Sitting in the Capstone Class back in Aldrich 9 brings back a lot of memories. I didn’t think I’d get emotional at all, because it hasn’t hit me that HBS will soon be over. But seeing R.J. Sheedy sitting next to my first semester seat reminded me of my first day of Section H. I was petrified at the idea of being stuck in the same classroom for an entire year. After feeling like I had just met all 900 students during the first three weeks of Foundations, here was R.J. Sheedy, a face I had never seen before. Would we get along? It turned out: yes.
A lot has happened to Section H of ’03. You can even see some marked differences between how people were in the Capstone Class vs. how they were in section last year. For example, you could clearly hear every single voice. Professor Marc Bertoneche, who taught the Capstone Class, told us last year during Finance I, “You must learn to speak with a BIG voice. It will help you become successful.” This lesson appeared to have held true over the past year. Other interesting observations: Pat Brannelly was the first to speak, which was appreciated yet unsurprising; no recycling bin next to my chair to my dismay-the plastic bottles in the room were killing me softly; Liz Chirpich wore black; David Schlendorf wore blue & white while the SFP dry cleaner was probably drowning in pastels; people, who I will leave unnamed, were awake; 11 people wore button-down, blue shirts vs. an average of 35 last year; and the walls said, “Section C”-not VAUNTED.
And then again, some things never changed. Section H won a case of champagne for selling the most tickets to Hollidazzle last year, thanks to the staunch efforts of Social Chair Patricia Pu. This year, Section H won another case of champagne for having the highest participation of 98% donating to the class gift fund, thanks to the efforts of Alumni Rep Samir Patel. And then there was the business plan competition. 3 of the 4 finalists were made up of Section Hers, including the winner, which included Eric Hiller and Brian Hoskins. Vaunted H remains extraordinary.
And in our personal lives, since last year, Min Zhang gave birth to a baby boy, Sean, and Jim Galovan was blessed with a baby girl, Gracie. Samir, Rajeev, and Ali all got married. And thirteen Section Hers got engaged, four of whom to people at HBS.
I admit that I did go through my phase of cynicism, thinking how silly it was to be bound to a group of computer-selected students and rallying around the eighth letter of the alphabet. “Go H!”, we’d say. Every section would painfully explain how they “truly” think that they are in the “model section” or the “best section.” But going back to the capstone class and taking time to reflect, I realize that there is something to be said for shared experiences and shared memories. These are the 80 people who shaped the past two, extremely intense, years of my life.
We learned from each other, we laughed together, we partied together, we respected each other, we may have gotten annoyed with each other at times, but we helped each other, and we grew together. Vaunted H is an incredible group of people. As Brett Merritt described during the Capstone Class, never again do I think I will be able to be surrounded by such great people at once and experience so much with these people. Go H!