Dear Mentors, Colleagues, and Friends,
I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are tackling the new year with gusto. 2016 offered me a challenge. I was rejected from the business schools I had been hoping for years to attend. After encouragement from many of you, I resolved to try again and am excited to bring news of success: I am now a full-time MBA student at Columbia University.
It's the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I have left China, a second home where I spent over half a decade. I have concluded major volunteer roles in Global China Connection and the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, experiences that brought countless life-long friends and taught so much about building organizations.
In last year's letter, I quoted basketball legend Michael Jordan: "I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." This year, I'm proud to have also missed shots. The grand B2B sales plans I had for Dyad didn't pan out, and I changed jobs midway through the year (though the second half of 2016 brought an amazing time with the Irish building materials powerhouse CRH). My pledge to send monthly newsletters barely made it to March, and I stressed over the lapse, without actually writing or sending anything more. I'm grateful for these and many other failures because they show me my limits and push me to keep growing.
In 2017, my strongest determinations are to make a focused effort in school, be a good husband from the other side of the world, and reacquaint myself with my country, which feels so different from the ideal I held in my head just a few months ago.
The results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election inspired much introspection while in Beijing. Tomorrow is an important day to reflect on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who, even in hateful times, rallied many to his cause because he sought constantly to understand and engage his own opposition. I am interested in discovering and supporting organizations that engage the whole range of political perspectives--from Trump supporters to far-left liberals to establishment conservatives--in healing a country tired of talking about division. If you know of any or would like to join such groups, please reach out to me.
Wishing you a fantastic 2017,