Sunday, September 07, 2008

Harvard Business School is a factory for unhappy people

--- "Cedric", a former HBS classmate, quoted by Philip Delves Broughton in Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School, Penguin: 2008, p. 268

Quote in context:

I met Cedric for lunch in a noodle bar close to his office in Manhattan. He had gotten the job he wanted, at the investment bank . . . We began talking about everyone in our class and how they were getting along. Several had already left the jobs they had taken upon graduating, while others were seriously considering doing so. Why, I asked Cedric, had they taken these jobs in the first place? It's not as though we didn't know what they would involve.

"HBS," he said, hoisting a ball of noodles to his mouth, "is a factory for unhappy people. We have so many choices, and yet so few people seem happy about that. It just makes them anxious. And more anxious. And then they make terrible decisions about their lives. But," he added, "these are mostly very good people. People from good families with good values. I can't figure out what happens. I think they just get desperate."