For this week’s edition of Cold Call, old friends reunite as Harbus Editor Kate Lewis talks with chum and sectionmate Sri Batchu on Jack Donaghy’s fashion sense, poetry, and retirement.
KL: Sri, please introduce yourself to our readers. What is your background?
SB: Right now, it’s the autumnal leaves one that comes pre-loaded with my ipad.
KL: [eye-roll] Let’s try that again.
SB: Born in India, grew up in Wisconsin, but go to LA for the holidays. I like to say that I’m part of the 2+2+2 HBS program: two years at McKinsey and two years Bain Capital and now two years of studying [air quotations] in Boston.
KL: Speaking of these two precious years in Beantown, I do miss you peering down at me from the Aldrich skydeck. Last year you were known in Section E as the guy who came to class hungover more often than not, particularly the pirate costume/eye makeup you unabashedly sported on the morning of November 1st. Please explain how you made the Honor Roll and will probably take over the world someday.
SB: Sitting next to better-prepared party people. Thank you Marissa Steinmetz and Betty Argiles.
KL: Halloween costumes aside, many agree that you are quite a dapper dresser. The bold colors and impeccable tailoring aren’t lost on me. Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
SB: HBS and Princeton Alum, Jack Donaghy. Well-dressed man do better in life.
KL: Forgive me, Sri, as I ensure that our readers follow. Played by the formidable Alec Baldwin, Jack Donaghy is the CEO of NBC on the excellent TV show, 30 Rock. In his banter with Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon, Jack frequently reflects on his happy days here at Harvard Business School, which he attended on a “handsomeness scholarship.” But I digress. As you know, Mr. Donaghy’s idol is Jack Welch. Love or hate?
SB: Given Jack Donaghy is my idol, I have a lot of respect for Jack Welch. The man’s a winner: #1 or #2 in every category or exit. That’s right, I remember case facts from RC strategy. However, his recent sore-loser attitude after the election has soured me on him a bit though. A man of his caliber should be able to take loss with grace.
KL: Couldn’t agree with you more, Jack – I mean Sri. I know you’ve got some party to go to, so let’s finish up with some rapid-fire leadership exercises. Feel free to shout out whatever comes to mind when I mention a topic.
Holidays! Best and worst.
SB: Not going to the gym. Not going to the gym.
KL: Favorite show on television.
SB: Homeland. That’s right, it’s not just white people who love Homeland.
KL: Recite a haiku that captures your time here at HBS.
SB: Oh Scorpion Bowl
If I chug you at thirty-one
Shoot me with a gun.
KL: Ten-year plan.
SB: Retirement. ‘Nuff Said.
KL: I think we’re done here.