hours explaining the exact definitions of the phrases ‘hooking up’, ‘second base’ and ‘going steady’ to a group of drunk international students.
25. Learn the CAPM formula, Indian wedding traditions and the divisional structure of Apple all in the same day.
26. Pass silly notes to people in class.
27. Have your Professor notice you passing silly notes in class instead of listening to him and decide to get back at you by confiscating the notes and reading them out loud.
28. Watch your Professor’s face go an interesting shade of pink after he sees the contents of the notes and realizes that he would almost certainly be fired if he read them out in class.
29. Use Porter’s Five Forces model to convince someone to come out for a drink with you.*
30. Actually have number 3 work. Twice.
31. Use the phrase ‘you are soooo Skydecked’ whenever somebody does something embarrassing or inappropriate.
32. Be in a yearbook.
33. Take an exam while on a long weekend in Montreal.
34. Fly from Boston to Munich for two days to do nothing but drink beer and dance on tables.
35. Work out in a wood-panelled gym.
36. Believe that falling asleep renders you invisible.
37. Learn the Wal-Mart cheer (complete with wiggle).
38. Be a rugby groupie.
39. Be condescending to people who are far older and wiser than you, just because they happen to be RCs when you are an EC.
40. Receive an entire rainbow of free branded Nalgene bottles.
41. Have access to a library more impressive than any house you are ever likely to own – and only ever use it as a shortcut.
42. Ride on a proper yellow school bus.
43. Hear someone make jokes about Enron, the Tylenol poisoning incident and Jack Welch’s marital problems, and actually laugh.
44. Get utterly bored of freshly-made sushi and decide to try a sandwich for a change.
45. Reference Donna Dubinsky and Eric Peterson in conversation, safe in the knowledge that everyone at the table knows what you are talking about.
46. Make up a 2×2 matrix of how much you’d like to date various people in your section (the acceptable axes, for those who are interested, are personality against level of single-ness, although looks/potential earning power and face/figure have also been known to be used.)
47. Actually consider putting all three of those matrices into PowerPoint for your next skydeck.
48. Worry about which side your nametag goes.
49. Spend ten minutes angrily and passionately defending an idea, and then be completely unable to recall which side of the argument you were on within 5 minutes of leaving the room.
50. Go to parties where there are more kegs than seats.

*OK, I guess I have to elaborate on that one: Suppliers – Deadalus may go bankrupt. Customers – the other people at the Deadalus will get the good seats on the terrace. Threat of Substitution – I’ll go with someone else. Competitive Rivalry – I’ll go with someone better-looking than you. Threat of New Entrants – I’ll go with an RC who is better looking than you.

October 22, 2007
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