John Bracaglia
Home Region

Wayne, PA

Undergrad Education

College of William & Mary, Economics, 2014

Previous Experience

Verily, Google, Symplivety

HBS Activities

Digital Impact Initiative, The Future Society, Health Care Club, Social Enterprise Club, CODE Club, Design Club

“Every day there are breakthroughs people thought impossible a year ago.”

A 2+2 HBS admit, John Bracaglia spent the employment portion of his program working on projects that involved elements of machine learning, collaborating with some of the world's leading technology pioneers, including Google, on high-profile projects, such as Google Glass and Project Baseline, a longitudinal health data study to "map human health."

"At the time I applied," John says, "I had no idea what I'd be doing at HBS. But I respected the alumni and the talent the school produces. HBS builds people who not only understand business, but understand society. There's a mindset beyond maximizing profits; people think about building things that can have positive impact for the entire world. HBS gives you the tools to understand economics and business, but also for working with people to do something big."

Bringing people and potential together

"Machine learning will impact a lot of industries," John says. "I want to show my colleagues the kind of impact AI can really have and how it applies to MBA students."

In 2019, John took a lead role in organizing and running the second Machine Learning Conference at HBS. Titled, "Applied AI," the conference was hosted by the Code Club (John is VP in 2018/2019, and will be president next year), attracting more than 150 people to events with eleven speakers spread out over two days.

"We focused on three industries of deep relevance to HBS: health care, finance and technology," says John. Keynote speakers included David Ferrucci, the lead inventor behind IBM Watson, and Max Tegmark, an M.I.T. professor of physics and founder of the Future of Life Institute, an organization that, John says, "looks at AI from an ethical lens to help us avoid the downside of this technology as we build out into the future."

For his summer internship, John has signed on with OnCorps, a startup based in Boston that is applying personalized machine learning to help people make better decisions. "I want to test a couple hypotheses," says John. "Do I want to work at a smaller-sized startup? And is there a place for machine learning and behavioral science to work together for better decision-making?"

In his EC year, John anticipates "exploring my own startup. HBS has so many resources for starting a business, it's crazy. I was going to put off launching a business, but HBS has everything you need – it's very enticing. I at least want to explore the possibilities."

Whatever happens in the next few years, John "wants to be involved in research that optimizes the good in AI while avoiding the potential dangers. Every day there are breakthroughs people thought impossible a year ago. I want to position myself for leadership. The higher you are up the chain, the more impact you can have."