This morning, dressed in business attire, 932 MBA students gathered in the Burden Auditorium. Officially, our first day at HBS.
In addition to our business clothes we all wore an expression of stress with a hint of excitement. Nervously I arrived just three minutes before starting time, and got a seat in the back row. The dean’s welcome speech, however, blew our anxiety away in a moment.“Our admission never makes a mistake. Everyone here has a potential to survive the two year MBA program, and to be a leader in your organization, society, and country. Yes, this is the place where we educate leaders who make a difference in the world. And this is not our goal, or your goal. This is our obligation. Welcome to Harvard Business School!”
After the welcome session, we gathered in our assigned class rooms, and met our 94 section mates, all of whom we will likely know for a life time. Commencing today, we will spend a year with our section mates, meeting almost every day, taking the same classes, and sitting in the same seats. The “section” is one of the most close-knit communities at HBS.
In the afternoon, we met another close-knit community’s members, the study group. At HBS, students are assigned to a study group consisting of six cross-sectional members from diverse backgrounds and varying experiences. Like a section, we meet with this study group every day, and prepare for classes together. I was excited to see the diversity of my study group but will be writing about this in another post.
These two communities are the core of our life at HBS, and they will deepen and broaden our perspectives dramatically.
Jacta alea est.