Friday, March 26, 2004

This morning I had about a 25 minute conversation with the alumnus that HBS hooked me up with. It was a very good conversation, and they picked the absolute perfect person to speak with me. His background was also in engineering, and we just clicked right from the beginning. He spoke very passionately about the two main advantages he thinks HBS has over any other school:

1. International Recognition: In his view HBS gives you a certain cachet that you can’t get anywhere else (Wharton and Chicago being the next two in line). For example, when doing an international deal the banks all want to see bios and background information. A degree from HBS gives you a certain bit of credibility that is hard to come by.

2. The case method: He felt the case method was the single most valuable feature of HBS. If you want to learn finance, he said, then go to community college and you can learn all you want about the mechanics of finance. Or go to the library and learn it on your own. But the case method teaches you how to think about finance (or any subject), and it teaches you that your thinking can be enhanced by having a strong group of thinkers around you. Learning to think in a new, rigorous, thorough manner was the number one thing he got out of HBS, it was worth more than all the other benefits of combined.

I found his ideas and his fervor very impressive. I am still going to do some serious thinking about HBS v. GSB over the weekend, so I will write more on Sunday or Monday.

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