WDYDWYD?Why do you do what you do?
I like to be a pioneer.
I have changed what I do every decade to meet the latest new challenge or to fulfill a dream. I have been an investment banker, feminist activist, Harvard medical student and medical resident, retinal surgeon, venture capitalist, mother of three, and president/owner of the Chelsea Hotel in New York.
Some things I did early (I started HBS in 1965 at age 20), some I did late (I started medical school at age 30 and had twins at age 53), and some things I missed out on because I had no talent (lead singer in a rock band and beach volleyball player at the Olympics).
Why did I do what I did?
Because everyone said it couldn't be done, I like a challenge, and I get bored easily. Because in the 1960s I realized that I was more capable than most men and that business was the proving ground. In the 70s and 80s I felt the need to heal people and commit to the challenge of science. Then I saw the opportunity to combine business and medicine and through my venture fund created leading edge medical devices and biotechnology companies.
I recently retired for a week, organized a bake sale at my kids' school and ran screaming from the brownie table; doing that stuff has always been my worst nightmare.
My advice to other women: don't do what I did. It's exhausting! Find something you love to do, stick with it, and become the best. Thankfully, women don't have as much to prove.
— Marlene Krauss
Photography by Susan Young
New York, NY
KBL Ventures, Inc.
Tony Deifell (MBA 2002) created WDYDWYD?, a social media meme of people answering the simple question, “why do you do what you do?” by combining an image and text. To honor the 50th anniversary of women students at HBS, the Women’s Student Association Alumni Team (Annie Wheeler, MBA 2013; Danielle Slutzky, MBA 2013; and Tara Hagan, MBA 2014) partnered with Tony and asked alumnae to answer the question, “why do you do what you do?”
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