The January Cohort

A very special group of students joined us this winter, as the January cohort of the class of 2002 started registering for classes on January 2, 2001. As the first class to christen Spangler Hall, they were also the last group that will be known as a “January” cohort. And if that wasn’t enough, they showed courage never before seen when a group of over fifty students volunteered to be hypnotized in front of their fellow classmates.

For the first time ever, a hypnotist was added to the Orientation event schedule. After he promised to hypnotize volunteers only, no embarrassment, and a great night of sleep, students eagerly jumped up to see if they could “qualify” as good candidates for the show. About 18 students were left to go onto stage and show us their inner talents.

As the pictures show, we have quite a number of talented composures, rock guitar players, and River dance performers. Along with their musical talent, they are all smiles when they think about the money they will earn after school (surprised? – I think not), and are excellent body builders (or at least excellent at posing as body builders). Everyone had a great time and all were impressed with the abilities of the “performers” on stage. The group went over to Spangler Grill with many smiles and new things in common to talk about over pizza and beer.

Orientation was filled with many great events and opportunities for students to get to know each other better as Orientation leaders, Lori Schock and Trisha Jung, along with a handful of volunteers from the Class of 2001 and Class of 2002 September Cohort helped welcome the students in HBS style.
In keeping with the tradition of opening Orientation at Big City Pool Hall, the students were given their first social opportunity to learn names and ask/answer the standard questions of introduction. Showing themselves to be true contenders for the highest participation award, they packed the pool hall and socialized late into the evening.

Following the Thursday hypnotist and mixer event, on Friday the students were divided into small groups to venture out for the culinary delights of Harvard Square at Friday night’s small group dinners. Afterward, the suggested pub crawl route map provided to each student included many of the usual watering holes frequented by HBSers.

Saturday morning, over 250 people came out for the Teambuilding Olympics held in the Shad gymnasium. Participants were divided into small teams and then challenged with a half-dozen exercises requiring strategy, communication, and trust. These teambuilding challenges were designed to get the new students beyond superficial introductions into an environment requiring more meaningful interaction. As can be seen, the day very-successfully brought students together and fostered a great deal of enthusiasm, fun, and trust amongst team members.
Following the Olympics, students donned their dress attire for Casino Night, held for the last time in Kresge boardroom. Always a popular orientation event, this party had a record turnout of almost 400 people, who spent the evening playing blackjack, craps, and roulette with play money and dancing into the wee hours. By the end of the night, many of the dealers had spent an uninterrupted 4 hours dealing cards, and there were many big winners who won gift certificates to local restaurants.

Burden auditorium was near capacity for the Orientation Show Sunday evening, where the newest members of the HBS community were indoctrinated to HBS life through a series of skit-based comedy routines. Attendees were treated to all the classics, including an expose on the admissions process, the B-schools hits, and the class participation olympics. The finale of the show, “Section-Lovin'”, was followed with a standing ovation and drinks at Hong Kong.

Orientation Co-Chairs, Lori Schock and Trisha Jung, would like to thank all the volunteers from the EC and RC classes who helped make the orientation such a success, as well as our sponsors who included Credit Suisse-First Boston, Goldman Sachs, and Booz Allen & Hamilton.