Apparently, some people thought that last year’s Harbus poll on EC courses was too little, too late. In order to try and make up for the deficiencies of the (luckily too far away to complain) class of 2007, I will attempt to give a more honest overview of some EC courses:
Book club. Watch for the people standing in the sushi line at Spangler reading their cases as they go to get through the 400-page reading for their 1.30 class.
Customers, Consumers and Society
Do-gooders club. Everyone in this class thinks they will change the world. Chances are one or two actually might.
AKA Chess club. Useful for being able to drop the phrase ‘Nash equilibrium’ in other classes and look intelligent.
Strategy and Technology
The people too nerdy even to be allowed into chess club, or anyone who wants a job at Microsoft.
Business at the Base of the Pyramid
How to make money out of poor people.
Globalization and Emerging Markets
Make more money out of poor people.
Inventing Breakthroughs and Commercializing Science
How to make money out of other people’s ideas
Keep all the money you just made.
What to do with all that money you just made.
The Coming of Managerial Capitalism
A cross between a American history lesson, a stand-up comedy show and diving headfirst into a barrel of random general knowledge. Possibly the most underrated course at HBS.
Entrepreneurship and Global Capitalism
As above, but about World History (you know, stuff about those other countries where people talk funny).
How to make crappy products sound cool AKA Do you realize just how superficial and easily influenced you are?
International Financial Management
Take the hardest bits of BGIE and FIN and have them taught by a professor who actually has a ‘favorite foreign exchange joke’
Competing Through Business Models
An alternative way to look at strategy that involves a lot of diagrams with way too many different-colored arrows on them. Will help in consulting interviews when you can’t remember all five of Porter’s forces.
Listen to some British people argue about how clever they are.
Managing Service Operations
This course is really hard to get into. Therefore I have no idea what its like.
Think about management. Then think about how you think about management. Now think about how you think about how you think about management. Now try and theorize about that. Congratulations, you now understand BSSE.
Innovating in Healthcare
Firing doctors and replacing them with MBAs.
How to run your healthcare organization now you fired all the doctors and replaced them with MBAs
When you leave HBS you may be able to afford a house. Buy one somewhere where prices are going up rather than down. Learn that experience is really the only way to learn.
Creating Value through Corporate Restructuring
Somebody else’s problem is your retirement fund
How to do marketing when you have no marketing team, or even a working product.
How to do finance when you have no finance team, or possibly even an actual bank account.
How to expand your company globally, even though it currently only consists of three people and a small stuffed animal sat on your desk in Boise, Idaho.
Private Equity Finance
How to make money out of all those people that just failed to make any money with what they learned in all of their Entrepreneurship classes.
Like online poker, but with grades.
Business and the Environment
How recycling 4 sheets of paper per annum will give your enormously polluting multinational chemicals company a shred of decency.
Marketing and Innovation
Make crap up, then make it sound good.
Leading Innovative ventures
Make money off of other people’s good ideas (again).
Entrepreneurial Management in a Turnaround Environment
The course that I really wanted that I didn’t get into. Not that I’m bitter or anything. Bloody Add/Drop system.
How to actually do what that really expensive consultant told you to do, probably better.
Power and Influence
So, you want a career in politics. KSG is just over the river you know.
Managing Human Capital
Fluffy wuffy people stuff that five years down the road you will belatedly realize was way more useful than any highbrow management theory. Sorry, too late.
Lunch at Spangler
OK, not actually a course, but I probably learned more here from my fellow students than I ever did actually reading cases. Highly recommended!