HBS Couple Profiles – Abigail Wattley & Kevin Kingman

Harbus: Tell us about how you met.
Abigail: Well we don’t exactly know the first time we met.
Kevin: We met at Williams during our freshman year. We were living in the same dorm and during our first week at school we met during orientation activities, although it obviously wasn’t a very memorable moment.
Abigail: Then we went to a dance together (the “screw” dance), the theme being your roommate set you up with someone.
Kevin: But Abigail was dating the “hot” senior rower. Her mom really liked this guy, he was an artist, and he liked to paint clouds. Once I broke that up, we finally started dating in April 2002. Then I proposed on July 7, 2006 and we were married on September 1, 2007.

Harbus: Post-undergrad did you move to the same location?
Kevin: During Junior year of college when everyone else was worried about internships, I was thinking about law school.
Abigail: He was an English/Political Science Major.
Kevin: Abigail said wait no, I want you to be in Boston with me. She made me apply for all of these business/consulting jobs. Basically all of the jobs she was applying for!
Abigail: He got the job I wanted!

Habus: Once you decided to apply to business school, what was your plan?
Abigail: This was challenging.
Kevin: Uber-stressful.
Abigail: We were married in September, went on a two-week honeymoon and then I was training for a marathon. That fall was so busy. In addition, I had started a new job in June and so by the time I started applying it was already November. So, we kept our list short and sweet, only 2 schools, Tuck and HBS.
Kevin: We figured worse comes to worse the schools are not too far away from each other if we had to be apart.
Abigail: So we applied together and spent most of December preparing our applications.

Harbus: Did the application process ever get competitive between the two of you?
Abigail: We didn’t want the other person’s application to influence our own so we waited to read and edit each others’ essay until we were all done.
Kevin: I’m also a lot less organized than she is, so I wasn’t finished much ahead of her anyway. We both applied second round and then waited. I ended up receiving my interview invitation three weeks before Abigail received hers. That was stressful.
Abigail: He told me that they selected alphabetically (and chastised me for not changing my name). But he totally made that up, it was a lie!
Kevin: Those are the ok ones to tell, it made her feel better and soon enough she received the invitation.
Abigail: Then he found out first too!
Kevin: We only had one computer, I just logged on first.
Abigail: However after it was all over, I did receive a nice bouquet of Red Winston Roses.a great ending.

Harbus: Now that you’re both at HBS, how, if at all, has the RC year changed or challenged your relationship?
Abigail: We struggled early on because we were so absorbed in cases, we’d fall asleep talking about cases, dreaming about cases. Finally we made a rule, no case conversations when heading to bed.
Kevin: When you’re working, once you come home, you’re free, so it was easier to separate work and hang-out time.
Abigail: However, being in a relationship where we are both here together we are able to understand each other really well. I’m less resentful if he’s super busy and I feel like overall we’re more understanding of each other’s needs and the pressures we’re facing. Besides, I “live” with my learning team!
Kevin: We definitely discuss our cases together and check our numbers, but we do all of our own work first.
Abigail: We think so differently, for instance. After our finals we would come home and discuss our action plans.
Kevin: We kept choosing different options! We definitely think differently.

Harbus: What about doing laundry and dishes, have you divvied up the household chores?
Abigail: We have a couple of rules in our house.
Kevin: What??
Abigail: One is that I do the laundry and he vacuums and cleans the bathroom. It appears like a pretty even division of labor.however.
Kevin: It’s not, and I have certainly come out on the good side! There’s a definite period when you NEED to do laundry, it’s not always very clear how often you need to vacuum or I feel like I am doing less.
Abigail: We also cook dinner together most nights and in this cold weather, it’s always good to have someone to walk to class with!

Harbus: What are your valentine’s day plans?
Kevin: During college we quickly realized that the fixed-price Valentine’s Day stuff is a huge rip off! So, we usually go out on the 13th or the 15th and on the 14th it’s pizza and a bottle of wine.
Abigail: It’s become a tradition.
Kevin: Even the first night of our honeymoon was Dominos and rum punch watching the sunset.
Abigail: It’s our way of celebrating special occasion, and of course, I get to pick the movie!

Harbus: One last question, what are your future plans? Have you begun to think about next steps after HBS?
Abigail: So much has yet to be decided. We’ll be living in the Northeast.

February 9, 2009
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