I just returned to Boston to start my final year at Harvard Business School, and tomorrow is the first day of classes. Here’s what I’ll be taking:
- Entrepreneurial Finance. Term sheets galore! All about assessing risk and reward.
- Authentic Leadership Development. Weekly small-group discussions are the highlight of this course, and the part I’m looking forward to most. In class, we’ll discuss the life paths taken and crises faced by leaders who’ve shown personal integrity. In small groups, we’ll work to understand and share our own life stories as a lens for looking toward the future. We’ll be relying heavily on a book developed for the course but available to anyone: True North, by Bill George and Peter Sims.
- The Moral Leader in Literature, Film, and Art. My ethics course last year stuck with me, and this is taught by the same professor. It’s one of the few courses at HBS not taught by the case method: instead of cases drawn from reality, we’ll be exploring the lessons we can learn from fiction and art. Our first short reading was “The Use of Force,” by William Carlos Williams. Over the course of the semester, we’ll read a book or watch a movie every week—everything from Antigone to Remains of the Day to The Insider—and talk through the fierce paradoxes leaders face.
- Entrepreneurship and Global Capitalism. Basically a history course. I love history, so this will be a real treat. The first case is on the opium trade in the nineteenth century!
- CS50: Intro to Computer Science at Harvard College. I’m at the point where I can build most things I set my mind to in Ruby and write a mean SQL query on demand, but now I’m eager to go back to basics and build the foundation I’ve been living without. The exciting part about this course: anybody can follow along online. All of the course materials are freely available at http://cs50.net; before I even enrolled, Erik and I had a fun time going over past quizzes together. I’m really looking forward to this one.
As a Berkman Fellow, I’ll also be attending the Berkman Center’s weekly lunch talks. And fellow fellows Molly Sauter and Kendra Albert and I are talking about working our way through Biella Coleman’s incredible syllabus on Hacker Culture & Politics. There is so much to read and learn!
The first year at HBS is all about the required curriculum, but the second year is fully elective. Every course I’m taking is one I chose. Looking over those choices, it makes me so happy to see fascinations crystallized into commitments: these courses will fill my days for the next three and a half months. I can’t wait for tomorrow.