Orientation is over and you’re vaguely finding your way around campus. But the first week of classes isn’t exactly a cake walk. The Harbus staff knows from experience that Cambridge isn’t the easiest city for newcomers to navigate. So we want to help start your year off on a good note. In this special RC-focused section, you will find insider recommendations on where to study, where to shop, and a quick guide to the various services located in Spangler. Consider it a “write-up” for life at HBS! Be sure to pull out this section and keep it handy for future reference.
-Cool Study Spots Around Campus
RC students are typically responsible for reading 13 cases per week. Each student has a method of study that works well for him or her. Some students read a few cases during the weekend to provide a bit of relief during the school week while others read the following day’s cases the night before. I will not attempt to tell you what will work best for your individual style. However, I will tell you about some cool spots around campus to read cases once you get your routine down.
Spangler is probably one of the most popular study spots. The first floor is best for those students who want a cozy and inviting den/study environment complete with leather sofas and fireplaces. This area has high traffic so it is not ideal for those who are easily distracted or need silence. The second floor of Spangler has a host of study rooms. Be sure to reserve these spaces on myHBS for study during the day. In the late evening you should not have a problem securing a room without a reservation.
FYI: If a reserved room is empty, you can occupy the space until the reserved party arrives. Often, you will get lucky and the party never shows.
Many off campus students find it convenient to stay in their section after their final class to read cases. This may not work for individuals who hate the thought of sitting in the same room for two or three consecutive classes, let alone after class. However, for those students who wish to separate school and home, it is a nice way to minimize time spent on locating a spot to study. Students breeze through their cases and head home with a clean slate to spend time with family. Additionally, there are study coves in the corridors of Aldrich which are spacious enough for group study.
FYI: The study coves on the ground and first floors become occupied quickly. Do not waste time asking to share a cove, unless of course you want a study buddy. Just head upstairs to the second or third floor where there should be adequate space for private study.
Baker Library is beautiful. There are endless resources at your fingertips if you desire additional background or industry information relevant to your case study. Additionally, some professors have offices located in Baker Library so it is a cool place to study while you wait for a meeting with a professor. I do not spend a great deal of time studying at Baker Library because it is way too formal for me, i.e. it is difficult to take a cell phone call or chat (unless you are on the first floor which is much more tolerant of this sort of behavior). Most would argue, however, that you probably should not be taking cell phone calls or talking endlessly with friends if you are seriously studying anyhow.
FYI: Baker Library closes significantly earlier than Spangler and some of the other study spots on campus.
Apartments & Dormitories
There are study areas scattered throughout the apartments and dormitories. These include open spaces as well as study cubes. Go on a scavenger hunt.
Hawes provides classroom space and a few desks in the corridors. However, classrooms are often reserved for campus events so you may get booted from the space.
FYI: Classrooms in all buildings have daily reservation schedules posted at the exterior entrance.
If you are in a rush, you can kill two birds with one stone by reading a case while grabbing a bite to eat. You can almost always find a table. I will caution those who are easily distracted by cold beer and blaring big screen televisions from attempting to study at the Grille. You may end up studying the latest score reports on ESPN instead of your Fin1 case.
For those who can chew gum and walk down the street at the same time, you may want to try reading a case while walking on the tread mill or stair climber. I tried it once and only got about five pages through my ING Direct case, but that is because I bailed from my workout a lot sooner than I should have. I do not have good discipline when it comes to exercising.
Harbus News Office
If you are a member of the Harbus News Staff, our office is the best kept secret when it comes to studying. There is more than enough table space available. The fridge stays stocked with refreshments and most cell phones do not get service in the basement of the spanking new Gallatin Hall so distractions are minimized. Interested in joining the staff? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do you buy food in this town?
340 River Street
The “world’s leading retailer of natural and organic foods” is always a safe bet. Stop here for quality produce, meat and dairy. Can be on the expensive side, but you will get what you pay for.
Shaw’s/ Star Market
370 Western Ave. in Brighton
20 Sidney St. near MIT
699 Mt. Auburn St.
Good for staples, but some quality
and freshness concerns with produce, particularly at the Brighton store. The MIT location is considered excellent.
727 Memorial Drive
What’s not to love about the deals you can find here? For example, even the organic chocolates are inexpensive. And though the selection is often limited, there are so many you-can-only-get-it-here finds, that it’s often worth a special trip.
This quaint neighborhood store isn’t cheap, but it’s handy for last-minute purchases. Excellent prepared food and unique items for budding chefs.
Stop & Shop
200 Guest Street, Brighton
Online alternative: www.peapod.com
Peapod On-Line Grocery and Delivery is part of the Stop & Shop chain. Peapod is a great option for those who do not have easy access to a vehicle. Choices can be made from the full range of grocery items, search to find a specific brand or item, and delivery is reliable.
When the Boston weather has you feeling down, here’s where to go for remedies.
Harvard University Pharmacy
Very handy, located next door to the healthcare facility in Harvard Square.
1426 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, 29 J.F.K. Street, Harvard Square
1613 Cambridge St, Cambridge
(past Cambridge Hospital) Family owned and operated with a broad range of medical supplies; almost entirely medically focused.
If your roommate has four legs.
304 Western Avenue, Brighton
119 1st Street, Cambridge
165 Harvard Ave., Allston
-DECORATING & HOME IMPROVEMENT
Sure, we’re all on a serious student budget, but home is where the heart is; so spend a few bucks to be happy.
550 Arsenal St.,
Watertown Mall, Watertown
67 Arsenal St.,
Arlington Mall, Watertown
100 Cambridgeside Place,
Dickson Bros. True Value Hardware
26 Brattle St., Harvard Square
Bowl & Board
1063 Massachusetts Ave.,
Crate & Barrel
48 Brattle, Cambridge
Crate & Barrel Furniture
1405 Massachusetts Ave.,
On the prowl for th
e best “Back to School” specials? There are several options in the immediate area, and of course there is always the COOP (both in Harvard Square and in the basement of Spangler).
57 JFK Street, Cambridge
550 Arsenal Street,
Watertown Mall, Watertown
205 Market Street, Brighton
Bob Slate Stationers
1288 Massachusetts Ave.,
63 Church Street,
Is your new home feeling less-than-homey? Flowers could be in order.
Mahoney’s Garden Center
449 Western Avenue, Brighton
Brattle Square Florists
31 Brattle Street, Harvard Square
Bow Street Flowers
30 Plympton Street, Cambridge
1668 Massachusetts Ave.,
1350 Massachusetts Ave.,