Friday, March 19, 2004

Analysis Paralysis 
This is probably as good a time as any to lay out my thinking about Harvard and Stanford at this point. I had a good conversation with a GSB 1st year today about the summer recruiting process. I am a little concerned that ‘Hell Week’ at HBS will not be a very good way for me to get my foot in the door in investment management. Of course, I am not at all convinced that I want to go into that field, anyway.

I guess a relative advantage that Stanford has, at least for me, is that I will be competing against less than half as many people for essentially the same jobs. In addition, about a third of the Stanford students are looking to start their own companies, and I won’t really be competing against them either. Well, not for full time positions, anyway.

Looking at the big picture, though, I think the schools are more or less equivalent as far as future career benefit is concerned. You get out of the process what you put into it, and if I go to HBS and am determined to go into investment management, I am sure I will be able to find a way. So, this gets me back to looking at non-academic, non-career related factors. (I think academics are a draw as well, the section atmosphere at HBS neutralizes the extra flexibility at the GSB in my mind.)

I have four issues left that weigh heavily for me:
1. A good fit for Jie: I want to make sure that we are going where she wants to go. My gut feel is that I will see her a bit more if I go to HBS, but that is by no means certain. I think her employment opportunities are equal at both schools, but the extra personal care at Stanford is very appealing.
2. Location: I really would rather live in Boston. San Francisco is great, but it feels a lot like Austin, and we have been there, done that.
3. Personal Touch: As I said above, the personal touch at Stanford has been great. I had a bad first night there which has been repeatedly proven an aberration by many, many nice people. HBS is no slouch in the student camaraderie column, but for overall community feel, the GSB is hard to beat.
4. Facilities, school grandeur: HBS just has the best facilities in the business: Shad, Baker (when it’s remodeled), Spangler, etc. And the reputation is second-to-none.

So where does that leave me?

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