The Harbus Chief Commercial Officer (and HBS partner) Megan Fairbank brings you 10 fun, compelling and unexpected facts about members of the HBS community. This week, RC (i.e. first-year HBS student) Philip Blackett (New Section B) and EC (i.e. second-year HBS student) Kiran Gandhi (Old Section H) reveal ten things you might not know about them.
10 things you don’t know about: Philip Blackett
- When I was eight years old, I wanted to be the next Michael Jordan. I wanna wanna wanna be like Mike …
- Philip supposedly means “lover of horses,” though I’m scared to ride one. Bad childhood experience. I like to think that I was named Philip after the apostle in the Bible.
- My inner self is … comfortable in its own skin regardless of what people on the outside say or think.
- Ever since I sang a cappella in high school, I’ve become such a HUGE fan of all types of a cappella music. My favorite group is the UNC Clef Hangers.
- My guilty pleasure is watching “Power,” “Empire,” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Don’t judge me.
- I almost missed my flight one time because I had a hard time saying goodbye to my girlfriend.
- I still can’t believe that I still want to experience being in a shark cage to have a close encounter with a Great White Shark.
- I can do a decent job impersonating other people. I love doing improv comedy.
- I have one sister who’s married in Atlanta and one stepbrother who’s in high school in Memphis. I’m the oldest of the three.
- My motto is, “Realize Your Potential. Live More Abundantly. Pay It Forward.”
Philip was born and raised in Memphis, TN, and has also lived in Chapel Hill, NC and Jersey City, NJ. Since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he has worked in a variety of industries, including Equity Research on Wall Street; Corporate Social Responsibility, Marketing Communications, and Social Media at FedEx; and sandwich art at Subway during his high school years. Philip is involved in many programs on- and off-campus, including his role as Founder & CEO of for-profit social enterprise company, Magnetic Interviewing LLC. He is also involved in the 2015 Social Enterprise Conference, African American Student Union, LGBT Student Association, WSA, and advises for Ashoka’s Catapult, an incubator for high school entrepreneurs.
10 things you don’t know about: Kiran Gandhi
- I got to be M.I.A.’s drummer because I asked her!
- I am obsessed with Boston runners. These fools don’t care about whether it’s snowing outside or rain, sun, hail or whatever. Most of them don’t even listen to music!! They just put on their running shoes and go out to the Charles and just run and run. It’s so raw and powerful. I love it. I want to be like them, in all aspects of my life. No frills. You can’t cheat the Charles you know. You just gotta run and love it and feel the cold and be like wow, it’s so amazing to be alive and be able to put one foot in front of the other right now. Doesn’t matter how fast I am going because there is no one to compete with. The Charles has seen hundreds of generations of us walking and running alongside it. Forget competition, these runners know gratitude and ability and strength. I want to be like them, in all aspects of my life.
- I learned how to juggle when I was 8 because I wanted to be a professional magician. I used to do birthday parties for 6-year-olds and younger.
- I want to live in a world where mainstream media is super sex-positive and women are and portrayed as in control of their own sexual agency. I want to make art that contributes to this change.
- I don’t like dogs or animals or any of that pet stuff.
- Since the beginning of EC year, someone has been delivering anonymous flowers to my doorstep on the 21st of every month. If you are reading this, beloved flower sender, please know I am dying to meet you and also thank you for the yellow ones.
- I am learning Portuguese at Harvard College right now because I want to become Brazilian one day.
- I journal every day. I write about blessings from the day, new learnings, new dreams, ideas, weird interactions, points of inspiration, things that make me sad, full-circle moments, and where I am with past goals.
- I live by a theory called Atomic Living, and I gave a TEDx talk about it last year in Brooklyn.
- HBS friends rock my world. They are driven and brilliant and put together and they have my back. They kick my ass when I am not my best self and they let me kick their ass when they are stressed out by irrelevant GroupMe fomo. HBS friends are friends for life, they are the real deal, one-on-one time is the best, soul-to-soul style.
Kiran was born in Boston, MA during her father’s EC year at HBS and her mother’s second year at Boston University’s MBA Program. She was raised in New York City upon her parents’ graduations—with a three-year stint in Bombay, India from 1997-2000—and later moved to Washington, D.C. to attend Georgetown University. She studied abroad in Hong Kong during her college years, where she discovered her passion for drumming. After graduation, Kiran worked as a Digital Analyst at Interscope Records, and has toured as M.I.A.’s drummer both domestically and internationally. She is involved in a multitude of initiatives both on- and off-campus, including the WSA, Entertainment and Media Club, Squash Club, LGBT Student Association, Ekta, Sankofa, and HBS Show. She is also involved in Music Minds, a group she started in 2014 through HBS’ i-lab that focuses on hacking problems in the music industry.
Interested in being featured in “10 Things” or know someone who you think should be? Email Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org.