Harbus: How did you meet?
Dan: I first met Anna at her family’s house in Georgia when she was a high school senior. Her brother Steve was my fraternity pledge brother at MIT and I dropped by his house during my freshman spring break acappella tour. He introduced me to Anna who pretty much ran away after about 10 seconds. Nevertheless, I did think to myself “Wouldn’t it be funny if I ended up with Steve’s sister someday?”
Well, she came to MIT the following year, and we became friends but didn’t date right away. After my junior year, the stars aligned for us, and we started dating while both interning in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Harbus: Did you apply to business school together or meet at HBS?
Dan: We applied to HBS simultaneously, but synergies were limited. We didn’t read each other’s essays and just encouraged each other to do their best and reminded each other of deadlines. We figured we’d see where we both got in and take it from there.
Anna: To this day, I don’t know what Dan said in his essays.
Harbus: Has being at HBS changed (or challenged) your relationship?
Anna: HBS has been great for our relationship. We saw more of each other during the RC year than we did in two years of marriage while Dan was at medical school.
Dan: We did request different sections; we thought it’d be fun to have more sectionmates and we were afraid of getting into classroom squabbles that would be ‘awkward’. Something like, “Ice-Fili should stick with their traditional Russian appeal” “Whatever, you’re endorsing their lousy strategy because you can’t ever say no to ice cream.”
Harbus: What is it like being both a partner and a student?
Anna: It’s been great going through the experience together and having a partner who knows exactly what you are going through. Some people wonder if we could have lightened our RC workload by sharing writeups, but we read cases differently and like to express our own opinions, which can contrast quite a bit sometimes.
Harbus: Talk about being in two different sections 1st year, how did you provide support to one another? Now as ECs how have things changed?
Anna: There were a lot of schedule conflicts during RC year since section events often happened simultaneously. We initially tried to split our time evenly between the two sections and rotate section events as a couple. In the end, though, we abandoned this strategy because it always meant that one of us was missing out on their section. Some events we did as a couple and some not.
Dan: Now, as EC’s we focus on spending time together when we can and try to build on mutual friendships where people know us as a couple and there are fewer conflicts. We only had one class in common, MITI, which was fun. It was really cool to watch Anna make a comment and realize that she sounds much better in class than I do.
Harbus: What is the job search like? How is it planning for the future and trying to coordinate two HBS career searches at once?
Dan: I have to go back to med school in New York next year, so things are pretty straightforward for me in the short term.
Anna: After interning in different cities during the summer, we decided that we definitely wanted to be in the same location after graduation. At first, I thought it might feel restrictive having to narrow my job search to New York City, but I realized it was easier than if Dan didn’t know where he would be geographically.
Harbus: What advice would you give other HBS couples?
Dan: Despite the full schedules, big decisions to be made, and the corresponding stress, I try to remind myself that these are really idyllic days that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Now is probably the best time to be investing extra effort into your relationship in both little and big ways; it’s probably not going to get easier!
Harbus: What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
Anna: We considered going somewhere by ourselves but decided to travel together with some HBS friends. It will be much harder to get groups together like this after HBS, and I still get to share the memories with Dan.
Harbus: Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Anna: That’s definitely a work in progress and I picked some classes this term with that in mind.
Dan: I have enough trouble figuring out where we’ll be in 3 years, much less 10. Still, our goal is to look at our interests and skills as a whole, figure out where we’re needed, and go for it.