A first semester reflection

I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but two finals down, three to go! The past few weeks at HBS have been such a blur – it feels like I just got back from Columbus Day weekend, and now I’m saying things like “My flight leaves a week from tomorrow” and realizing that I’m going to go a month without seeing the people I’ve grown accustomed to seeing in class every day.

Once recruiting kicked into high gear towards the end of October and into November, the already too-rare blank spaces on my calendar quickly filled up. I’m looking mostly at companies that are coming to campus during the dedicated interview period in January, so I spent a lot of my time at company presentations and coffee chats, trying to gather as much information as possible about all the firms I’m interested in to help narrow down my search.

I wasn’t surprised that I was spending so much of my recruiting time talking to companies; what was more of a shock was how much time I spent talking to my peers. I was blown away by how generous my fellow students were with their time. I found myself emailing complete strangers asking for 30 minutes of their afternoon to let me ask tons of questions about their summer internships and jobs before HBS, and they always responded with an emphatic “yes.” It felt like classmates were coming out of the woodwork to offer help with prepping for interviews, and I’ve been listening to their advice intently. The HBS network that everyone talks about doesn’t just happen when you leave Cambridge – it’s here from the second you step on campus, and it has been an incredible resource for me this fall. It’s hard to believe that the information-gathering and meet-and-greet phase is coming to an end and that it’s time to start working on cover letters and putting the finishing touches on my resumé.

Of course, this fall hasn’t been all about recruiting. The case method is just as rigorous as ever, and my FIELD 2 team has been busy doing all of our preliminary research and brainstorming for our project in Ghana in January. Outside of academics, I’ve been to Holidazzle, club events, our section Thanksgiving potluck, happy hours, and more. It’s easy to wish for an extra hour of sleep (especially as mornings get colder and colder here in Boston), but there’s nothing I’d be willing to take off my calendar to trade for it.

Winter break is certainly going to be busy with FIELD 2 and applying for internships, but it’s exciting to be taking the next steps toward finding out where I’ll be spending my summer!

-Elizabeth Hoffman, MBA 2015

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