This week sees Dan Shapero (OE), the Silicon Valley startup King share his sporting experiences with us. Dan is one of the politest interviewees we have had the pleasure to talk to, and despite much cajoling he kept his calm throughout the interview.
Fact File: Dan ‘Shap’ Shapero (OE)
Height: 5ft 10 inches
Weight: 190 pounds
Hair: Dark brown
Marital Status: Engaged to Mary Bowler (OI)
Favorite Food: Steak
Favorite Drink: Scotch (Knockando)
Favorite Film: The Godfather I & II
Favorite Band: Dave Matthews
How Acquired Nickname: They shortened
my last name..!
Harbus: What HBS sports team do you play for?
Dan Shapero: The Rugby Football Club
Harbus: What position do you play?
Harbus: What does that involve?
DS: Fullback is a combination of playing free safety and punt returner. I’m the last guy on defense, and in attack my job is to kick the ball down the field. Most of my time on the field is spent tackling guys before they get the chance to score.
Harbus: So you block guys who try to score?
DS: As long as they’re on the opposite team!
Harbus: When did you start playing rugby? And why did you start playing it?
DS: I played in my Junior and Senior year at John Hopkins (Baltimore). I used to play goalkeeper on the soccer team and couldn’t make practice as I was on the student council. The rugby team didn’t practice that often, so it made sense to start playing rugby.
Harbus: What has been your best sporting moment on the field?
DS: In my first game I didn’t know what I was doing and I found myself up against two guys – one of them had the ball. I didn’t know which guy to hit. So I hit the guy with the ball as hard as I could. I broke his collar bone but unfortunately he had already passed the ball and they scored. I loved the game ever since that moment.
Harbus: And your worst?
DS: Losing at the MBA world championships last year at Duke. We were knocked out in the quarter final due to a last minute penalty kick by the Australian Graduate School of Management (Sydney).
Harbus: How about your best moment off the field?
DS: Montreal tour. It’s a city with a lot of culture, bilingual people and lots of history.
Harbus: And what about the strip clubs?
DS: (With a blank, innocent look on his face.) What strip clubs…?
Harbus: Indeed. So how would you sum up Montreal to prospective visitors?
DS: It’s a good time (said with a twinkling in his eyes…)
Harbus: And your worst?
DS: Singing ‘The Music Man’ at the rugby banquet. Rugby has a culture of signing at social events and this is a bad song.
Harbus: Interesting. So what is the biggest challenge about being an athlete at HBS?
DS: Lack of availability of athletic facilities to business school students. For a start, there are no personal nutritionists or personal spotters at Shad. If I’m ever in a position to, I’d like to set up the ‘Shad-Shapero Scholarship’ to help on-campus athletes.
Harbus: Great idea. How would it work?
DS: The student in question would be able to take one less class in order to put in extra time at the gym. Also HBS currently sponsors students who work in the non-profit sector over the summer vacation. My idea would be for a student to work part-time and spend the rest of the time in the gym. HBS would then sponsor them to go to the gym and work out!
Harbus: Do you enjoy eating out?
DS: Why do you ask…?
Harbus: It’s not a trick question.
DS: Oh, I enjoy restaurants.
Harbus: Anything in particular that takes your fancy?
DS: I really like going down to the back bay- it’s a beautiful place.
Harbus: What other sports have you played?
DS: I was goalkeeper for my college soccer team and I was on the high school wrestling team.
Harbus: Tell us about the wrestling team?
DS: My most memorable moment was playing in the team championship; I was up against a much bigger opponent. He knocked me around so much that I can’t remember the 3rd period as I was floating in and out of consciousness. In the end I lost by a small margin but my team (Cheltenham, PA) won the championship.
Harbus: Do you have any advice for young athletes out there?
DS: Don’t drink, especially during class. And remember, someone is always going to be afraid – it’s going to be you or him…
Harbus: Thank you for your time.