Chapter 3. A Separate Place
Learn how to be happy with what you have
while you pursue all that you want. – Jim Rohn
In 2004, when I entered,
HBS was very different from the small patchwork establishment founded in 1908.
The first year, the school only recruited 59 graduate students,
the curriculum was new and was looked at
by the entire Harvard University suspicious eyes.
At that time, other universities only taught business at the undergraduate level,
Harvard was the first to offer a graduate course.
The reason was clearly stated by Charles W. Eliot,
President of Harvard, in his address to Harvard’s Connecticut Club on February 21, 1908:
“Senior business has become a demanding,
Knowledge-intensive profession knowledge of languages,
economics, commercial law,
industrial organization, knowledge of resources
and customs of many different countries.
We want to provide expertise in all of these areas.”
The aim of the school is not only to train future entrepreneurs
but also to train high-ranking government officials and diplomats,
who increasingly need business knowledge
and organizational skills to carry out their duties. me.
In the early years,
the school tried to assert its purpose
and position in the Harvard University and in the business world.
In June 1909, the school’s first principal,
Edwin Gay, wrote in a letter to a friend:
“Entrepreneurs often tell me that we cannot teach ‘business.’
I completely agree with them;
we are not trying to teach business in the sense
that entrepreneurs understand their business
or in the sense of teaching young people to be “good moneymakers”
or “beat the competition”.
We believe there is science study in business and the task of research
and development of that science is what we are interested in.
Our goal is to provide young entrepreneurs with a broader perspective
and understanding of the principles
that will enable them to become better,
culturally, and inclusive citizens.”
Mr. Gay was determined to apply the law school’s example method.
Instead of listening to lectures,
students learn business by analyzing
and discussing real-life situations in the class.
From there, they draw general principles to apply in the profession.
This method is called “learning by doing” and is applied until now.
When he commissioned the first design for the school,
Mr. Wallace Donham, Mr. Gay’s successor,
said that he wanted the business school’s architecture
to support a simple life
and deep thinking in a good environment and quiet.
It is important, he stressed,
that the buildings help students live in harmony
and become “something higher than a person
who is good at making money”.
One of the best moneymakers of his time
who spent money building these buildings was George F. Baker.
When HBS fundraisers knocked on the door, George F. Baker,
President of First National Bank,
had been a prominent figure in the financial world for 60 years.
Along with J. P. Morgan,
he invested a lot of money to create an economic boom
in the golden age of the late 19th century.
He is also a famous man of few words,
hence the nickname The Sphinx.
Baker once said:
“American businessmen must reduce their talking by two-thirds…
Rarely is there a reason to be talked about.”
The man hesitated when asked to donate one of the $5 million needed
to build the business school,
but then offered
to fund the entire $5 million if he had the “special.”
the right to build the whole school”.
In 1925, in a rare speech,
he told a meeting of the HBS Club
that he hoped the school would “produce the greatest men in the world”
and “teach them to behave in such a way
that their friends respect and always maintain integrity,
so that they will have the greatest happiness that life has to offer.”
The first dormitories were named after former Treasury Secretary Mellon,
Dillon and Gallatin,
while the teaching and administrative areas were located
in the Morgan building, after J. P. Morgan.
The centerpiece of the school is the Baker Library
with its quiet reading room with soaring arches.
In 2004, Baker’s original campus was expanded to 44 acres.
The amount donated is up to 2 billion dollars.
In addition to the 900 graduate students recruited annually,
hundreds more entrepreneurs are trained through on-the-job training.
HBS Publishers itself is a $100 million/year revenue business.
The university has 200 faculty members
and research facilities in Hong Kong,
Paris, Tokyo, Mumbai and Buenos Aires.
Graduate business schools are established in many universities around the world,
training tens of thousands of MBAs each year.
But year after year, HBS is still at the top
of the list of popular business schools.
It’s a huge organization,
a global brand HBS’s MBA degree is said
to be the “common card of the global financial elite”.
Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Rohn
HBS is located across the Charles River from other Harvard schools.
It was surrounded by Allston, a suburb of Boston,
with auto repair shops,
highways, and dilapidated warehouses.
It’s just a block away Harvard street, the heart of Harvard,
10 min walk, but the psychological distance is much greater.
HBS considers the large campus to be “across the river”, i.e.
“across the river,
they wear tweed jackets,
read Marx and know nothing about the real workings of the world.
At HBS, we know better.” In Harvard Square,
you’ll see a crowd of ordinary college students in flip-flops
and khaki shorts.
In a corner of the square,
you can pay $2 to play chess with a taciturn Ukrainian.
In another corner,
you can drink coffee in the cafe that John F. Kennedy used to sit when he studied here.
Lampposts are plastered with advertisements for new plays,
bicycles or donating sperm to the local hospital.
There is a newsstand in the center of the square,
where you can buy newspapers and magazines
or join a group of spontaneous anti-war people.
Along the street are bookshops, second-hand record stores,
hamburger and pizza shops, and of course,
a place that sells Tibetan crafts and yoga mats.
In the square,
you might meet a visiting president,
a rock star,
a devout Hindu spiritual leader,
an old friend or maybe just an anonymous beggar begging
for tickets train to go home.
In the morning, students often cross the square to go to class,
in the evening they congregate in restaurants,
spilling out onto aisles, stairs and porches.
Over the summer, high school boys
and those taking extended courses take over the square,
excited about being at Harvard.
In the fall,
boaters splash the waters of the Charles River,
ready for the race in October,
the leaves turning brick red
and the blue domes of ancient buildings against the pale sky of old buildings.
New England region.
Crossing the river to business school,
you’ve left all that behind.
The meandering trails were lined with flowers
and the stately buildings exuded a glitzy languid look like a country club.
Looking out the window,
you’d be surprised to see young people staring at their laptops
instead of waiters polishing silverware
or golfing waiters fixing golf clubs.
HBS is like a place to reflect on what is big and universal,
to watch the clouds fly across the sky
and the birds fly around,
a place to do anything but argue for
and against the calculation. fee.
The students are all neat and dressed politely,
with neat hair.
The ivy creeps all over the walls
as if it were pinned to them.
Every blade of grass,
every flower and every hedge was taken care of,
the sprinklers hissing,
turning on and off in a steady rhythm.
A friend who has been to the Green Zone in Iraq said
that he found HBS strangely familiar.
Whatever happens elsewhere in Iraq,
the Green Zone is luxurious with palm trees,
swimming pools and electricity.
The occupying army insulates itself
from the horrors of its surroundings
so that it can focus on the larger task:
rebuilding a country.
HBS also has the look of an ivory tower,
detached from the outside world.
The first building you come across
as you enter the campus from north of Harvard is the Shad,
a heavy brick gymnasium that resembles a training facility
for the elite of the US Olympic Federation.
It has perfect basketball and tennis courts,
a sauna and an indoor track.
Fitness machines are regularly maintained.
The four tennis courts located outside this building have been
in use since Boston’s long winters eased until it returns.
Located in the center of the campus,
away from the gymnasium is the Spangler Hall building,
completed in 2001 and named for Dick Spangler,
a 1956 graduate student
who was the President of the Bank of North Carolina,
later the President of the University of North Carolina.
It has a cafeteria,
a common area for students,
meeting rooms, an auditorium,
a post office and a department store.
Just a light touch and the door swings open,
luxury inviting you in.
The soaring, pale blue walls are lined
with massive works of contemporary art,
donated by Gerald Schwartz,
a Canadian investor, class of 1970.
In the winter, the fireplace is turned on early in the morning,
so students can lounge around on the chocolate-colored leather sofas,
resting their feet while contemplating their financial projects.
The cafeteria is divided into seven distinct zones,
where chefs in white cloth hats are ready
to serve everything from made-to-order sandwiches to oriental stir-fries, sushi,
pasta and special of many countries always change daily.
A slim little man with a racing horse’s arched gait controls the coffee machine
and prepares oriental tea.
Spangler is more of a four-season resort than a study area.
You half expect to see a tennis coach prowling
and laughing with his students,
and half expect to see a hotel valet hurrying past
with a trolley full of luggage.
After chemistry started a few weeks,
I was chatting with a German classmate, Max Verlander.
He is an austere-faced Frankfurt engineer with neatly cut hair.
We stood outside the cafeteria looking into the common room,
where students were lounging on sofas,
lazily typing on laptops and on phones.
Max looks into the room and says,
“It’s decadent, isn’t it?”
Give whatever you are doing
and whoever you are with the gift of your attention. – Jim Rohn