Mahlaqa Kamran (MBA ’24) spoke with members of the community about their spring break adventures.
“I’m not ready for this week!” is a statement that can be attributed to many of us. It rings especially true in the aftermath of spring break. As per tradition, HBS students went traveling far and wide around the world for over a week, leaving behind much of their worries and case work.
While many of us are still settling in (read: getting over the hangover) and facing the reality of three case days, we asked some students where their travels took them, and what they learned. Here’s what we heard:
“The country has over 900 Mayan sites and is home to the second biggest barrier reef in the world.” – Mariam Baqai (MBA ’24)
“My week in Bhutan opened my eyes to new perspectives and reminded me of my Buddhist roots. We got to see the beautiful Himalayas mountains, visit temples, and discuss the country’s economic policies with parliament members. I would encourage everyone to make a trip to Bhutan before they get too old to do the hikes because I definitely felt the effects of the high altitude.” – Trang Luu (MBA ’24)
“So many interesting things. The country has two capital cities. There’s a self-managed prison in La Paz (one of the two capital cities). Bolivia’s Yungas Road is called the ‘world’s most dangerous road’ and you can do a biking tour. Also, Bolivia is a landlocked country but still keeps a navy.” – Roxie Li (MBA ’24)
“Colombians get super angry if you spell Colombia with a ‘U’ instead of an ‘O’. Don’t do it!” – Martin Vasev (MBA ’24)
“Croatia has wonderful historical cities coupled with unique islands and mountain ranges. Over the centuries, Croatia was influenced by Roman, Italian, Austrian, Turkish and Serbian cultures, and it shows in the wonderful architecture of the cities. Its delicious cuisine is a must try, containing a perfect blend of authentic dishes with a range of flavors, from Mediterranean to continental European.” – Mihael Maljak (MBA ’24)
“My trip to Cuba was a mix of everything – inspiring, beautiful, thought provoking, and heart breaking. Like most of us, I had learned about Cuba in school, but seeing the effects of government policies and sanctions in person hit me at another level. I was most inspired by the entrepreneurs we met who, in a place where business school doesn’t exist and the private sector is still viewed with skepticism, have somehow been able to navigate the regulatory bureaucracy and gray space to set up thriving businesses. Hearing their stories of perseverance and grit was truly inspiring and it was fascinating to hear how people do business in another part of the world.” – Liz Gelb (MBA ’24)
“The country only moved from communist to democratic rule in 1989, which is recent. It has a history marked with tragedies and violence, which is reflected in the overall tone of the capital city. They also have a dedicated museum called War of Terror that recounts this history in astonishing detail.” – Mahlaqa Kamran (MBA ’24)
“The Mariachi is the most famous musical genre in Mexico, and it is the result of a mixture of cultures: a fusion between guitars, violins and conch shells, trumpets, flutes and other indigenous instruments that make this music something unique.” – Ayash Albitar (MBA ’24)
“Lisbon is older than Rome (which is thought to be the birthplace of civilization.) Also, port wine is not all super sweet! There’s a white port tonic that’s so refreshing and unlike the sticky sweet reputation of port.” – Allison Huang (MBA ’24)
In conclusion, RC students traveled all over as part of treks or individual endeavors to explore previously uncharted territory and create memories that will hopefully last us till our next travel adventure kicks in during summer. We can’t wait to hear what summer has in store!
Mahlaqa Kamran (MBA ’24) is originally from Pakistan, and was working as a management consultant prior to HBS. She had a reputation for being the “in-house” meme expert, and once published an internal article to classify McKinsey consultants into characters from the Powerpuff Girls universe.