Underwhelmed by Boston

I give Boston a four out of ten.  I was surprisingly underwhelmed.  Harvard and by default Boston is someplace I’ve wanted to live since I was 21.  Overall, I wasn’t convinced that this was the place I would want to study or live. The reality does not live up to the hype.

Caveat: In an effort to be fair to Boston my friend rated it as seven out of ten; but wouldn’t live there.

Boston in general

The people were amazing, friendly and chatty. We had a great time chatting to the locals. But Boston look wise wasn’t very inspiring. My camera hardly came out! I think, I have ten picture of Boston and four of them are the Duck and dDckling sculpture in Boston Commons.

The underground thing; well it is odd.  The Green line which I rode on most days is not a train, a tram or a tube.  I’m not even convinced it is trolley.  But it does squeak, a lot! No one heard of WD40?  Now the Red line out to Harvard, that is a train!

The Freedom trail; it’s follow the red line to lots of places that don’t exist.  Highlights I got to see Mother Goose’s grave and we accidentally came across Mike’s (the place where you obviously have to buy cakes.) honestly the trail needs a bit more work.

There not a lot happening in Boston.  There was lots of sport, but little else to do.  Though King’s Bowling was very good!

 

Harvard Business School

The highlight of the trip was a bit of a let down.  HBS is over the river from the main college; and stuck in the middle of nowhere.  The campus has some pretty bits and some 1970’s special concentrate buildings.

I sat in on a first year finance class.  The section gave us guests a very loud round of applause; and then I managed to leave without saying a word to anyone.  After the terrific support I got from HBS students when I was researching HBS, I was expecting better.  However if they have guests in every class; I do get the point that they get a bit tired after a while; and don’t really need to see the reason to engage.

The female participation of the class was very low.  The girls generally spoke if directly asked by the professor and generally didn’t volunteer.  Large tracks of the conversation as dominated by four blokes (I suspect they were the section’s usual suspects.) I was surprised.  Seriously girls; speak up! (See the NY time article for more background.)

The discussion wasn’t that engaging or dynamic. (Though my accountant friend said the lecture on WACC was a lot more interesting at HBS than what she had when learning about it for her ACCA qualification.) The professor was engaged, knew the students and knew the case and the issues very well.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention; The case study method.  It worked!  I learnt about WACC and how to apply it; and how would I use to inform a business decision that was actually made.  Stopped the subject from being dry and put it a real world context.

On a side note; almost all students had laptops or tablets in the class.  Most students had apple air notebooks. One or two had the black ugly IBM laptops and one or two enterprising ones had the Microsoft surface pro.  They got the benefit of having excel and a tablet.

Burgers

After the class chat we went to Cambridge’s famous burger place.  It had burgers like the fiscal cliff, bill Clinton, Obama healthcare.  Burgers were good.  But neither me nor my friend could see why the sweet potato chips or onion rings had won prizes.  Just not that good!

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

5 responses to “Underwhelmed by Boston”

  1. domotron says :

    Shame you didn’t enjoy Boston as much as you anticipated. Did you go to the Back Bay area and North End? North End reminds me of London a lot actually. Personally I loved Boston because it feels smaller and more accessible than London but definitely less going on. (I still love London and I’m a true Londoner at heart though)

  2. hbstimes says :

    Hey Sarah, I am a MBA student at HBS, and I agree with your 4/10 score. The weather is horrible. The city isn’t exactly the most vibrant and the public transportation system is squeaky indeed… 😉

    But Cambridge (where Harvard/MIT are located) is a pretty amazing please – the amount of brain-power gathered here is quite phenomenal.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Fridays From the Frontline - Clear Admit Blog - March 21, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Miniclick Photo Talks

Talks, discussions, events, exhibitions, parties and games, all around still and moving images.

desperatelyseekingcymbeline

The 10-year Shakespeare New Year Resolution

blackgirlmbaoncampus

The journey towards the MBA Goal

Road To My MBA

The journey to a top mba school, from Brazil to the USA.

GNPTH

My GMAT/MBA Journey

What an Amazing World!

Seeing, feeling and exploring places and cultures of the world

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

National Media Museum blog

We explore the science, technology and art of the still and moving image, and its impact on our lives.

digiphile

We're already living in the future. It's just not evenly distrbuted yet.

The Baseline Scenario

What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it

texaswannabecali

MBA bound... Join my journey

Emel's Blog

Problems have solutions.

A Digital Mentor

Sharing insights, connecting opportunities

the Free MBA

a journey detailing my do-it-yourself MBA

the urban pastor

news, views and reviews from south London's finest suburb!

From Dubai to Durham

MBA Adventures at Duke Fuqua

Reaching the Thirties

My MBA story at Fuqua

mbasupplicant

from point a to point mba

www.colettesymanowitz.com

Perspectives on entrepreneurship, MBA-related issues, networking, personal branding, technology, investing, education and more...

mbaloan

Loans and MBA...

The adventures of a MBA student

The blunderings of a n00b through the MBA admissions process

Blogging for a Good Book

A suggestion a day from the Williamsburg Regional Library

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

MBA the nonprofit way

MBA + nonprofit work = ??

Girl Meets B-School

Non-traditional MBA doin' it for herself

bschool admit

The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare. - Bobby Knight

expectingmbamilf

A journey to getting an MBA, relocating overseas, raising a family and enjoying the ride

Apprentice Alf’s Blog

Everything you ever wanted to know about DRM and ebooks, but were afraid to ask.

Coffee Beans And Tea Leaves

A little bit of this and a bit of that

We seem to have acquired a caravan

A six week European Odyssey with the Perkins

Road to the MBA Class of 2014

from the eyes of an entrepreneur

HBS Times

The latest news from inside the walls of Harvard Business School

backinthebay2015

the story of a Stanford GSB student

CROSS-SHAPED STUFF

i want to see more stuff shaped like a cross

Fiction and the Reading Public

Give me a thrill, says the reader, Give me a kick; I don't care how you succeed, or What subject you pick.

Cake, biscuits and maybe casseroles too...

I'm trying out new recipes and writing about them

MBA Over 30.com

Get Into a Top Business School After 30 (or at any age)

sarah's mba journey

outlining my journey to applying to business school

%d bloggers like this: