Graduation Week: Thursday

Ok, so obviously it is not actually the Thursday of graduation week. And obviously I overestimated the amount of time that I would have to spend blogging during my actual graduation week. Nonetheless, I didn't want to move on from Harvard Bound without spending some time reflecting on THE big day, so here is my commencement festivities recap!

The morning began bright and early -- we had to meet our sections in full regalia at 6:30am. Naturally, I arrived on time only to find out that we weren't actually leaving the business school for our "procession" to Harvard Yard for about another hour, so we spent most of that time taking photos, which is always fun. Thankfully, we had really awesome weather -- overcast and cold! I know this sounds SO counterintuitive, but since all of the commencement activities were outdoors without cover, it was to our benefit to have cool weather.


After we finally started walking across the river, we wound up standing outside of Harvard Yard for another hour before they let us sit down. Truth be told, it wasn't the most well-organized, but I guess when you're trying to cater to 30,000 people there isn't much that can be done in the logistics realm. Nonetheless, the Harvard University ceremony was nice, although I still don't totally understand why they insist on a Latin address at the beginning (tradition, tradition) and nearly an hour introducing 15 honorary doctorates (I think they spent more time reading off the biographies of those folks than they did in conferring degrees to ALL of the Harvard University schools!). The best part? None other than MERYL STREEP was there! Unfortunately, no, she wasn't our keynote speaker -- there wasn't actually a keynote speaking at all -- she was there to receive an honorary doctorate for her involvement in the arts community. She didn't get to address the crowd or anything, which I think disappointed us all (what, no photo op?), so it makes me wonder if they really just gave her that doctorate so that they could say they honored a celebrity during graduation.


After the university exercises concluded, we rushed back to the business school for a quick luncheon before our afternoon ceremony on Baker Lawn (in front of the library). This ceremony had more significance because it was just for the business school and it was when we officially walked across the stage to receive our diplomas. To be honest, I don't even really remember walking across the stage because it happened so quickly, and I was mostly focusing on not tripping and simultaneously smiling for the photographer who I knew was there snapping my portrait. Once again, they managed to pronounce my first name incorrectly, but at this point, I'm so used to it that it didn't matter all that much. :)

The whole thing lasted two hours and that was it! One minute I was a student, the next an alumna clutching a beautiful Harvard University Master of Business Administration diploma.

I know I've said this countless times before, but I still cannot believe how fast my two years at HBS went. Looking back, I know I will always remember this experience fondly and will be proud to one day support the program financially. I wish the upcoming classes, and my classmates, all the best of luck moving forward. It's sad that we will no longer see one another everyday, and that our complaints about case work will soon transition to just complaints about work. All of this fighting for a job? Soon we'll be wishing we were back in the carefree bubble of a student. I know I already want to go back and do it all over again, but we have to keep moving forward, despite our nostalgic longings, and embrace the future. As for me, I still don't know exactly what that future holds, and I'm trying desperately to convince myself that this is EXCITING, not horrifying. I haven't succeeded at that last bit just yet.

To be honest, I think this might be the end of the journey for Harvard Bound. Believe it or not, this is my 99th entry, which balances out to just about one entry per week during my HBS adventure. Not bad, if I do say so myself, and in years to come I know I'll look back and be thankful that I chronicled my journey, despite the fact that my ramblings made it into skydecks more than once. Fear not! This does not mean I am disappearing from the blog-o-sphere for good (how could I when I love writing so much!). I have already begun a new blog, albeit this new one is purely for fun and is a stark contrast from what some might consider the stuffiness of a Harvard MBA blog. My new blog, which I invite you to visit if you so choose, focuses on a personal passion of mine: entertainment, beauty and style. The address is http://www.mybeautybabble.com/. If you choose to take a peek, let me know that you came over from Harvard Bound.

Thanks again to all of you for sticking with me through the last two years and for providing endless support. See you soon!

9 Responses to "Graduation Week: Thursday"

deepakpanigrahy responded on June 10, 2010 at 12:25 AM #

Congrats!!! :-)
I have been following your blog for more than an year now. Awesome Journey. I will be applying this fall to HBS, for sure. Your blog has definitely been a great resource.

Gabrielle responded on June 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM #

Thank you! I'm glad that you have enjoyed the blog. Best of luck with your application to HBS! :)

mbadreamz responded on June 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM #

Thanks Gabrielle.
If you don't mind, would you mind giving some personalized tips and suggestions for the HBS application. I would really appreciate your time and effort. Please drop me an email at deepak.iiitb@gmail.com and I will respond to it, keeping your email secured and confidential.

Gabrielle responded on June 12, 2010 at 4:21 PM #

Hi Deepak/mbadreamz,

If you want to post your questions here, I'd be happy to answer them for you. :)

Gabrielle

mbadreamz responded on June 12, 2010 at 10:49 PM #

Thanks Gabrielle :-). Give me few days and I will be writing back to you soon.

Shruthi responded on June 15, 2010 at 1:07 PM #

Hey Gabrielle! This blog was absolutely wonderful. As a potential applicant to the HBS 2+2 program, I had a few questions I want to ask you. Please let me know about what the best way to contact you would be! :)

Gabrielle responded on June 15, 2010 at 3:43 PM #

Hi Shruthi!

I'm happy to help if I can, so please just post your comments to the blog and I'll get back to you. :)

Gabby

padmanabharao responded on August 15, 2010 at 9:14 AM #

Could you please tell me how you will manage the time.

iibs bangalore responded on March 12, 2014 at 6:02 AM #

As for each and every management students graduation is an most memorable day. I hope you have enjoyed alot. Thanks for sharing.
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