Jay Bhandari
Home Region

Houston, TX

Undergrad Education

Georgetown University

Previous Experience

ThredUp Inc.; The Blackstone Group Inc.

HBS Activities

Member of The Harbus, Artificial Intelligence Club, Entertainment & Media Club, Entrepreneurship Club, Texas Club

“I’ve come to believe the most effective leaders actively seek diverse opinions and are open to changing their mind”

Coming to HBS is like...

Going to Hogwarts. Much like the Hogwarts houses, students at HBS are sorted into sections, each with a different personality. Our pedagogy is rooted in hands-on learning—though our magic manifests in the form of case discussions. We also have a history of producing “wizards and witches'' of business. I wonder how cold Hogwarts gets in the winter…

What is your most memorable classroom moment?

In a Leadership and Corporate Accountability (LCA) class, we debated the influence of choice and circumstance in making decisions. A former special forces classmate recounted one of his selection tests, where dozens of candidates had to swim together across a pool at night without visibility. Short on breath and under time pressure, many would attempt to exit the pool as quickly as possible. However, a select few would delay their finish to help others, even to the point of losing consciousness. His story reminded us that the strength of our values is revealed by our choices during difficult circumstances.

What is one thing you brought with you to campus, and one thing you'll be leaving with?

I love quotes, so before coming to HBS my former colleagues gifted me a compilation of their favorite quotes for me to live by during school. I've journaled a few sentences every day since I started at HBS, so I'll be leaving with a compilation of my own!

How have diverse perspectives in your section contributed to your understanding of business concepts, leadership, and/or problem solving?

In every class, I inevitably hear a viewpoint I wouldn't have expected that shifts my own. While it's important to have conviction, I've come to believe the most effective leaders actively seek diverse opinions and are open to changing their mind.

If you could give one piece of advice to prospective students, what would it be?

I held several assumptions about HBS when I was a prospective applicant. I highly encourage you to engage with the school before cementing any conclusions about whether you'd be a good fit here. Talk to students and alumni, and if possible, make a visit to campus. A year in, I've found the range of personalities and backgrounds here to be more expansive than I had anticipated. The community feels far more close-knit than the size of the student body would suggest.