Latest read: Ahead of the Curve

The title of Philip Delves Broughton‘s Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School was interesting enough to jump on my reading list but when I began to see his book mentioned in blogs and on twitter I pulled it from my wish list and dropped it into my cart.  It was not a mistake. The opportunity to learn about the life of a Harvard MBA candidate is a pretty interesting read.

Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business SchoolBroughton is the former Paris bureau chief for The Daily Telegraph of London. His writing was easy, flowing and pleasant.  Broughton was also very human in his approach to writing about the elite training ground for the high stress world of finance, venture capital and banking.

Broughton was also able to describe those MBA alums who spoke of those demands and losing wives and children to the long hours of business.  It was a bit odd to read that more than a few alums went through the divorce process four times.

Worse yet was those few who admitted their own children did not know who they were due to those demanding hours.  Most wanted their MBA to provide for their family while in fact they were losing touch with them in the process…all for the glory of wealth and fame.

And yes it was interesting to hear how his class of 2006 could land $400,000 jobs, his thirteen interviews with Google were pretty demanding.

In the end he skipped his graduation on a rainy Saturday in to take his infant son to his favorite Boston spot for cannoli.  At one point in my life I would have ridiculed this man for skipping his Harvard commencement.  For $175,000 (minus his new BMW — see below) you better be sure I would show up come rain or snow for that moment.  Today with two small children and a backdrop of a soggy event on Harvard Square I kinda understood his decision.

I was impressed with his review of their first year known as RC: required cirriculum.  The demands of Harvard’s case studies was rather impressive as their main tool for teaching.  And from the looks of it those case studies required round the clock research and planning.  The feel of his fellow students all aiming for post Harvard success was an interesting read, especially from the foreign students.  Most of his fellow students agreed they did not want to be called upon to review a case study.  The demands were extremely high and Broughton described a couple of painful episodes of his participation and those by his fellow students.
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