WDYDWYD?Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I believe that creativity and competitiveness are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Daily, as I draw on fond memories of a Caribbean childhood filled with countless moments on theatre stages and tennis courts, I am compelled to both create and compete. In pursuit of this equilibrium, I have found that few industries have as visible a stage and scorecard for these two dynamics as the business of fashion.
Before I ventured into retail, as an analyst on Wall Street, I would track apparel retailers and designers, big and small. Consistently, some lacked imagination, others struggled with fiscal discipline, but the ones that got it right struck an elusive yet harmonious balance between art and science.
Today as an apparel buyer, with every fabric approval and pricing analysis for my assortment, I do what I do because I am energized by the challenge to create and compete a little bit better every day.
For me, it has always been about being able to bring the essence of who you are to what you do, because it is at that point that the possibilities are limitless.
— Jeanine Barnett
Photography by Tony Deifell, MBA '02
San Francisco, CA
Delaware State University
Sears Holding Corporation
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?”