The MBA Tweet

September 22, 2009

The HBS Admissions Blog has an RSS feed. And that sounds so outdated. Forgive me, but I’m a recent Twitter convert who thinks that anything that preceded Twitter is obsolete, or at least, ought to be. My primary use of my Twitter account is not to rant about my GMAT preparations – it was the primary objective, but has since changed. Rather, it is to gather updates from several blogs, forums and alumni without having to go to each individual website. There are statistics floating around in the net-o-sphere on the ways people are putting Twitter to use; and access to news & information forms a pretty large chunk of what the people use Twitter for. I remember reading a nice article here showing that people are increasingly using Twitter as a “personal news-wire.” So, I’m not the only one who does it.

I’m, however, still not overtly fond of the way Twitter is as of now. I think the home page does not, in its present design, have the requisite space to take in a large amount of feeds, which creates a problem since I often cannot see all the updates without having to click on ‘more’. Imagine those who are following over a thousand. What a pile-up!

However as my numbers stand today (following approx 14), it is much less of an issue. Beat The GMAT, GMAT Club, Clear Admit, Stacy Blackman, Accepted.com, Grockit, Knewton, MBA Channel and a few HBS alumni provide me with a steady stream of updates on life in the GMAT and MBA Application arenas, and life, in general, at HBS. No more bookmarking individual sites. No more missing out on an important update/information.

I would love to see the HBS AdCom get itself a Twitter account as well, and shout its updates from there. I definitely do not want to have to open the http://www.hbs.edu/mba page in the office (too risky) everyday to look for an update. There aren’t many in a week anyways, so most of the time, my efforts to finding an update is fruitless. Hope they are listening.


HBS & Travian

September 7, 2009

Finally, the pack is back at HBS, and the reports have just begun to trickle in. How glad I must be! It’s really the same ol’ things that surprises new admits — the diversity of students, the exuberance of the campus, the sushi of Spangler, the case discussions, student interactions etc. But perhaps the most blogged about topic happens to be the student diversity at HBS. The best and the brightest from across the world, carrying their own cultural baggage, gather there to be trained in the American way of doing business. The West Point of Capitalism, as someone put it mildly.

My mind harks back to the days, a few months ago, when I was still embroiled in a seemingly perpetual war between Romans, Teutons and Gauls in an online game by the name of Travian. As with any online game, the members came from diverse geographical and demographical environments. Some of them did not even know English well enough to communicate, but they were all there; fighting with each other, sending tributes and reinforcements, calling for help, and forming alliances.

What I hear from HBS students makes me think of Travian because there I found a similar vein of multi-culturalism woven into a common goal of wining the game. I remember coaxing an Iranian player to join our Alliance formed by an American member while brokering a peace deal between the Iranian player and a Caucasian player. Language barriers, local biases, political considerations, all played a part as each drama enfolded while I was in the game. Messages sent across were often unfathomable because they were not originating from a native English speaker. But we managed to understand who was saying what. Iranians reached out to Americans, Israelis sent troops to reinforce the Iranian’s borders, I received a barrage of messages part in Thai and part English. People, places, languages, ethnicity, politics, state propaganda: We were fighting more than just the war, we were also fighting existing perceptions, and prejudices.

I wonder if HBS is a Travian-like experience (minus of course the blood-shed). I wonder if the same excitement of brokering an understanding between people of divergent culture can be attained at HBS. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it there, but I think, I wonder, that I may have, just may have experienced the excitement shared by incoming new students at HBS at being subjected to this diverse population. And it felt great.