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Kwama Sutra

Let’s be clear. I don’t want to be writing this dating column anymore. By this point in my HBS career, I figured I would be relaxing on a beach in Fiji, holding hands with my beautiful girlfriend (who had just completed an internship at Blackstone, received first year honors, knew accounting based finance, and wanted me as a trophy husband). She would feed me grapes (after peeling off the skin), massage my sandy calves, and say things like: “Kwama Sutra – there’s only one thing that pleases me more than your humorous writing.”

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, writing a school wide dating column has not improved my dating life. Nevertheless, as HBS’s ambassador to love, or black cupid, I am obliged to continue until everyone (especially me) finds a true romance. Unlike our economy, let’s not double dip back into a (dating) recession.

To the ECs reading, welcome back! To the RCs reading, let me backtrack and introduce myself.

My name is Kwame. I’m single, unemployed, in a lot of debt from two professional degrees, and I have a dating column.

Last year, HBS joined me on my travels analyzing the Harvard dating scene. In what became a modern day Odyssey, we attended all the big dances, mixers, and business school events. Sometimes we did outrageous things – like give out awards to our most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, while other times we merely complained about missed opportunities at the Newport Ball. Other times I stayed in my room and watched Hulu (although, I must admit, until now, I never wrote about that).

Now I am ready to welcome the sweet and succulent Class of 2012 to the HBS dating world.

You ready to find love?

So, here’s everything you need to know about your new home. HBS is kind of like the modern day Mad Men. Indeed, to the outside world we are efficient, well dressed, professional, and results driven. In essence, we are at the top of our industry (and we all project a little Don Draper). A closer observation, however, reveals, we drink far too much alcohol at all times of the day, engage in hedonistic behavior, and wear clothing (sear suckers anyone) that in 50 years will be laughable to our children.

How’s one to find love in this environment. This is no easy to question to answer. The Kwama Sutra could hope to answer this question in an entire academic year. Still, there are a couple of things RCs can do now to improve their footing.

First, reach out to me. See above.

Second, get to know folks outside of your section, particularly ECs. In general, I’m a big fan of cross pollination. For example, all those who were in analytics (the right brainers), should be dating those who weren’t (the left brainers). In addition to having a double legacy at HBS, your prodigal son will have the charisma of Barack Obama and the intelligence of Bill Gates. It is unlikely he will have to write a dating column while at HBS – unless he looks like a hybrid of Obama and Gates.

The cross pollination theory can be applied across industries (consulting vs. Teach for America alums), sections (NF vs. NA), and most importantly, class years. Even though mixing with other sections and class years won’t positively affect your children’s genetic makeup, it will probably help your sanity come November.

To my loyal ECs, it’s not to say that I am done looking for love in the EC class. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The women of 2011 pack enough bite that as an ingredient they could bring Snapple back to market dominance (fine – this joke was a reach and tried too hard to cater to the RCs). Rather, I, or we, should expand our options.

Like any public company, our shareholders are looking for growth. We should access new markets and locate additional revenue streams.

The dating season has begun.

I think that’s all for now. ECs – I am looking forward to continuing the journey. RCs – get ready.

September 13, 2010
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