Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Pacific Coast Party

Hello All-

Sorry for the delay! It's been an interesting couple of weeks here in Sunny So. Cal. After a great weekend in Boston, I've spent the last week applying for housing, financial aid, and putting together a reimbursement proposal for my company. (oh and spending a fabulous weekend in LA)

Boston: I really think I'm going to like HBS; the people that I met last weekend were absolutely amazing. Really engaging, personable folks who all have interesting stories: like the comic strip guy who works in advertising to pay the bills, or the investment banker who's also a professional pianist, or the former Michigan basketball player, who worked at Goldman Sachs before going to play basketball in Venezuela for three years. I love hearing peoples' stories about their lives and adventures. That's why I'm excited about HBS. I also had a chance to attend a class, which I hadn't done before, and that was cool. Every class at Harvard Business School is taught using the case study (aka Socratic) method, which is basically a psuedonym for big brainstorming session. The class that I went to, the Entreprenurial Manager, was cool because the guy who ran the company that was being analyzed came in to offer his thoughts on the discussions. Very cool. The only thing about the case study method is that you have to be prepared for class ahead of time. And trust me, to use lingo from Industry, I am a JIT (Just In Time) kind of person. So that will take some getting used to.

In good news, I think I found a roommate, another girl from LA who is getting married in October. Her fiance is a writer who will be staying in Cali. Actually that's one thing that was really funny about admit weekend. About 1/2 the people I met were engaged or married. Side commentary: it's kinda scary how many of my friends are starting to get engaged / married. I guess it's that time... It's different living in LA, or I guess in any major city; people tend to get married later, so my close friends haven't taken that step yet. But it's on the horizon. (roll scary music. :)) (not that I'm commitment-phobic or anything; I do totally want a family, but I'm just not there yet.)

Major topic change: tuition reimbursement: So, it's kind of interesting how different companies, even within the same industry have different approaches to education. Some companies believe in lifelong learning, and will reimburse for any program from any accredited school and endorse fellowship programs. (This is ideal). Others, like my current employer, believe that the company only benefits from paying for someone's education if the employee is applying his education real time to the job. This is a much older model, which I suppose has some benefits. However, trying to get a company to switch models is like trying to push a boulder uphill.

Unfortunately, I tend to be a fan of challenges, so have drafted a proposal to my company that I believe is fairly low liability. The proposal, which is modeled after other existing programs, would enable me to take a 2-year leave of absense from my company, but would require me to pay for all expenses up front. Then, on Day 1 that I return to the company, the company will reimburse me for 1/2 of my loan expenses, which would obligate me for 1 year. Then on Day 366, they would reimburse me for the other 1/2, which would obligate me for another year. The beauty of this plan is that neither the company nor I have any liability in the near term, and either party can walk away at any moment. It's a cool deal. But, we'll see how far it gets.

Ok. Gotta run. Have a great day!

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