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On-Campus Interview Series:

This week we interview the larger than life Texan, John Sheppard (OI). Prior to HBS he was an I-banker and then worked in venture capital. During his HBS career he has been known as ‘the man to know’ as he is well connected to Boston’s nightlife. If John hasn’t been there, it’s not worth going to! This summer he will be turning his back on the financial world to run his family business.

Fact File: John Sheppard (OI)
Height: 6 feet 2 inches
Weight: 210 pounds
Eyes: Green, but I say blue because no one believes they are green
Hair: Brown and wet (Editor’s note – looks black to me)
Marital Status: Single
Favorite Food: Tex Mex and Lasagne
Favorite Drink: Bookers Bourbon
Favorite Film: The Dirty Dozen
Favorite Band: Toby Keith, Country and Western singer. He’s an alcoholic- I love that in a role model
Nickname: Shep
How Acquired Nickname: It’s a stab in the dark, but it probably came from a shortening of my last name as there are a lot of Johns.

Harbus: What HBS sports team do you play for?

John Sheppard: HBS Rugby Football Club and Volleyball Club

Harbus: What position do you play?

JS: Flanker

Harbus: Are you an aggressive rugby player?

JS: I would call myself a passionate rugby player. Everyone who plays
rugby needs aggression.

Harbus: When did you start playing rugby? And why did you start playing it?

JS: I started playing at HBS. I got into it when Dan Gertsacov (OJ) said I could hit people! Also I knew it was a team sport with a bunch of great guys.

Harbus: What has been your best sporting moment on the field?

JS: Last year we were playing a team, lets just call them ‘the sacrificial lamb’. We had just subbed on a new player who made a great run. That was until his shorts came off. I have never looked at Mark Okerstrom (OE) in the same way again.

Harbus: Do you like seeing men with no shorts on?

JS: Personally I prefer them on. But many there are many rugby events where the shorts come off.

Harbus: And what’s your worst moment?

JS: Walking off the pitch at the Duke MBA World Championships 2004. It’s likely to be my last full season of rugby and I felt that we could have won that game.

Harbus: So are you hanging your boots up?

JS: They have already been dipped in bronze and are on the wall. Also, numerous doctors got together and decided I shouldn’t be playing at such an advanced age.

Harbus: How about your best moment off the field?

JS: Numerous tours with the guys – each event brings great memories. I’ll never forget the event that involved the sauna van.

Harbus: Tell us about the sauna van?

JS: There have been vows never to repeat what happened. Actually I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of said sauna van….

Harbus: And your worst?

JS: DD’s disgusting display with a wombat.

Harbus: Do you care to elaborate?

JS: For the sake of the readers I’ll decline further comment.

Harbus: We’ve heard that you can sustain injuries playing rugby

JS: I’ve had my fair share. One broken wrist, a separated shoulder, torn knee ligaments, two dislocated fingers and numerous black eyes. I still can’t think of a better sport!

Harbus: We heard that you’re a ladies man, is this true?

JS: That rumor was based on last year and lately I’ve been more of a lady man than a ladies man.

Harbus: Oh, I never knew. So do you enjoy dressing up as a woman?

JS: I didn’t mean ‘lady man’ in reference to myself. (Editors note – we believe you Shep, millions won’t!)

Harbus: So we hear that you’re a mover and shaker on the Boston scene?

JS: That’s true. There were more people on my guest lists for Boston nightclubs than I’ve met at HBS. Between Chris Pan, Jeff Wanic and myself we have the city covered.

Harbus: So how does a Texan who worked in San Antonio become a big player in the Boston scene?

JS: It’s all about going out often and meeting people who are involved in the management and promotion of the big clubs. This year it’s been about the love of all things Brazilian.

Harbus: What do you mean by all things Brazilian?

JS: My girl is Brazilian and just an absolutely wonderful person.
Harbus: Tell us about your experience with the exclusive part-time HBS
MBA program?

JS: Well I wouldn’t call myself a part-time MBA… The key to HBS is to focus on the things that matter. That can be your next job, having fun, travel or learning in the classroom. You need to learn that life is about tradeoffs. And if you are willing to sacrifice classroom learning to prepare yourself for your next step in life then you should.

(Editors note- I hear there’s great ‘next step in life’ prep to be had on beaches in Brazil….)

Harbus: Do you have any advice for young athletes out there?

JS: Play while you’re young and quit when you get older.

Harbus: On that note I think we’ll thank you for your time.

JS: My pleasure. Any time.

May 3, 2004
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