My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
10/10. Athlete, dated a cute girl, was "popular", got good grades. Yup, it was fun.
Grades in high school
English, History / Social Studies, Math
Science was tough at [high school name omitted]. Those AP bio books were thick and I usually fell asleep trying to read the chapters each night.
Sports / Recreation
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
Places lived in US
California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
Current occupations / past occupations
Industries I've worked in
- Finance and Insurance
- Management of Companies and Enterprises
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
I don't use specific things from my college education in my job. Biggest things college taught me were (a) how to work under deadlines/stress and (b) how to read and write clearly. Everything else I learned on the job.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I changed my goals each year in college. pre med, pre law, software developer, and ultimately business person. Just had to keep trying on different hats until one finally fit
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Doing something that I'm good at and that I enjoy. For me, it happens to be business.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I used to think getting into the best college was the most important. I've literally kept a mental notebook of many of my peers and I find little correlation between what college one attended and job and/or life fulfillment.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I've been part of a company that grew from 14 people when I started to now managing over $15 billion in assets. I learned that perseverance is more important and harder to do than almost anything else. Everyone is smart. Everyone is talented. But it's hard to get up after you've failed and people have criticized you (rightfully and wrongfully)
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I invested in a company that went bankrupt. We ultimately had to lay off dozens of people. I couldn't sleep. I gained weight. I was really depressed. I learned that bad stuff happens. Even if you follow the "success" recipe and do everything right ... Fraud happens. The Great Recession happens. Gotta cling to your family and friends during those dark days
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
In college, I became ostracized from my church youth group. It had been a huge part of my life and then it was gone. I was 3000 miles from home and I felt alone. I had friends and people also thought I was popular. But if it wasn't for some new friends who invited me to start shooting hoops with them, I probably would have continued down a dark depressing spiral of feeling totally alone.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Palo Alto is not normal. The density of talented and driven people here is almost unparalleled anywhere in the country. Seriously. This place is so unique. Average in PA = superstar elsewhere.
This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto