I’m originally from Turkey but I spent large portions of my childhood in New York, Greece, and Italy. I returned to Turkey to complete my undergraduate degree and worked in management consulting back home in Istanbul before completing a 4-month externship in Italy at the UN World Food Programme. A year ago, I began pursuing a JD/MBA at Harvard Law School and interned this past summer for the UN in Cambodia before ending up across the river at HBS to start my MBA. 

Expectation vs. Reality 

My expectations from the first week were probably slightly different from most incoming RCs. I had already been within the Harvard community and in Cambridge for a year and had already experienced a version of the section and the cold call. I thought I would be much more prepared than other students for my first semester at HBS, but to my surprise, that has definitely not been the case.  

The first week has been so much more introspective and self-reflective than I had thought it would be going in. There is a huge focus on carving our own paths and finding our community both at HBS and in the world, and I’ve consistently noticed this since arriving on campus on day one. I haven’t felt like there is any “one expected path” for people to be pursuing. I have heard an awe-inspiring breadth of stories, backgrounds, and interests with each person I have met and I am already having one-on-one conversations with section-mates that seem to have similar experiences getting to know and learning from each other. 

The Surprises in Store 

The social experience really stands out to me. I’m consistently surprised at the how many events are taking place both formally and informally. Beyond the HBS sponsored events, students are taking the initiative to organize activities amongst ourselves. By the time classes started, and before we even knew which sections we would be in, I’d already met a significant number of classmates simply by participating in activities organized entirely by incoming students. They range anywhere from walking tours of Boston to skydiving! Even the section reveal itself was a suspenseful social experience. We first met in groups of 5-6 members. Then, all the individual groups came together to “reveal” our section and the rest of our 94 fellow classmates. 

At this point, I’m most looking forward to two things:  

Academically – Diving deeper into concepts and topics that thrive through diversity of opinions and the discourse of the classroom (particularly in our Business, Government and the International Economy class in the spring semester (BGIE)!) 

Socially  building more profound connections with the people I’ve met and really finding “my people” within this incredibly rich and diverse community.  

Of course, I’m also looking forward to going through this journey together with my section overall – shoutout to Section I!