Stefon is a second-year (EC) student who came to HBS after time at
Monitor Clipper, a Boston PE firm and, before that, the Consumer
Products and Retail group at Morgan Stanley. This past summer he was in
the Washington, DC office of McKinsey. He did his undergrad work at
the Wharton/University of Pennsylvania. Stefon describes himself as a
military brat who grew up all over the US and Japan.
READING A play called A Man for All Seasons
for "The Moral Leader", an unconventional course that I'm taking this
term. In this pseudo-seminar, we read a single literary work (typically a
book) every week as fodder for discussions exploring the issues
inherent in defining morality and leadership. We've read Antigone in the Theban Plays by Sophocles, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and Blessed Assurance in White People,
by Alan Gurganus. The class discussions are like the Case Method 2.0
because they require more personal perspective than the typical HBS case
where one would step into the shoes of a protagonist. I'm really
looking forward to reading Machiavelli's The Prince and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's This Child Will Be Great by in the weeks to come.
WEARING An eclectic mix of urban and preppy
style. Today, it's a pair of black and white houndstooth sneakers,
straight leg jeans, red chambray button up, and black motorcycle styled
rain jacket. I'm really interested in fashion and retailing, so I shop. A
lot. It's academic investigation/ professional research/ investment in
my knowledge of the industry (or at least that's what I tell myself).
Anyways, I try to mix up my style. Some days I'm super conservative with
the basic two button navy suit, white shirt, and monochromatic
geometric patterned tie. Other days, I'm likely to try something that
pushes the envelope a bit more.
EATING Chicken and rice soup, which was leftover
from a dinner I made last night. To connect with my family's traditions
and to get to know my classmates, I've been hosting dinner parties at my
apartment in One Western Avenue, one of the apartment style residential
complexes on campus. I like to try recipes and kitchen gadgets, so my
guests are also guinea pigs. Most recently, I've been experimenting with
comfort foods like red wine-marinated roast, apple pie made from
scratch, and the "Ashley" salad, which I replicated after enjoying one
at Ellie's Cafe during a weekend trip to New Hampshire. That said, I
probably get the most requests for my New York-style lemon cheesecake.
PLANNING Two awesome trips. HBS is an incredible
place to be, and, with so much to do on and around campus, you can lose
touch with the "outside world." To stay in touch, I'm putting together a
trip for my family. Finding the right combination of flights, hotel,
and excursions for a cool but wallet-friendly trip has taken a lot of my
"free" time, but the recuperative time with my family will be worth it.
I am also preparing to go to China on an IXP (Immersion Experience
Program) in the first two weeks of January. I'll be traveling with 25
classmates and a professor to gain some insight into how business is
being done in the country's complex economic and cultural environment.
To maximize the value of this around the world flight, I'm also going to
spend New Year's Eve with a few other classmates in Singapore.
DREAMING Of bringing all of myself to work. I'm
taking Authentic Leadership Development (ALD), a really popular course,
and I've grown in ways that I didn't expect. For me, this course is a
critical part of the HBS "transformational experience." In class and in
small group meetings, we discuss the real life issues (e.g. gender,
trust, community, race, self-confidence, sexuality, support, money, and
status) that have shaped how we've developed up to this point in our
careers; then, we use the experiences of case protagonists to explore
how the aforementioned issues have impact leaders in the past. The
learning's are quite powerful. My small group, the ultimate complement
to the class discussion, has pushed, prodded, and pulled me. By talking
about aspects of my life that I would never otherwise mention, I've been
able to see myself in a different light. I recently met with the
professor of the course, and, for a little under an hour, we discussed
how I could digest some aspects of my life. With this new sense of
things, I've been contemplating how I am going to approach my life after
business school with better sense of how I can be my best self.