WDYDWYD?Why do you do what you do?
I'm still inspired by an unattributed quote that I clipped in high school, "Success isn't the money or the privileges. It isn't the might and the mighty. It's being able to do the things you deeply care about."
I do what I do for the future, further propelled by the proverb, "I have drunk from wells that others have dug."
Before HBS, I was driven by a commitment to environmental activism and women's rights.
After HBS, it was decades of pushing the high-tech envelope, where creating jobs and growing protégés was deeply satisfying.
Now, it's teaching high school math. Upon losing my 20-year-old daughter to heroin addiction, I also spend my time educating about how the substance abuse epidemic is not just devastating families and communities, but also undermining U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.
I am humbled when young people look to me as their mentor, and love passing along the wisdom of my teachers and managers. I truly appreciate what my education has enabled me to do, especially encouraging those who aspire to be the first in their family to achieve a great milestone.
I like to think that my immigrant grandparents – who couldn't finish grade school because they had to go to work – are smiling with approval.
— Melissa Weiksnar
Photography by Marsha Wilcox
Conoco; Hewlett-Packard; Apollo Computer; Synernetics; 3Com; Academy of Notre Dame; Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School; Amelibro Press
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?”
Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163