HBS Got Talent 2021

Rebecca Cink (MBA ’21), Contributor

The event raised over $22,000 for the nonprofit Breaktime to support ending young adult homelessness

Rebecca Cink (MBA ’21), Contributor
Emily Keeley (MBA ’22), Contributor
Lori Ossip (MBA ’21), Contributor

The HBS community grabbed their bags of popcorn on the evening of March 31, as they eagerly tuned in for the second annual HBS Got Talent show, a school-wide charity event and celebrated evening of entertainment. The event raised over $22,000 for Breaktime, a local Boston nonprofit founded by two Harvard alumni that provides purposeful transitional employment to young adults experiencing homelessness.

Weston R. (New D) and celebrity judges react to one of the acts

Dozens of community members showcased their talents to support this charity event, while hundreds more tuned in to support their sectionmates by donating to Breaktime, where each $5 donation counted as one vote for the talent act of their choice. The talent show featured 15 performances representing all RC sections, the faculty band, Dear Harby, and other wild card talent acts. The acts received both hilarious and humbling feedback from four esteemed judges: Katie Ledecky (5x Olympic Gold Medalist), Tiffany Mellard (professional dancer in the cast of Hamilton), and beloved HBS faculty members Matt Weinzierl and Christina Wallace. Adding another element of hilarity to the night, the show was expertly emceed by Weston Ruths (MBA ’22) of New Section D. Spencer Dahl (MBA ’21) of old Section C took home the HBS Got Talent title after garnering the most votes, as he wowed the judges and community with his singing ability and creative talents in his parody of “You’ll Be Back” from the musical Hamilton. The other talent acts showcased a wide variety of skills not often seen inside the HBS classroom, from original song compositions to dance, rap, and vocal numbers. The event included surprise appearances by Jan Rivkin, chair of the MBA program, and Jana Kierstead, executive director of MBA and Doctoral Programs in the Dear Harby segment.

Spencer D. (Old C) bursts into song during his Hamilton-style parody

Breaktime’s co-founder, Connor Schoen, reflected on the event,  “On behalf of the Breaktime team, I send a huge thank you to the entire HBS community for your immense generosity in supporting our mission to break the cycle of young adult homelessness. Not only were the performances amazing and really fun, but we also appreciated the way in which you shined a spotlight on Breaktime’s work. In the history of Breaktime, we have never had an event raise that much money for us before, and it will go such a long way in employing and empowering our peers experiencing homelessness.”

Professor Christina Wallace, guest judge and opera singer, added, “HBS Got Talent is one my favorite events of the year. HBS students (and faculty!) are so talented, and this show gives us a chance to celebrate those talents that aren’t always visible in the classroom. Any opportunity we get to know each other as multi-dimensional human beings—and to raise money to support a fantastic nonprofit—is a worthwhile investment!” 

Thank you to all who participated, watched, and supported the event, and we hope to see you again next year!

Rebecca Cink (MBA ’21) is originally from California and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Prior to HBS, she worked in construction management in Chicago and enjoyed long walks along the lakefront. She is a wannabe talented cook and is currently dreaming up ways to add sriracha to every dish from her makeshift professional kitchen in OWA. 

Emily Keeley (MBA ’22) is from Charlottesville, Virginia and has spent the better part of the last decade in the Boston area between graduating from MIT in 2017 and then working in management consulting. You’re most likely to find her walking or biking along the Charles with her identical twin, also an HBS RC.

Lori Ossip (MBA ’21) is originally from Toronto, Canada, and graduated from UChicago in 2015. Prior to HBS, she worked in real estate investment & asset management, and her side hustle was performing in opera & musical theatre productions around the city.