Dear Harby: The Advice Column for MBAs

Harby, Satirical Advice Columnist
This month Harby helps soon-to-be-former MBA candidates confront the trepidation of graduation, with her tips for surviving life outside HBS.

Dear Harby,

It’s the end of EC year and with the conclusion of Bridges I’ve been kicked to the proverbial curb, left to fend for myself in the wilds of the “Real World.” I made sure to ask my employer if I could take my team clubbing until 2 and then sleep off the hangover until 10, buy they seemed, well, less than receptive. What’s more, my new apartment is so – quiet? And people don’t really seemed inclined to talk to me? What the hell is happening? And what do I do now that I’m free of Mother Harvard’s nest? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Confused in Cumnock

Dear Confused,

Ah, poor soul! I see you’ve now entered what is traditionally termed a “reflection period” and the freshly rediscovered travails of reality have forced you into actively seeking the therapy you probably should have been in rather than attending HBS. No worries, though – as always, Harby’s here to help. Let me pass on to you my soundest pieces of life advice:

  • Beer before liquor before Tide Pods before more liquor makes you sicker. This should be pretty self-explanatory: stick with straight Tide shots, drizzled down your gullet from a combo spout/bottle cap. Oh, and the “Free and Clear” formula has a bit less flavor, but a lighter hangover.
  • One word: AI. Get on the bandwagon now before Elon Musk’s army of killer robots kicks down your door, rips out your eyes, and then cross-checks your biometric data against its database of People Who Should Get Their Eyes Ripped Out. Oh, and they’ll work out that sequencing bug eventually, don’t worry. Because tech. And Ray Kurzweil.
  • Wear nice socks. As we all know, impressions matter more than anything else (e.g., trustworthiness, authenticity, empathy, etc.) and one of the easiest ways to give the impression that you’re not a staid, “business” type but rather a dynamic, young millennial with a heavy Venmo account and an aversion to owning real estate is to wear the kind of brightly colored, patterned socks that used to be reserved for Bond villains and carnival barkers. Welcome to the sartorial standards of the 21st century!

Hope this helps, and good luck!


Harby is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated MBA advice columnist and the author of such bestsellers as Teaching Your Dog How to DCF and The Seven People You Meet at the Boston Doubletree. Want some advice from Harby? Email your question to