How to submit a Pizza as your Homework: Business Analytics, Harvard Business School

Recently, I have been given a chance to enrol into a Business Analytics certification, provided by Harvard Business School Online. As the response of the very first assignment, which is often considered something that sets your impression among your peers, I submitted a picture of Pizza.

Briefing about the course.

The first assignment: Business Analytics Connection.

Well just to give you a picture of the student’s diversity in the class we had students from all over the world and from varied backgrounds and industry positions. For example, I had an opportunity to share the class with the Regional Marketing Manager of Google Cloud, New York and the Associate VP of Standard Chartered Bank, Chennai, and then there I was, the only Fresh graduate in the whole cohort, who was without any prior industry experience. I felt just like Po from Kung Fu Panda.

Below shows the map which informed me about my peers, and where they are located at.

Student Distribution of the cohort: Business Analytics HBS Online.

So after reading the question, My main focus was to submit something utterly simple yet to the point. But I was also unsure how that would paint my picture in front of the peers with whom I have to share the class with. I didn't want to be that student in the class, as Obama said,

“who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject.”

So, I brainstormed. Well, to be honest, my first reaction was to post the picture of a graph depicting the COVID-19 trends or something related to the then-current news. But, I had that gut feeling that it would be cliche, as everyone would be posting something from the trending news.

So, While browsing through, memes. Yes, you read that absolutely right, “MEMES” I came to a conclusion that:

“Pizza is a live pie chart, which tells you how much pizza is left to be devoured.”
- Ishan Yash

At that moment, I thought I had made a discovery. I was full of adrenaline and just posted my response, without any revision.

Moment of Truth

This was my submission picture.

I felt extremely anxious about my response as the other responses were way more technical and logical, and my submission was more like a funny short story such as those stories we discuss during the family dinner.

I was very scared that no one would reply to this and would consider this as childish or maybe won't acknowledge the subtle pun. But to my surprise the response was unexpected.

Here are some of the responses:

I was elated to see the responses, it was the most trending submission that week. (Everyone in the cohort could see others submission and could write what they felt about it)

Everyone liked my submission. The key was minimalism and a subtle mix of humour.

This basically tells us that adding food references in your assignment is a Good Idea. Well, it worked for me.


Be candid, It works. Also, Don't overthink what people will think of you. I mean decency is something that needs to be maintained everywhere you go, but being true to yourself is what makes your work unique — Either uniquely amazing or uniquely egregious. haha! just kidding but yes, be candid.

Just Sharing what I like. Tech enthusiast — Analytics — IoT