Harvard | Mr. Banking & Finance
GMAT 700, GPA 3.8
MIT Sloan | Ms. Canadian Civil Servant
GRE 332, GPA 3.89
INSEAD | Mr. Dreaming Civil Servant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Ms. Energy To Healthcare
GMAT 740, GPA 8.4/10
NYU Stern | Mr. NYC Consultant
GRE 327, GPA 3.47
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Air Force Vet
GRE 311, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Yale Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Nuclear Vet
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. MIT Hopeful
GRE 316, GPA 3.77
Wharton | Mr. Do Little
GRE 335, GPA 3.6 (High Distinction)
Harvard | Mr. Infantry Commander
GMAT 730, GPA 3.178
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Harvard | Mr. Low GRE
GRE 314, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tier 2 Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Latin American
GMAT 770, GPA 8 of 10
Columbia | Mr. Brandless
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Decision Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Ambivalent Applicant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. Reinvention
GMAT 780, GPA 2.3
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Green CPA
GMAT 690, GPA 3.96
Tuck | Mr. Mega Bank
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Latin International
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Indian Deferred
GMAT Will take next month but expecting 750+, GPA 8.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8

From Homeless To Harvard Business School

Philip Blackett. Courtesy photo

Philip Blackett. Courtesy photo

For Philip Blackett, who will be graduating from Harvard Business School next year with an MBA, Thanksgiving 2010 could not have been much worse.

After a year and a half, his real estate startup had just tanked. He’d sunk all his savings into the failed venture, so he couldn’t afford a plane ticket home to see family in Memphis. The then-26-year-old sat alone in his Jersey City condo feasting on hot dogs and a cheese Danish pastry from a nearby convenience store.

“I couldn’t even afford the buns,” Blackett, now 31, recalls of the hot dogs.

To make matters much worse, more than 1,000 miles away in Memphis, the most influential person in his life—his grandmother—was in the late rounds of a battle with pancreatic cancer. Instead of spending the holiday with her and other family members, Blackett sat alone in fear his water or electricity was about to be turned off because he was behind on the bills.

“There was nothing I could do to get home,” Blackett remembers. “I was 26 years old and I couldn’t afford a flight home to see my grandmother on what ended up being her last Thanksgiving.”


Months later, and after his grandmother’s passing, Blackett was still failing to make ends meet. He had to skip or delay paying bills for “more important purchases.” You know, like food. Or, the occasional “splurge.”

“When people talk about splurging, you know, spending a ton of money on themselves or ‘treating themselves,’ I was at a point where treating myself was walking a mile and a half to Subway and getting a foot-long buffalo chicken sub,” Blackett says, now able to laugh about it. “And by the time I got back home, I was starting to get hungry again.”

Other ‘splurges’ included a two-mile walk to IHOP.  “I’d go to their all-you-can-eat pancake buffet,” explains Blackett. “I’d try to eat as many pancakes as possible because I knew they wouldn’t let me take home any pancakes, and I knew that was it for the day. And so I’d try to stomach seven or eight pancakes because by the time I got back it would hold me over for a few hours and then I’d get hungry again.”