Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Well, last night I met a couple of guys who also got into Harvard and Stanford. They were both formerly in I banking, and one was now in industry and the other in private money management. They both sounded like they had really great, and really terrible, work experience. Great because they obviously learned a whole lot but terrible because they had to work crazy hours. As I have been in industry my whole career (all 2.5 years), my average work week is probably about 41 hours! That's a far cry from what these guys used to work.

Anyway, all this has left me feeling slightly intimidated. I know that I have a decent finance background, having passed the CFA level 1 exam, but what the I bankers of the world have done is in an entirely different league. In a way I almost wish I had gone to work for Merrill Lynch after college, like I probably could have. Of course, I have really enjoyed the last two years of having a personal life, so I guess it worked out better in the end. I got to have my two years and still get in to Harvard and Stanford...

As for making a decision, I would say that I am 80% towards Harvard. The reasons behind that lean are mostly career and location oriented. I see Harvard as being the perfect school to prepare people to succeed in large companies, and that's where I see myself in the future. OTOH, Stanford is definitely infused (and probably inseparable) from the entrepreneurial spirit, which I definitely want no part of (the thought of starting my own company gives me chills...). So from a career POV, Harvard wins out. Location-wise, I would really like to spend a couple of years of my life living in the Northeast. If I am only going for a short stint up there, b-school is the perfect time. I am less interested in Cali, so that's just another mark in favor of Harvard.

My plan is to hang out until I go visit both schools. If my visits reinforce what I already feel then my decision will be easy. Otherwise, we'll see...

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