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Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 14:23
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To make an informed decision, here is other perspective taken from Harbus (source: http://media.www.harbus.org/media/stora ... storiestab)

Quote:
Where the HBS Learning Model Falls Short
A student ponders the HBS learning model and identifies strategic areas of opportunity
Jimmy J. Tran (OJ and MPA '09), Associate Editor
Issue date: 2/17/09 Section: News

HBS has been a phenomenal experience and like many of you, I have learned a tremendous amount, despite many warnings to the contrary (from both alums as well as non-alums). Yet, despite my respect and admiration for the HBS learning model, there are several areas in the model that have come to disappoint me.

As a disclaimer, I write this not to bash on HBS; instead, my goal is to identify areas where the HBS learning model could potentially be improved. As individuals linked to HBS in one way or another, it is our responsibility (and in our best interest) to continually improve HBS's learning model.

Thus, the following sections present several areas potentially ripe for improvement:

Weak link to the mission statement

By now, most of us can recite HBS's mission statement as if it were second nature. Time and time we have been told that HBS exists, "To educate leaders who make a difference in the world." The statement itself is simple, clean and concise - a beautiful thing in our increasingly complex world.

Yet despite the clarity and inspirational nature of our mission statement, it is difficult to see how the mission statement holds true in the actual curriculum. In the RC year, for example, HBS students proceed through a dizzying array of management skills and concepts such as TOM, FIN, and MKTG. While these subjects clearly build the skills necessary for us to become general managers, it is not clear that they build the effective leaders referenced by our mission statement.

To this, an often response is, what about LCA and LEAD? Sure, these classes provide a venue for talking and discussing leadership through a variety of case protagonists, but I'm not convinced that they can prop up the demanding mission statement of an entire institution.

Lack of higher order, intellectual discussion

While some may argue that it is not within a business school's realm to encourage and discuss higher order, intellectual topics, I disagree. Instead, I believe our mission statement mandates that we engage in broad discussion about an ideal state of capitalism and our role in making this structure happen.

Instead, many of the discussions at HBS focus on mundane managerial issues: How much equity should the protagonist demand from the deal? How should product X be marketed in country Y? How should the initiative be rolled out and communicated to the organization?

While these managerial issues are clearly important, they overwhelmingly dominate our learning, often at the expense of higher order intellectual debate about how capitalism can and should create a positive difference in the world (see mission statement above).

Globalization

While HBS lists globalization as a major initiative in its current strategic plan, I still find that our global initiatives and presence lag far behind compared to the 'best in class' in this dimension. In fact, we have been slow in the uptake of global initiatives, and even a concerted push in recent years has left HBS behind other top schools.

At McCombs Business School at the University of Texas, for instance, every single student in the MBA curriculum visits a country outside of the United States where they learn about business and politics in that particular country. At Kellogg School of Management, students receive course credit through the Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) program, which combines 10 weeks of in-class work with 2 weeks of in-country research in places ranging from Ghana to Vietnam.

At HBS, on the other hand, we have a scattered array of Treks and Immersions that are confusing and often haphazard, despite coordination efforts from administrators and student clubs. These trips are seldom integrated into a student's financial aid package and currently do not link to our BGIE unit. The history of HBS Treks and Immersions shows that both were student initiated and student driven, yet neither has not been systematically integrated into the overall MBA curriculum.

Beyond learning about and visiting other countries, some schools such as INSEAD actually require fluency in a second language. At HBS, students cannot even take a language for credit towards the MBA degree! This is despite that fact that many of the language courses in Harvard Yard are extremely rigorous, meeting 5 days a week in intensive language labs. Everyone may have a different take on this, but in my mind, it's tough to say that becoming fluent in Mandarin contributes less to an individual's leadership potential then, say, a class on Supply Chain management in the EC year.

No interaction with Executive Education

Well, I take that back. There is actually one event that I can think of that actually leverages full-time MBA students and the wealth of knowledge that Executive Education participants: a single case discussion held once a year where selected MBA students join Executive Education participants for a joint case discussion.

Other than that, our Executive Education participants are barricaded in a corner of campus (Kresge and MacArthur ring a bell?), only crossing paths with full-time MBA students during awkward exchanges at Shad Hall.

Personally, I think this is a shame. Clearly MBA students and Executive Education participants bring different skills to the table, and its tough for me to believe that there is not a tremendous amount we could learn from each other. Thus, we forgo a huge untapped resource, and block off areas of our campus to discourage MBA students from interacting with CEOs and top executives. Strange, isn't it?

Some may look at this and say, "Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?" To this, I would point to the Kennedy School, where Mid-Career students enroll in the same classes and sit side-by-side with 'traditional' Kennedy School students. Having benefited from this experience, I can testify that these interactions exposed me to a wide range of leadership styles and methods, which in turn has shaped my own thinking and outlook.

One size fits all approach

Besides a highly customized Executive Education program and a small number of doctoral students, the standard HBS product is a two-year, full-time MBA degree. In the first year, students take the exact same courses, with zero exceptions. While there is certainly a case for the simplicity in this model, in practice, courses evolve into a 'lowest common denominator' whereby some students struggle while other students are bored.

At Stanford, on the other hand, the MBA curriculum is highly customized in the first year depending on the needs of each individual student. Students enter various tracks of general management courses depending on their prior experience and familiarity with various subjects. A former Goldman banker, for instance, might enter the 'advanced track' in Finance and the 'base track' in Information Technology. The result is that each student picks a permutation that best fits his/her needs.

It is ironic that in MKTG, we study companies with 'differentiated product offerings' and discuss the importance of 'needs-based segmentation,' but sit through classes that do not address our individual needs.

In a world of increased customization, HBS keeps serving plain old vanilla cones, even to students that may be die-hard chocolate fans.

Few opportunities to process what we learn

In my tenure at HBS, I have noticed that the learning model is centered around a high-paced environment where we learn in 80 minute increments. Once one class ends, we file our cases away (both in our binders and our heads) and hope we never need to recall them again.

While this might just be the way things work, it's difficult for me to believe that there is not a more integrative manner in which we can approach our mission. The Capstone Experience in the EC year, for instance, is just one session long and as far as I can tell, there is no structure or format to this 'capstone' experience. Sections select a professor and together, they decide on an appropriate topic. Thus, some sections end up pondering the meaning of life whilst others hammer out a solution to the current financial crisis.

It's tough for me to believe that we cannot create a more integrative learning model that draws upon our modularized courses in a more meaningful way.

So now what?

I write this not to bash on the HBS learning model - on the contrary, I believe our learning model possesses many strengths and want to see it continually improve for future students. Improvement demands that we take a critical look at our current program and make incremental changes that work towards achieving our mission.

As we learn from numerous case studies of storied organizations, complacency is a sign of obsolescence.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 14:34
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One of the last "useful things" I am aware of when it comes to HBS essays - leadership interpretation from AGirlsMBA at Harvard Business School (source: http://agirlsmba.blogspot.com/2007/08/a ... ssays.html)

Quote:
Friday, August 17, 2007
Advice on Leadership Essays
Hi all ... long time no post, I know, I know. Still trying to figure out what exactly to do with this blog. In the meantime, I thought I'd post answers to some of the questions I've being receiving via email because the answers will hopefully be helpful to other applicants ... as a disclaimer these are usually written late at night (ahhh summer vacation) so please excuse poor grammar/spelling.

Recently I got a question from someone asking for help in the leadership essays because he/she felt that with limited experience and without "high-up" positions he/she didn't know what to write about. Here is my response:

I think when talking about leadership you don't need to necessarily have been a president of club or company. It can be in everyday actions and you just have to find one in your past experiences that shows it. For example, for a work leadership example in my essays I talked about how a member of our team was unexpectedly let go and because of his departure there was a big hole, including reports needed for senior management. I saw this and approached my VP asking him if I could do the work for no pay, but as a trade off to get the experience. He agreed and I started getting higher level work and exposure to high-ups. Although this isn't leadership in the sense of managing people it is leadership in taking charge of an unfortunate situation to help the greater company's good. In terms of extracurricular another example I used in my essays was how even when I was just a member of a committee (and not on a board) I always made it my mission to make ppl on the committee emotionally connected to each other. I did this both because I enjoy building personal relationships but also because I think when ppl are emotionally dedicated to a cause and to each other you get a much better result in the end. This is another case where there is no "concrete" leadership, but instead a subtle way of helping to form a successful group.

I think the key is not getting caught up in titles and positions, but instead of what sort of leadership is innate in you. My type of leadership (from the examples above) is being able to fix holes in a team and building team morale. By looking at patterns in what you have done in the past twenty-something years of your life you will hopefully be able to find your own personal leadership style!

Good Luck!

Last edited by garbus222 on 21 May 2009, 14:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 16:22
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I found a new blog of a recently admitted HBS applicant: http://militarytobusiness.blogspot.com/ (very insightful posts on GMAT prep and HBS related material).

Last edited by triple5soul on 21 May 2009, 16:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 27 May 2009, 13:04
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Whilst i am not professing to be an expert or in anyway knowledgable, i applied froma finance background and w.r.t. leadership, i talked about a few different issues:

i) I took on responsibility for heading up a smaller (and non-priority) project which gave a good opportunity to talk about both pitching project to direct mgt and then senior, gaining buy-in from peers to work on it when not core business and finally a chance to talk about managing upwards.

ii) Talked about involvement in organising charity drives through work, primarily to try to show the ability to communicate to get staff involved as well as organising

I then combined these with talking about undergraduate/community/social/sporting leadership responsibilities. Finally, i tried to weave these into a single piece highlighting what i saw as the consistent themes. I would reiterate that leadership is not dependent on having a title, but more when you feel you were the driving force behind something or even just the catalyst that got something started.

I hope this helps, PM if you think i can help further.

CrushTheGMAT wrote:
I'm in for R1.

I'm dreading trying to come up with leadership/community involvement examples. I'm an investment banking analyst. We're bottom of the corporate ladder with no potential for any material responsibilities and we work >100 hours a week and don't have time for community involvement.

Any tips?
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2009, 16:01
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HBS2011 wrote:
The one page idea is a good one. Im struggling on this question though because I have one accomplishment that is pretty impressive but the other 2 are pretty standard. Do all 3 need to be quite impressive given the level of competition?


calling-all-hbs-fall-2010-candidates-78704.html#p592292

Also, do not forget about "why". It is as important as "what".
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 04:23
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A few notable comments from Dee during last night's "Business School Admissions Panel" event in DC:

- Out of approximately 9100 applications, HBS will interview 1800 "finalists". Your interviewer will have read EVERYTHING from your app, and your interview will be a 30-minute conversation where their goal is to determine whether or not they would like you to be their section-mate (if they were a student).

- "Let go of the burning desire to stand out ... many of our applicants have done ordinary things really well ..."
- (on essays) "Your blink response is the right answer ... you just need to EXECUTE".
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2009, 01:45
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If I do end up applying, I will also write about 2 professional and 1 personal achievement. I decided to just be very hopen and honest with the application and not try to make it just look nice. One of my biggest achievements in my view is a personal achievement, so that's what will be in the application.

I don't think (I'm not an admissions expert though) writing about a personal achievement will hurt an application, as long as the professional achievements listed are meaningful and you can explain well why the personal one is meaningful to you, and perhaps more meaningful than other professional achievements.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2009, 19:44
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All answers have to fit on one Letter-sized page. Its ok to be short if they say a lot in those few sentences
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2009, 13:50
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Aldrak wrote:
How short can the recommendation essays be? One of my recommenders is having hard time reaching 250 words, especially in the second question. Could it be as low as 100 or 150 words?


I think it's ok to be short, but personally, I would try to pack the recommendations so they each convey maximum supporting evidence for your themes and personality strengths.

Use the second question, about constructive feedback, as extra space for your recommender to talk about strengths well. For example, here's constructive feedback I gave, here was the candidate's reaction, and here's how I've really seen him/her take that feedback and grow to do X, Y, and Z since then.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2009, 13:53
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Aldrak wrote:
Thanks MBA Girl.

guys what about the Awards and Recognition section.. do you list the bachelor scholarship there? What about job promotions?


I definitely listed scholarships. I didn't list job promotions, but it was self-evident through my resume and application form... not sure what others did. I did, however, list achievement at my jobs. We get ranked and compensated accordingly (I used to be in banking and now am in private equity), so I listed "Top Tier Analyst / Associate" as an award.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2009, 07:48
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Aldrak wrote:
Do you think career switch fits the difficult decision question? I'm confident that I want to switch careers and have tons of stuff to discuss in the essay, but my issue here is that I don't have results from this decision. The MBA would be my first step to switch career. I want to show my thought process in the essay and what made me decide to switch. Does the decision have to have results?

I thought of discussing the career switch in the career vision essay, but I don't think there is enough space for that.


Ok, I'm distracting myself at work, so I'll throw my two cents in on some of these questions although I may not be the most qualified to answer since I'm just a fellow applicant!

I think career switch could definitely fit the difficult decision question. You really need to make sure you're focusing on the decision making process itself and why it was difficult to answer the question well though (I did this essay as well, though not career-related). I also wouldn't answer both this question and the career vision question - I can't tell if that's what you're suggesting - because you want to show breadth in your essays and I feel like that's too much of the same topic.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2009, 09:04
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well using my google chrome skills,

for boston, there are 454 slots, and 85 open

Chicago: 32 total slots, 10 open

Menlo park/san fran CA: 75 total slots, 42 open

LA: 12 total, 2 open

Asia: 70 total, 6 open

europe: 91 total, 39 open

NYC: 24 total, 0 open

of course this will likely continue to change in the next few hours, but this should give at least a rough estimate of what's left out there
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Last edited by shadow on 19 Oct 2009, 09:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2009, 11:53
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bos
open: 45
total: 410

chi
open: 5
total: 32

norcal:
open: 37
total: 75

LA:
open: 2
total: 12

NY:
open: 0
total: 24

Asia:
open: 3 (as mentioned above, all 3 are in mumbai)
total: 71

Europe:
open: 29
total: 91

i can update it again later tonight if necessary.. doesnt look like too much has changed though

edit - i just double checked these #'s against the ones i posted earlier. it seems the total slots for some places are diff.. not sure if i just counted wrong the first time, but these latest ones i posted are correct as i just rechecked them
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2009, 16:40
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i just double checked and there were no major changes (either with slots closing up, or new slots being added). maybe like 1-2 spots here and there, but nothing groundbreaking. i guess at this point all eyes and ears are on the HBS blog and/or twitter feed to get any more updates
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2009, 21:41
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I did a quick take on 32 student profiles that HBS has posted on it's site and jotted down the employers they have worked with. The list (not exhaustive) is below. Perhaps I know how I can save $250.

McKinsey - 5
Morgan Stanley - 2
El Pomar Foundation - 1
Lockheed Martin - 1
AT Kearney - 1
Military - 2
BCG - 3
KPMG - 1
Proctor & Gamble - 2
Microsoft - 1
Raytheon - 1
Goldman Sachs - 1
Bain & Co. - 1
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"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working."
→ Although that didn't quite get me to HBS, so obviously the quotation is a little idealistic.

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2009, 12:13
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Anyone interviewing this week?
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2009, 08:11
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go2bizSkool wrote:
I have heard that in general, its better to submit a few days early because when an adcom member gets a stack of applications after the deadline, you will be on top of that stack. I am not sure if that's just a rumor though.


Well it's plausible that if you apply late enough, your application will lie at the top end of the stack, if at all that is how the submissions are arranged. But I'm not sure how the screenshot of their page looks like, so won't hazard a guess as to how the stack comes across. Assuming they have 9000 applicants this year (no, please, no, please, please let it more like 5000) that means 36,000 essays and 27,000 recommender essays. That's not the job of a single person. I doubt that the team of application reviewers will wait till after the deadline to be handed their quota of applications. Perhaps they have an automated system that channels different application to different reviewers the moment they are submitted. That might be a good thing because then the applications may end up with those who are well versed with dealing with applicants from particular geographical area. And then post the deadline day, the reviewers can log in and access the submitted applications. In any case since the applications will be reviewed as different stacks there is no guarantee that someone will not end up on top.

And by the way, as far as I know, each Adcom spends like 20 minutes on an application. That's not much time really. So please try to stand out as much as possible right in the first sentence. Oh, and Ms. Leopold said that there's no particular order in which the Adcom may review the essays. So begin each essay with a bang!
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"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working."
→ Although that didn't quite get me to HBS, so obviously the quotation is a little idealistic.

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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2009, 12:24
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sc wrote:
Y'all, I am confused. My status updated online, and I can read the acceptance letter. But I never received an email saying my status had been changed. Did everyone else get an email?


Same here. Also, no notes that I could find anywhere about admit weekend.
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2009, 12:24
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Hey guys,

I thought I would share something that definitely touched a chord. It's applicable across, but I know this is definitely one of the first schools displaying results:

In fact, in many cases, those who've experienced more rejection are the successful in today's world. Life today is a numbers game. You get ahead by exploring all sorts of different opportunities.

Generally, the more you explore, the more likely you are to hit on something successful. But it's rare that an opportunity comes with no chance of rejection attached. Often, the best opportunities carry a high chance of being turned down.

For example, someone who applies for as many jobs as they can out of school is more likely to be successful than someone who applies for only one. The first person will almost certainly experience a lot of rejection, but they need only one acceptance to start working. The second person has only one chance of rejection, but also only one chance for success. In job-hunting, rejection carries virtually no cost past the emotional one, while success brings a lot of benefits.

What's true in job-hunting is also true in many other arenas - dating, business, sales, friendships. Paradoxically, those who experience more rejection are also those most likely to find success, as they explore the most opportunities.

It helps to take a philosophical approach. One way to view a rejection is as a path to success. As you explore each bad option, you become closer to hitting a good one.
Another way is to view rejection as a learning experience. Even if you don't get what you were after, you still get something out of the encounter - tolerance. You're toughening yourself up against rejection, so you won't let the fear of it hold you back.

http://www.paulstips.com/brainbox/pt/ho ... -rejection
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Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2009, 11:25
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Turnpike wrote:
:?: I need a little help here. :?:

I've attached a portion of the form which is used to add recommenders for the HBS application, and my problem lies with two of the last three boxes.

Employer
Context of relationship

In my case, two of my recommenders are no longer with the same company they were in when I was working under them. They have moved on. So how do I fill up these two boxes?

Employer: Should this be their current employer or the employer when I was working with them?
Context of relationship: This in my case can either be 'Current Employer' or 'Previous Employer'.

And also, I suppose that the Address required in the boxes are the residential addresses of the recommenders? Then why do I have to give their office phone number????

I'm confused. :?:


My understanding is :
Employer: you give their current employer as I assume they ask this to call you recommenders and not feel stupid about who they work for.

Context of relationship: They are now your "previous employers" as I assume you have now someone else to report to within your company.

That's just my interpretation...
Re: Calling all HBS Fall 2010 Candidates   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2009, 11:25
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