Chicago Booth | Mr. Corp Dev
GMAT 730, GPA 3.34
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Non-Profit Latino
GMAT 710, GPA 3.06
Stanford GSB | Mr. Healthcare AI
GRE 366, GPA 3.91
INSEAD | Ms. Social Business
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Risk-Taker
GRE 310 (to retake), GPA 3 (recalculated)
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
Harvard | Mr. Hedge Funder
GMAT 790, GPA 3.82
Harvard | Mr. Fresh Perspective
GRE 318, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Green Energy Revolution
GMAT 740, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. MPP/MBA
GRE 325, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Analytical Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Technopreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
London Business School | Mr. College Dropout
GMAT 690, GPA NA
Harvard | Mr. MBB Latino Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Ms. Top Firm Consulting
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Truth
GMAT 670, GPA 3.2
INSEAD | Mr. Powerlifting President
GMAT 750, GPA 8.1/10
Harvard | Mr. Mojo
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Law To MBA
GRE 321, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. African Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Sommelier
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 2.1

Voted Off The Island At Berkeley Haas

Morgan. Photo courtesy of Berkeley-Haas

John Morgan, Haas. Photo courtesy of Berkeley-Haas

GUEST APPEARANCE FROM A REAL-LIFE SURVIVOR

And in Morgan’s class, the MBAs are having fun while developing skills. Their reward for finishing the second rendition of Survivor: Game Theory is a visit from a real-life Survivor. Before retirement, Yau-Man Chan was the chief technology officer for U.C. Berkeley’s College of Chemistry. But more important for this particular moment, he’s a two-time participant in Survivor. Chan was a fourth-place finisher in Survivor: Fiji in 2007 and was brought back for Survivor: Micronesia, where he was third to be voted off.

At the end of the class, Morgan introduces Chan to robust applause and oohs and aahs. “Just so you know, that’s very stingy,” Chan announced, referencing the $100 prize for each winning teammate. On the TV show, he points out, “First prize gets $1 million.”

“The DVD’s out by the way and I’m on the cover,” Chan adds to laughter. “But because I don’t get any residual, don’t buy it, go download it.”

PHYSICS BEATS OUT BRUTE STRENGTH

Chan, who doesn’t have the physique of a “typical” Survivor, was invited to drive home the final lesson of strategically changing a game to your advantage. “The first day we got to the beach and I thought, ‘Oh no, everyone is half my age and twice my size,'” he recalls. “Pound for pound, there is no way I could compete with them.”

Yau-Man Chan, a Survivor participant and surprise class guest

Yau-Man Chan, a Survivor participant and surprise class guest

But Chan had his own way to compete. He grew up in Malaysian Borneo. While many other contestants have never had to make a fire for each meal, Chan was a fire guru. “The flora and climate was very much what I grew up with, so I knew what to do,” Chan continues, adding that the first-ever Survivor actually took place in his home country. “And so by providing for them and doing other things for them, I was able to get through.”

On his first season, Chan, who was originally a physics major, used intellect and wit over brute strength to win the bow-and-arrow and javelin-throw competitions. “If you watch the episode, you can see the guys on the sidelines making fun of me,” Chan says. But Chan got the last laugh. Many of the throws were still falling short of the target.

“So I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to do a running start,” Chan remembers. “Even when you’re a champion javelin thrower, it’s hard to be accurate when you do a running throw.” So Chan did a running start and he won. For the bow and arrow, instead of shooting the arrow, Chan lobbed it. And he won again. Chan was changing the game.

“I hope you all realize how important it was for Chan to change the game into his advantage,” Morgan interjects from within the audience.

‘YOU, AS A GROUP, CAN LITERALLY TAKE PAIN AWAY’

And then Chan ties it all together. “The women,” he begins, “they are the best players. Because they listen and relate and they win the social game.”

Empathy is the first lesson Morgan reminds his class of in the waning moments of the class. And it’s evident the students have gained more than an understanding of game theory and strategy. They’ve cemented a bond with the quirky professor and picked up a lesson on what it’s like to view the world from the eyes of another.

“Some of you know I suffer from a chronic illness and have pain the majority of my life,” Morgan admits at the end of class. “Your energy brings me joy and excitement. There are many times I’ve walked into this class sore and with fever and it is really remarkable. I achieve a flow state in this class so often. I don’t hurt. You, as a group, can literally take pain away. That is a truly remarkable gift.”

DON’T MISS: LOW PAY, FAST GAINS FROM FUDAN-MIT MBA; THE MBA GATEKEEPER TO BERKELEY HAAS or WHARTON’S BIG PUSH INTO STARTUPS