Prospective students often visit campus to learn more about life at HBS. They’re curious about things like case method, housing, and the section experience. But once you get on campus, what is the day-to-day student experience like? We connected with Daniel Schachne (MBA 2017) to find out. 

At HBS, especially in your first year, no two days look or feel the same. That makes it extremely difficult to outline what my average weekday and weekend looks like, but I will do my best! 


Not surprisingly, during the week the primary thing going on is class. In my RC year, my day began at 7:30 with an earlier alarm than I ideally would want, followed by discussion group. At discussion group, you have the chance to meet with five other first-year students (who aren’t in your section) to talk through that day’s cases. It is a great resource and one that truly helps you prepare for the day ahead.

After discussion group, it’s time for class. Each day you either have two or three cases (fingers crossed for two!). You will know at the beginning of the semester which days you have two versus three cases per day, which helps you mentally prepare and get ahead of your work as much as possible. These classes provide an incredible opportunity to learn new things from your professors and, more importantly, from your classmates. It is important to speak up during them since participation is a significant percentage of your grades at HBS!

At the latest, class should end each day by 2:45 p.m., which leaves you plenty of time the rest of the day for a number of activities, including:

Homework: each night you will have to prepare for the next day’s cases. Preparation usually includes reading the case and some associated work (i.e., outlined question answers, Excel spreadsheets). My tip: try your best to stay two days ahead! This removes some stress and provides you with flexibility to take advantage of all that HBS has to offer.

Speakers: not surprisingly, HBS has no shortage of amazing opportunities to hear from business leaders from around the world. I highly recommend you take advantage of this while you are here.

Club events: these events can range from social to professional and include speaker series, conferences, and various recruiting prep.

Recruiting/Networking: obviously this will vary depending on the time of year and where you are in your personal recruiting search, but this takes up a lot of time on weekdays. Early on this takes the form of Career and Professional Development events, company presentations, and networking phone calls/meetings with alumni and/or current students. As you progress through the cycle, this will take the form of interview prep (e.g., cases for consulting) and interviews themselves.

Physical activity: one of my personal priorities is to make time for visits to the gym throughout the week. It helps clear your head and take a break from what can sometimes be coursework and recruiting madness.

Social: last, but definitely not least, there is no shortage of social events that happen during the week. This can range from the casual hang session with sectionmates to group dinners to HBS-wide events and parties. 


You finally made it to the weekend! You thought this would never come! Personally, I like to use at least part of my weekend to catch up on some much needed sleep before starting the week all over again.

Besides sleep, the weekend is truly yours to do as you please. For the most part, I try to reserve Sunday afternoon/evening to get started on my homework for the week (hint: this is the opportunity to get ahead). But outside of that, there are no shortage of options on how you can spend your weekend. The most popular ways to fill the weekend include:

Traveling: business school is an ideal time to travel. You likely have fewer responsibilities during these two years than during any remaining time in your life, so take advantage! Good nearby weekend trip spots include: Cape Cod/Nantucket, Vermont, and New York.

Sightseeing: you don’t need to travel to see a cool city, just check out Boston! Boston has many historical sites (e.g., the Freedom Trail), restaurants (my recommendation is always Italian food in the North End), and sporting events. Try to make a list of what you want to see and do in the city before school and stick to it.

Socializing: use the weekend to spend some time with your new friends. Go out for meals, walk around Boston, plan a movie night, grab drinks – do whatever you want!

Hopefully this gives you a good sense of what an average weekday and weekend is like at HBS. At the end of the day, these two years are yours so fill out your time how you want to spend it. Remember, after school we go back to the working world and lose this luxury, so take advantage of it while you can!