1) FOMO or Fear of Missing out:
Nobody warns you about FOMO during ‘Admit Weekend.’ It is a dreadful feeling that strikes students around the first few weeks of school. This is much worse than totally being ignored by the sky deck and only slightly better than being the only one without a Facebook profile. Your partner will suffer from this mysterious, delusional, non-smelling affliction called FOMO by showing symptoms that vary from a sudden urge to be social and attend every ball/pre party/post party/pre post party to a mad rush to know the middle names of all 900 students. This is a constant battle between sleep, better sense and inherent insecurity. Chances are you will see very little of him in these first few weeks. Chances also are that you will be infected as well and will do the same. My advice to you, dear partner: don’t bother. Stay away from these events and go to the Spa. People are not interested in you. Chances are they are probably not interested in the student either unless he has a PE/VC/HF background.
If you are 25+, a former banker or from any of the above areas, and carry a serious grudge against all those jocks in school who pulled your pants down while you were solving a quadratic equation, HBS is the place to regain some of that lost self respect. The most sought after industry in HBS has to do with making money from lots of money. They have also given it a fashionable name called PE. Not to be confused with ‘pee,’ which is to urinate. Everybody wants to be in PE. Ok, repeat that. Everybody wants to be in PE. If your student doesn’t land a summer internship in a respectable PE or banking firm after ‘hell week,’ some phrases that can help him and you salvage your respectability are ‘I am really an entrepreneur.’
3) Hell Week:
Somewhere in late winter is Hell Week. Nobody knows why it’s called so. Although for the first time in several months, he actually has to do something excruciatingly painful. Get a job. The only people unaffected by ‘Hell Week’ are students with wealthy parents, students from non-profit backgrounds and students who are still suffering from a hangover from last night’s binge in Rumor or Caprice. The partner has a key role during Hell Week. She should get all the partners together and get drunk.
4) Priscilla Ball:
I am still trying to figure out the relationship between dressing in drag and earning a Master’s in Business Administration. But I am only the partner puzzled by this? There are chances that an important billion dollar multinational deal could be brought to a serious breaking point if your abilities to pull on a fishnet stockings over a pink thong are questioned. If your partner doesn’t want to attend the Priscilla ball because he doesn’t have the right shoes for it, you can escape by saying, ‘He really wants to be a politician and our people are not ready to see him in drag’ or ‘He is applying for PE jobs tonight’.
5) Famous people in HBS:
There are a few celebrities every year in HBS. These are the people who have wealthy parents, were models in a previous life, started a company when they were 10 or made millions from their Google stock. It’s best to identify who they are. Chances are they will not hang out with you. However, you can follow them around, click pictures with them when they are not looking, upload them on Facebook and tell everybody you’ve met, that so and so went to school with your other half and they were really so plain or unimpressive.
6) HBS Trek(s):
While in HBS as a partner, be sure to attend a trek organized in an exotic country by a student from that country. These treks will usually cost you your Google stock. But you will be able to take lots of pictures with 40 other strangers, attend all the clubs at night so you can miss all the historical tours in the morning, and show everyone how cool you are by subtly dropping hints on where you spent your break with sentences like ‘In Morocco , where I was this Spring, and which was the best trip ever, we rode a camel. Or ‘I had the best ‘tabouleh’ in [Insert suitable Street Name] in [Insert Exotic Country Name] during the summer.
7) The Male HBS partner:
They are a myth and do not exist.
HBS is world famous for two things. It is known to have the most fertile soil in the world. It is also known to have a turkey ruining that soil. Everybody you know and their cousin, in school will have a baby while in school. Some will have a few. Studies have shown that the stress caused from attending an 8:30 class can only be relieved by intercourse after the 8:30 class. Be prepared to add another line item in your monthly expenses, Baby Shower Expenses.
Everybody is on Facebook. This is the easiest way to be cool. As a partner, you should make a profile and make sure that your partner’s profile picture has ‘you’ in it and the relationship line is clear, firmly bolded and decided. This shows that you are both very committed and very happy. Facebook is also a great opportunity to add random strangers as your friends ( anything less than 16999 friends is way uncool!) and upload pictures of you taking a walk, sleeping and eating in a restaurant. One must also update their status regularly and take quizzes on what is most important in their life, or what kind of a color defines them. To be even cooler, you should spend your hours going through other’s albums ‘un-tagging’ yourself so that you remain exclusive and do not exceed more than 10,000 pictures of you on Facebook.
10) Partner’s Club:
The Partner’s club is here to help you. They are serious people and do their job with dedication and enthusiasm. They are very proud to be here. Maybe even more than the student himself. If the partner is a girlfriend, she will bake cakes, host parties, cook lobster dinners and make lots of friends with other partners to show how supportive she is of your experience. Before the year is out, the student should be engaged and update their Facebook relationship status accordingly.
However, the partners’ club events are not a good option if you want to get out of the HBS bubble for a little bit and talk about other things. Partners are usually more connected and networked than the students and are up to date on his myHBS calendar. They know when a long weekend is coming up so that they can host the next wine & cheese. They also know about all the courses and who is the best BGIE professor.