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Oodles of Doodles

Jigya Bhagat (MBA ’24) reveals what your classmates really do in class.

Education systems across the world, even among the best, have woefully underserved our random non-linear, and inventive selves. Institutions, including HBS, are designed to engage only one-half of our brains – the analytical half. Our curriculum, classes, and evaluations are all geared toward making us more logical, measured, and rational. Whatever and whoever we can’t qualify rationally, we bunch under the umbrella term ‘creative’ – ‘creative people’ and even ‘creative industries’. Isn’t that odd? Are any industries definitionally ‘non-creative’? In a world dominated by algorithms, competition, and ever-shortening disruption cycles, I would argue that creativity and originality are the only real assets worth developing.

And so, this article is a small attempt at celebrating those of us who do our best to keep the funk alive. Those of us who will still have jobs when AI completely takes over.

What we have here are doodles from students at HBS. Look at the myriad of folks who default to doodling in class – right from your by-the-book PE analyst to a dreamy fashionista. Doodling seems to have a magical effect on people. On one hand, it helps to control a frenzy of emotions that are on the verge of boiling over in a hot mess. We have a student who channeled her anxiety into a heart-shaped sketch while reading about the Genocide in Rwanda. Another manages her ADHD by doodling takeaways from class. On the other hand, art helps bring forth emotions and feelings that are otherwise tough to express.

So the next time you think someone you’re talking to is distracted, is it possible that they may be listening in the only way they know how?

P.S. If you are a ‘creative’ sort of person, then the Harbus, Cabaret, HBS Show, HOTS, and dance club are some avenues you could explore!

1. Yamini Bhandari’s (MBA ’24) uninhibited stream of consciousness making its way onto her to-do lists and morning cups of coffee

2. When words don’t do justice, queen of queens Neelam Khan (MBA ’24) brings to life the magic of Disney World.

3. An ex-Pilot and soon-to-be investor at Blackstone, Dan Barbella (MBA ’24) really is a softie whose mind is on his dog Tucker during a thrilling case on passive asset management in the class ‘CFO.’

4. Quality participation from Tre Shockley (MBA ’24) who turned his artistic talents into a winning FIELD assignment.

5. Whose best is better in this epic draw-off? The real DCF in ‘FIN2’ – (D)ueling over (C)aricatures & (F)riends.

6. When manifesting love is the only way to cope with second-hand pain and helplessness.

7. RCs – this is the ONLY way to learn the value stick in Strategy. Also, diamonds are forever.

8. When sketching out of boredom is a MUCH better use of time than checking your phone.

9. The self-renewing effects of abstract art.

10. Sahana brings color into our lives through the rich art form of Tanjore.


Jigya Bhagat (MBA ’24) is from New Delhi, India. An Economics & Mathematics major by educational qualification, she’s a dancer & writer at heart. She then spent 3 years at McKinsey & Company as a management consultant and then as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence responsible for setting up new businesses for a mid-stage tech venture, UrbanCompany. She loves to dance and watch Korean dramas.

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