Important Notice: The Harbus would like to make it crystal clear that this article in NO way attempts to undermine the hard, thoughtful work that the Career Development and FIELD divisions are doing for MBA students (in fact, go to the “Give Thanks” article later in this edition if you don’t believe us!). Nor is this article a whiny bunch of complaints written by a spoiled character who doesn’t appreciate the value of being at HBS. This is simply a satirical representation of how a typical job search might play out. Take it with a grain of salt, and think about whether you’ve encountered any of these frustrations or not.
This sentence is misleading. This sentence is assuming you, the reader, has a job lined up. Oh you don’t have one? Well that’s worse than a 3. That’s a 4. (Do people get 4’s?) When I first got here I was confused, thinking other HBS students would feel similarly in making a push for a 4.0 GPA. Better than a 1.0, that’s failing in my opinion. The Baker Scholars I’ve heard about grew up to be a——s anyway. What? Oops, new editor. Aaaand we continue.
Back to where we were. I’m about to let loose on your hopes and dreams. In no way does the following reflect any of my opinion. The following is fact. The following is information. The following is worse to listen to than your FIELD 2 team trying to decide on a strategy to execute. Six is just the right amount of people if you want to ensure that we will get nothing done. Thanks.
I realize there is a method to the job decision mayhem. It doesn’t just appear. You had to put some work in. As such, the following is the best recitation of how you found the job of your dreams. Information is copied straight from the Career Hub for reference. Titles, that is.
Researching Organizations & Opportunities: Imagine telling your friends at HBS you are going to join the 1/9th in search funds. Big deal. Now imagine you have committed to a search fund. Now imagine your partner, because you are obviously married if you are committed to a search fund, trying to explain to family, friends, and co-workers what it is that you are planning on doing with your life post-HBS. It sounds like this: “Oh so what is ________ doing after graduation?” “He’s doing a search fund. He did a traditional job search, but no one seemed willing to make him the CEO, so it turns out he can just buy his way into being a CEO with other peoples’ money.” We can also talk about the paradox that is a 2+2 committing to a search fund. Sweet work experience. Next stop, no one listening to you as the boss. The search fund dialogue above can be attributed to female search fund participants as well. Please email me if you exist. For those of you who didn’t commit to a search fund, good luck with not being CEO.
Networking & Communications: HBS networking career events should be retitled: “Talking with People You Already Know”. They are a great place to hang out near free food and socialize with people from your section. And networking through email is great! People putting you in touch with people who put you in touch with people who don’t answer their email. “Oh can I have another informational interview please I love them so much! I love to feign interest while waiting for you to stop talking so I can awkwardly ask at the end of the conversation if you have any positions available for the year!” Already knowing the answer is no, you will inevitably end up taking whatever is leftover in Career Hub. (Leftover, i.e. not consulting). If this is you, raise your hand. Jeez, put your hand down you dumb-dumb, that’s a good way to get called on! #ECyearissues. After using all of your I’m not free free time to set up countless phone calls, coffee chats, emails, therapy with CPD coaches, and in person meetings, you are still left with the realization that you are in fact making a concerted effort to return to the working world. What the _____ fill in the gap.
Interviewing: Unless you are doing consulting, this box needs no explanation. If you did do consulting case interviews, then you wasted two months of your life preparing to interview in exchange for having no life post-HBS. Congrats. For those of you who didn’t do consulting, no interview advice is needed here. We go to HBS. A cynic once told me: “Once you get past the H, it’s all BS…”
Negotiating Your Offer: I didn’t know this was something people did until I got to business school. It’s on the Career Hub. So understandably you are required to do it. Negotiating your offer sub-sections include: How to be an a——, Delay to get other offers, & Ways to squeeze out more money not labeled salary. We just love to negotiate don’t we? I SAID DON’T WE?? Good. It’s settled. Thank you Malhotra. Now that you have the offer you have the power. You are like a momma bird feeding a baby bird, dangling that chewed up worm over the top of the starving nest. “Feed us!” cries can be heard from the likes of the Big 3. (Not that any future consultants are currently reading this #toobusyspendingcheddar). Confession: I just double-checked how to spell cheddar. Nailed it. In the end, you can negotiate all you want, but that doesn’t make the job you are taking suck less.
Success on the Job: Finishing your last paragraph with suck less and starting your next sentence with success is a success in itself. So, you have decided on a job? It is undoubtedly your dream job or else you would have said no. Right? If you find yourself in a post-military New York banking stint, do know that I like the idea of you blowing up stuff better. Assuming it is your dream job, let’s throw some statistics on the fire to burn up your evanescently utilitarian career decision. The average that each HBS, that’s HBS, that’s us, student lasts in her/his first full-time gig post-HBS is 18 months. That’s a year and a half. Great work. Tips for success on your first job now include: prepare to look for another job. You might be better off just doing a “search fund” (quotation fingers) for the next 18 months. Remember, many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success. Or, conversely, people who are just failures. Good luck!