“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
are very few things in life that hurt as much as not being able to help an 11-year-old
girl... Particularly, if you feel that you are her only chance...
Turkey, almost a million students take an exam after primary school to be able attend
a decent secondary school. One exam, two hours, 100 questions and almost no
room for mistake...
grew up in the slums. The path was super simple for us before this exam: 1-Ace:
obtain a chance to have a life... 2-Fail: start working at the age of 11 and
forget your dreams...
had a classmate, Serap... A beautiful mind... Still the fastest problem-solver I've
was definitely going to be successful in the exam...
she had taken it...
father did not let her take the exam as he wanted her to leave the school and
get married to one of his friends... An 11-year-old girl...
asked me to help her... I could not... I did not know what to do...
What am I going to do with my one precious life? I want to be a man that knows
what to do if an 11-year-old child asks for help... I want to help Seraps of our world...
my first day at HBS, I felt as if Serap was sitting next to me even though she
was thousands of miles away with her four kids...
deserved to be at HBS...
Maybe much more than I do...
— Ahmet Orhon
Each year we ask our classmates a straightforward, simple question taken from the lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Mary Oliver.
We share with you intimate and candid responses to this question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Concept and photography:
Tony Deifell, MBA '02
More Portrait Project
Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163