After working as an engineer for six years, I decided that I needed to apply to business school to achieve my goals. 

As an engineer, you tend to be a process-taker rather than a process-maker. Many of the tasks I completed came from the top down, and I wanted to position myself to be able to be able to make those directional/strategic decisions in the future. Business school would help me with that positioning. 

HBS, with its diverse student body, focus on a general management curriculum and reputation as a top business school was the school on the top of my list.

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After working in Germany for a number of years my wife and I also wanted an impetus to move back to the US, and we decided that my goal of getting my MBA would be that catalyst.

Before arriving on campus I heard that the section experience is an important part of the HBS experience. I had my doubts, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

HBS is a big school. With 900 students, it is hard to get to know everyone. By breaking it down into ten sections of 90 students, you learn much more about a smaller group of people. In your first year you take all of your classes with your sectionmates. By the end of your first semester, you tend to know the type of comment someone is about to say when they raise their hand. 

Aside from classwork, we shared personal stories, helped tutor each other before exams, and held sessions to teach other students about various cultures and traditions. All of these acts built a stronger bond with a smaller group of students and made the section feel like “home”. Families and significant others are welcome to join in all section events. Children were a huge hit in my section.

An HBS section is not just a group of 90 students from diverse backgrounds that meet every day to discuss cases. A section is much more. It is a group of people that create a psychologically safe space where everyone can voice their opinions without fear, share personal stories without judgement and reach out for help, if needed. We are all friends and are always there to support one another. 

Over the course of our first year we hosted a number of activities including a fall and spring retreat, a charity auction, and events explaining Holi, Eid, and National Coming Out Day. We also participated in intramural sports, hosted small group dinners, and held various meetings to check on how the section was doing. 

In the second year you no longer take all your classes with your section, but you still remain close to them. During EC year, our section hosted another fall and spring retreat for everyone to come back together. Aside from that we continue to host small group dinners and those that are in the same classes might meet up for lunch. 

My favorite section memory is when we all chipped in to replace a sectionmate’s stolen bicycle. We had only been in section for a week or two, but we started a Tilt campaign and were able to raise enough money to replace his bike. I’ll never forget his reaction when we told him what we had done. 

The section is a place where you will find your closest friends at HBS, and it’s a pretty great place to “have” to go every day in your RC year.