10 things I learned from Harvard business school.
I haven't told a lot of people this.. Maybe because I'm shy, I don't know. But I actually went to Harvard Business school.
Woah wait! I didn't ATTEND Harvard. YIKES who do you think I AM? But I did visit there a week when I was on vacation and My oldest brother was working on his MBA at HBS... he's the smarty of the family and I feel smarter just using all those acronyms.
During my stay visiting him however I did learn a lot, surprisingly. And not just that Lady GAGA is a complete beast at marketing and that the HBS library is insane. But I picked up on some pretty interesting life skills from the most brilliant up-and-comings in the business world, and I wanted to share those with you here.
1) It’s not what you know it’s who you know.
We hear this a lot, but MAN is it true. Obviously to get into a school like Harvard you have to know SOMETHING. But I heard my brother time and time again say the networking that came from HBS was way more valuable than the actual classroom education. Events, holidays, and breaks created opportunities to become friends with the who’s who of the business word without even trying.
2) Be Nice.
This may sound silly, but one of the biggest things i realized is everyone there is NICE - at least on the outside and as a front. Obviously everyone has an agenda, and like the above point, people are all about networking, so they don’t want to burn bridges accidentally. But still I went there and was just a young preggo newlywed and people all treated me like I was "somebody", it didn't matter that I didn't have a fancy degree or job.
3) It’s not what you do but how you do it.
My friend Nayoung said she realized it not WHAT your idea is, but HOW you go about executing it that really matters. She has gone on to start some super cool and successful companies.. and is engaged to a 7 ft guy, so there's that.
Also on the "be nice note" when we Lived in Korea we met up with Nayoung in Seoul for a hour in the afternoon. I thought we were going to eat street food, she hosted us to this incredible 17 course authentic Korean meal - for lunch... and she wasn't even able to eat because she had just had a root canal. Super super nice. (see above point) ALSO thanks girl, if you happen to read this post. You made such a positive impact on us.
4) ONE good idea can make all the difference.
So there was this family we met and went to their home for a house party. They were fun, eclectic, artists, impeccable hosts, and super, super wealthy. I was trying to figure out how in the world they made such good living off art.
Well, they didn’t, They were inventors. What did they invent? The ice cream cone, and the bendy straw. NO JOKE. these guys were millionaires many may times over because of ICE-CREAM CONES and BENDY STRAWS! Sometimes just one good idea is all it takes.
5) People can be awesome
When people work hard and set their face like a flint, they can do super cool things. One girl was a medical doctor AND has lived several years in Mali starting a non profit, AND was about to graduate HBS with a masters in business. The kicker? She was 24 years old. HELLO makes me wonder where I could be if I had used the time wasted watching HGTV on something like, becoming a medical doctor or something.
6) To him who has more will be given.
It seemed like the people there where not only gifted in business, but had so many other talents at professional levels. Tennis, Dance, Violin. It seems like people who are accomplished and show talent and dedication in one area tend to bring accomplishment into all areas of their lives because they are just wired to work hard and do things with excellence.
7) Traveling is a good idea.
Seriously, everyone, every break, every opportunity. Conversations like “hey what are you doing next month, do you want to go to Portugal with me” are the standard. Traveling helps you see fresh perspective and meet new people and have new experiences and have new ideas, and while I already loved it, it made me feel encouraged that it was a good life choice to travel.
8) Boston is a super cool city.
Completely a side note, but Boston is awesome. It is as much old world charm as the US has to ofter... But if you want to live there be prepared for tiny digs and tons of parking citations. Also I don't know why the rest of the states is so lacking in public transportation.
9) Success is a vague term.
Having a degree from HBS guarantees you a incredible job and amazing opportunities, but those jobs come with a price as large as a salary, with long hours and long days in expensive cities where you can only afford small apartments with long commutes. While it is a level of success, it doesn’t guarantee a well rounded success. Things like family, and rest and self care are often required to take the back burner. I think you can find the balance.. but you have to work hard for it.
10) Some people just won't get it.
From what I gathered, it's not the promise of a better life, or the money or the influence that drives people like HBS students. It's something much more, much deeper. It makes them believe they can do more, learn more, invent new ideas, and somehow better the world. They are standing on the edge of a cliff shouting into the void "I"M HERE I MADE A DIFFERENCE". it's the search and the unknown that drives them.