This is the first of two essays in my successful application to Harvard Business School’s (HBS) highly competitive 2016 Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP).
Investing in Brilliance
My heart pounded as the frail man feebly tried to lift himself out of the shackles of his hospice bed. Despite the cancer insatiably eating his body, my father radiated intelligence and optimism. Few knew this man was actually a polymath: an inventor, designer, artist, and self-taught genius. In his final days, he worked tirelessly to finish his last tool—determined to give me a better chance at life.
Neither of my parents graduated high school, had any business education or experience. Despite being partially illiterate, my father received at least eighteen different patents—from a wood-cutter and car-washer to a record-breaking Water Bike and sophisticated hydraulic aerospace tools.
Many of these patents’ mass-market potential was never fully realized. Deficient business knowledge prevented him from getting enough funding for his ideas, tragically obliterating much of his creative entrepreneurism. I realized education was the lifeblood of my own potential and my father’s legacy. Compelled by my hunger to learn, I worked harder than ever at my education, striving to positively impact my extracurricular organizations. Gratefully, my nomination as SRJC’s Outstanding Transfer Student of the Year catalyzed my full scholarship to UC Berkeley.
At Berkeley, my internship through Haas’s California Management Review (HBS-affiliated) gave me the opportunity to interview local business leaders and gain insights into the pressing issues they encountered. Understanding those problems enabled me to accept the challenge of directing a Committee while still an Intern. These experiences sparked an epiphany—if time is the greatest investment, then I must invest it wisely.
My ultimate dream was to seize technology’s current momentum to revolutionize the entire field of venture capital and the way we think about investing in brilliance. It’s more than just a matter of profit: it’s the great privilege of recognizing inventors’ human potential. That’s what I will contribute to SVMP: my determination—as a scholar and leader—to not become just another statistic. My father’s eternal creative drive taught me that pursuing a vision is more than just following our dreams: it can be a powerful force to change our future.