In the book’s acknowledgements, you thank MBA Admissions Director Derrick Bolton for rejecting your first application to Stanford GSB. Why are you thankful for that?
One, that was the year that Kiva was born. I don’t know if Kiva would have happened on some other timeline, but I highly doubt it because I would have been sitting in classrooms instead of tromping around Uganda.
Two is more personal. I’d been a staffer at the business school for three years, and although it hurt not to get in, when I did get in the next year, I felt like I really earned it.
Three, it taught me this amazing lesson about the importance of holding things with an open hand and knowing where I want to go, regardless of the things I can’t control. A lot of people look at a milestone, like getting into business school, and think that they can’t make the next step in their lives without it. I learned that I was still the same person — I still had the same dreams and still went forward to the same destination.