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On-Campus Interview Series: Double Feature with Flanker Joseph Tesvic and Tour Director Jamil Kahn

They brought the Harbus sports pages to new and glorious heights through their unflinching coverage of HBS rugby during their co-editorship last year. Coincidentally, they both play rugby at HBS. One with finesse. The other in his own very special way when he is not plotting and planning the next HBS Rugby Club tour.

Who are they?
Joseph Tesvic (OC), the rugby team’s resident Australian, left his home country for business school after working his magic at McKinsey in Sydney. When he is not tackling and pushing opponents on the rugby pitch, he loves to meander through the narrow streets of Paris.
Jamil Kahn (OJ) is the shepherd of the rugby team when on tour. Jamil boasts a curious nickname and fears the post-graduation ogre of corporate obesity.

The Harbus tracked down these two HBS athletes to learn more about who they truly are. Allow us to proudly introduce “Hot Tub” and “JFK.”

An Intimate Meeting with the Australian Rugby Stud

FACT FILE

Name: Joseph Tesvic

Section: OC

Nationality: Australian

Height: 6ft 1in

Weight: 175lbs (“It’s fair to say that I am lean”)

Eyes: Blue (“Some ladies like that”)

Hair: Blonde

Marital Status: Unmarried

Favorite Food: Malaysian beef and potato curry

Favorite Drink: Fosters

Favorite Films: Falling Down (“An interesting discussion of what’s right and wrong in America”)

Band: Powderfinger, a contemporary Australian rock band

Nickname: Hot-tub

How Acquired Nickname: “On the 2003 HBS rugby tour to Phoenix there was no one in the hot tub and I did not have my board shorts, only my Speedos. So, a few minutes after I had made myself comfortable in the hot tub, wearing my colorful Speedos, the whole rugby team came in…the rest is history.

Harbus: What’s your involvement with sports at HBS?
Joseph Tesvic: I am part of the HBS Rugby Club. I am also engaged in a variety of other sports socially, including soccer, tennis and swimming.
(Editor’s note: Swimming in his motley Speedos?)

Harbus: What position do you play?
JT: I play “flanker.” A flanker is a forward who does a lot of tackling and pushing.

Harbus: Has this year been successful for you on the rugby pitch?
JT: Yes, we won the MBA tournament at Wharton in the fall. But, the biggest challenge this year is still ahead of us. Out ultimate goal for the season is to win the MBA World Championship at Duke in early April. I feel confident. HBS has a 10-3 winning record at the moment.

Harbus: When did you first get involved with sports?
JT: I have always played sports. I started off playing soccer, but the game lacked the physical side I was looking for. I started playing rugby in high-school and played throughout college.

Harbus: What is your best sporting moment on the field?
JT: Our come-back win against Southshore last fall. It is a significant achievement since they are by a large margin the best team in the local Boston league and they dominated us in the first half of the match. However, in the second half of the game, every single player in the HBS team played at or beyond his ability and we played a game no one expected of us.

Harbus: And what is your best rugby moment off the pitch?
JT: Anytime the whole HBS Rugby Club is in a bar and everyone is wearing the HBS rugby jerseys. I think the team fosters a great sense of camaraderie and given that we are often popular with the local people we meet when on tour, the team members are ambassadors and custodians of HBS’s reputation.

Harbus: And your worst sporting moment?
JT: In my final year in college, we made it to the final of the college championships only to lose due to a penalty in the last minute. Had we won it would have been a first for my college.

Harbus: What’s the biggest challenge of being involved with sports at HBS?
JT: Two things. First, if you seriously want to be involved there is a big time commitment to training and working out; this is especially hard during the first year. Second, it is difficult to constantly having to convince professors that have not been in fights when you turn up to class limping with a black eye.
(Editor’s note: I see…)

Harbus: What are the benefits of being involved with sports at HBS?
JT: The main benefit is socializing and playing a sport with people outside my section and my class.

Harbus: What do you do when you are not out there doing sports?
JT: I love to travel. My favorite city is Paris. Its history is intriguing, its architecture striking and its food unbelievable. Closer to home, I like to read and hang out with my diverse group of friends.

Harbus: What is your next athletic challenge?
JT: In the short term I am very focused on preparing for the World MBA Championships at Duke next week. Post graduation, I am worried about returning to corporate life and potentially metamorphosing into an unfit fat slob.

Harbus: Finally, do you have any advice for young athletes out there?
JT: I think success in sports is in a large part due to native talent. But, way more important is commitment to practice and the right aggressive attitude in game situations. It boils down to believing in yourself. If you stay focused success will come.

Harbus: Great, I will remember that advice. Thanks for your time.
JT: Cheers mate!

(Editor’s note: Cheers?!)

A Portrait of the Legendary HBS Rugby Tour Guide
FACT FILE

Name: Jamil Kahn

Section: OJ

Nationality: British?

Height: 6ft

Weight: 180-185 pounds (“before or after my daily cheeseburger routine”)

Eyes: Brown (“I guess”)

Hair: Black with occasional strand of grey

Marital Status: Girlfriend (since January; “ending an eternal dry spell”)

Favorite Food: Italian pasta with some “authentic” sauce

Favorite Drink: “Prairie fires” (a potent mix of tequila and Tabasco)

Favorite Films: Star Wars and Pulp Fiction

Band: Pearl Jam

Nickname: JFK

How Acquired Nickname: “My initials are JK and one of the more witty members of the HBS rugby team, Luke Herbert, thought it would be funny to suggest that my middle name began with a popular profanity starting with ‘f'”

Harbus: What’s your involvement with sports at HBS?
Jamil F. Kahn: I am a member of the HBS RFC [Rugby Club]. And, I was the previous sports editor for the Harbus. I have played rugby since I came to HBS. I decided to take up a new sport that would help me get fit and offer me a host of social opportunities.

Harbus: Has this year been successful for you on the rugby pitch?
JFK: To be honest, I have been more successful off the pitch than on the pitch. I really come into my element in the social scene that is an integral part of the HBS rugby experience. I sing and make people drink beer. That is part of my job as the HBS Rugby Club tour director.

Harbus: What exactly is the tour director?
JFK: About half of the Rugby Club’s activities take place outside of Boston. My duties are two-fold. On the one hand, I organize the logistics of our trips and, on the other hand, I make sure that everything runs smoothly once we are on tour. It is much like being a kinder garden school teacher…

Harbus: How did you get this responsibility?
JFK: I was elected by my team mates at the annual elections last spring. As it turns out, for me, that night is probable one of the most hauntingly memorable nights at HBS.

Harbus: What tours have your organized for the Rugby Club?
JFK: I was in charge of our trips to Montreal (McGill), Philadelphia (Wharton), San Diego and North Carolina (Duke).

Harbus: What is your best sporting moment on the field?
(Editor’s note: A very long silence ensued. We began to wonder if Jamil actually achieved an
ything on the field…)

Harbus: So?
JFK: Yes, yes, I think it was when we won the Wharton MBA Rugby Tournament last fall. After seeing Wharton cheat us out of the tournament the previous year, it was great to get our revenge. We dominated the tournament.
(Editor’s note: Here Jamil mumbled in a whispering voice that he was injured for the larger part of the tournament…)

Harbus: And your worst sporting moment?
JFK: It must be my experience with the Procter & Gamble soccer team in Italy. Before HBS I worked at P&G and our team decided to have a penalty shoot out. The last person to score would be made to wear cheap hotel slippers for the rest of the week while strolling down the streets of Rome. I was one of two people left who had not scored. The goal keeper felt sorry for me and moved out of the goal. What did I do? I sliced the ball over the goal! There I was with 40 co-workers cheering me on…

Harbus: What’s the biggest challenge of being involved with sports at HBS?
JFK: Signing autographs. Fending off hordes of women. And, of course, the pressures of carrying forward the HBS rugby tradition.

Harbus: How would you describe the HBS rugby tradition?
JFK: It is all about playing hard, drinking hard and partying hard.

Harbus: What are the benefits of being involved with sports at HBS?
JFK: Rugby at HBS really keeps you fit, and you also get an opportunity to find friends for life across the first and second year classes, which is rare at this school.

Harbus: What do you do when you are not out there doing sports?
JFK: I am a big sailor and I read a lot. At the moment I am reading “Jeffrey Archers Prison Diaries”. Great works! I would recommend them to anyone.

Harbus: What is your next athletic challenge?
JFK: Not to put on 20 pounds when starting my consulting job with BCG after graduation this June.
(Editor’s note: Feel free to email Jamil with any fitness routine that can be performed in a cubicle.)

Harbus: Finally, do you have any advice for young athletes out there?
JFK: Never give up. When you think that you have nothing lest, dig deep and you will find extra energy. If you want something hard enough, you will get it!

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

April 4, 2005
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