Welcome to HBS! Perched on the banks of the Charles River like a fish that perches on things (perch?), or like a large riverside business school, the HBS campus is truly a sight to behold. And now, at long last, you’re beholding it. To start this tour, please position yourself at the entrance to Aldrich. Your back should be facing Spangler, your front should be facing Aldrich, and your sides should be facing sideways. Make sure your head is up top. If you experience any difficulty with this, report to the health center in Cumnock.
Please remove your shoes and step inside. You can just leave them there by the door. Yes, I’ll wait.
Before we start our tour, I’d like to congratulate you on making the excellent decision to join the Class of 2015. So I will. Congratulations.
Today is the first day of the rest of your week. Just think: only a few short months ago you were sweating furiously over the 46th iteration of your admissions essays, hounding your recommenders with the ruthless perseverance of Dog the Bounty Hunter, and surreptitiously powering through GMAT problem sets in an office restroom at 11am on a Wednesday.
And now, here you are – walking through these hallowed halls, dressed from head to toe in Lacoste and Longchamp, about to embark upon a two-year journey of self-discovery. Give yourself a pat on the back, or ask the nearest person to help you.
Step inside Aldrich. You are currently standing inside Aldrich. Listen carefully – can you hear that humming sound? No, it’s not the wind turbines on top of One Western. It’s the quiet hum of intense intellectual activity and frenetic learning that constantly emanates from HBS classrooms. Oh wait, it is the wind turbines. But you see what I’m getting at, right? Aldrich is the center of the HBS academic experience. Here, you will bond with your section while learning about bonds with your section.
Here, you will experience the kind of intense, complex and mercurial group dynamics typically seen in ant farms and Survivor season finales. Here, you will learn about the Six Ms, the Five Forces, the Four Ps, and the Three Musketeers.
In short, this is where the “S” in HBS happens. Take a few moments to stroll through the lushly carpeted corridors of Aldrich. Marvel at the amphitheatre-style seating arrangements; bask in the glory of the snack station with its cornucopia of muffins; and remember that “Aldrich” without the “d” is what you and your friends will become if you pay attention in class.
Exit Aldrich and walk across the lawn to Spangler. Enjoy the warm weather and sunshine – it’s always sunny in Allston! (except for a couple of months a year, but you’ll be doing your FIELD 2 project at a swimwear start-up in Barbados so don’t worry about it)
At HBS, you will learn to think like a CEO. In order to do this, you must first learn to lounge like a CEO. With its 40ft vaulted ceilings, roaring fireplaces and country club color scheme, Spangler is the perfect place to embark upon your journey towards being deeply disappointed with your post-HBS living arrangements.
Get used to reading cases while sprawled across a 14th-century leather divan, dining at a cafeteria that serves sauvignon blanc and lobster bisque, and getting an amazing quad workout as you sprint upstairs to find all the meeting rooms are already taken.
Exit Spangler, coconut water in hand, and saunter over to Shad.
Gandhi once said: “It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.” That’s all well and good, but until the nice people at Marquis Jet start accepting “health” as legal tender, I’ll keep my priorities list as is.
Just kidding. Staying fit and healthy is a huge part of the HBS experience. Without the stresses and pressures of the working world (and with the new stresses and pressures of impressing your peers), you now have the time to get yourself into the best shape of your life.
To help you do this, HBS offers Shad Hall – the kind of gymnasium Charles Atlas would have worked out in if he had gone to HBS, which he most certainly didn’t. Shad boasts a mahogany-paneled free weights room, a bench press where you lift increasingly heavy Jackson Pollock paintings, an indoor running track, an indoor crab-walking track, an indoor driving track, squash courts, district courts, ping pong, ping, pong, an Olympic-size labyrinth with a fully-imported Minotaur, and enough treadmills to power South Boston.
Sometimes, it’s nice to remember what it was like to be in college.
You know, partying all the time and cramming for exams and living life as though you have no responsibilities and making out with your best friend and then getting totally stressed out over summer internship applications.
Hmmm… that sounds strangely familiar. Anyway, if you want to reconnect with an actual undergrad environment, cross the river and visit Harvard Square. Filled with quaint cafes, charming bookstores and a simply adorable Chipotle, Harvard Square is a great place to sit, relax and see how the other half of the top 0.5% lives.
Apparently there’s, like, a whole city just behind HBS. Don’t worry – you’re unlikely to visit it more than 5 times in the next two years, and that’s only if you refuse to order your J Crew khakis online.