Photo: Flickr Paul Lowry
Joshua Jian started his professional career in the analyst program at an investment bank straight out of college, but recently, he quit.He first considered trading the “considerable wealth” he says he knew he’d gain in the banking sector thanks to one moment in particular.
He saw an interaction between two homeless men on the New York City subway. Jian writes in Bloomberg:
Midway through my [investment banking training during my first summer after college] in New York, my friends and I went to see a Yankees baseball game. We caught the subway to return home and sat down next to a homeless man named Sam. Two stops later, another homeless man, J, boarded and sat next to Sam. They proceeded to talk and we overheard parts of the conversation. It became apparent that Sam and J had never met before. Then, Sam asked J if he would like to share some dinner, and J gladly accepted. Sam pulled out a tin of Vienna sausages and some dry crackers, which they shared. We watched all this and lumps gathered in our throats…
Back at work in London, I quickly overcame the learning curve and grew skillful at my job. I was assured that staying in the banking sector would allow me to build considerable wealth. However, the parable of Sam etched deeply into my mind gave me a sobering reminder of the world around us. While I wasn’t worried about ending up like Sam, I was inspired to seek more in life than those parties and materialistic pursuits. I didn’t want to waste my precious time, and I wanted a challenge. I wanted to make my mark on the world.
He advised a couple of start-ups founded by some friends. Now he’s pursuing an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainbleau, France. He hopes business school provides “much needed mental stimulation.”
He hasn’t written off returning to banking, but one of the main reasons he went to business school is to develop his entrepreneur skills.
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