Monday, September 23, 2013

Week Zero, Hummus and German Fashion

Week Zero, or the week before classes start, is over. Observations so far:
- I have not been fully transformed by B-School yet. Do I have to worry?
- I will have to learn to live with less than 6hr of sleep
- No one noticed that I have been wearing the same clothes since I got here from Colombia

Content-wise we learned how to effectively lead teams. Our American professor with the very strange Dutch accent made us solve a murder mystery, survive in the dessert, create a large scale painting and fight over plastic coins. Though some of the learnings felt repetitive I have to admit that the unconventional teaching style engaging the entire class is something I really enjoy. The same feelings I had 8 years ago while doing my high school exchange in the US came up again: You guys simply know how to make class interesting. Maybe sometimes a little too funny and fancy, but interesting for sure.

Oh, and I love the constant positive feedback:
"I love your comment"
"Great, thanks for bringing this up."
"You are diving right into the subject."
"I love it. Great story."
"This is a really interesting approach. Thanks for sharing that."
"Right on!"
"You guys bring everything up without me."
"I love this atmosphere here."

I just hope this is to encourage everyone to speak up in class in the beginning and not a constant in all classes.

Free Food:
Well, not particularly "free", because we technically paid $300 week zero expenses... People seem to be really excited about food around here. Especially when we are told it is free. Friendships and other plans are pushed aside in exchange for a cold slice of pizza or some hummus and pita chips (a looooot of hummus around here). I can see why that is though. People enjoy being full. Especially before classes or presentations.

That actually proves my theory that people should be fed before important events. Ever since I have told people that I will have snacks for the guests before my wedding so that people actually listen to the  ceremony without constantly envisioning the buffet or debating whether it is socially acceptable to go for a quick burger after church before the banquet (remember Dad, we did that once... good times).

Are really cool. At least the ones I have met, which sadly has not yet been the entire class. Well, there are two more years to go. As I know that a lot of my classmates read the blog I thought it'd be nice to have a little competition:
The first five MBA1's to like the post about this blog entry on Facebook and post their favorite free food from week zero will get a dinner invitation from me! 

Alright I need to make Stanford business cards now so that I can hand them out and boost my ego if I need confirmation about how great I am :-)

Cheers + bis bald,

PS: Clothes. Yes, I actually own more than 2 pairs of pants (One is actually not in my room. Scott needed them.) and 4 T-Shirts. All my stuff is still in Germany and will come in 4 days. GSBers watch out for some hot German fashion to be observed on campus.

Twerk Hard, Play Hard!

In case I forget my name!

Learning about teams.

Losing my beer pong virginity.

Friday, September 13, 2013

First Days at Stanford and Thoughts about Bad HBS Press

Hello there,
Walmart Run!

my to do list is getting smaller and smaller. By now I have a bank account and a cell phone plan. Both things are essential here. So are trash bags, paper towels and forks. Also taken care of!

I got into town on Sunday, spent a night at a friends' place and moved into my room on Monday. The days have been filled with shopping trips, admin tasks and a lot of sports. The facilities here are amazing: tennis, volleyball, soccer, running, cycling, rugby. Very impressive to see how active the entire class, but also the campus in general, is. Let's see whether we can keep that up once classes really start.

Two interesting things that I have noticed:

People here are stunningly beautiful:

As already mentioned earlier, everyone in the class is slim, fit and takes good care of his or her body. Why is that though? Have we been selected also for how we look or  are the character traits most of us share lead to the fact that we are conscious about our appearance? On a sidenote: I met a guy who told me he had purposely lost 60 pounds before applying to B-school. He had the feeling he would not get an offer if he was too big. Feel free to use the comment box if you have an opinion about the topic!

HBS gets a lot of crappy press lately:

And also here...

I'm glad not having to put up with all of that. From my undergrad I know how annoying bad press can be and how much inflated many things are portrayed. I can just image that basically any more-or-less talented author can make a good story throwing gender issues, rich internationals, sexism and the Harvard brand into an article. Nevertheless, I am eager to see how the mentioned issues are tackled at Stanford. Will let you guys all know!

Cheers + bis bald,


View from my room